When one mentions the Chicago Cubs, there are few things that belong in that sentence. One of the things that do not belong in that sentence is World Series title. But one a baseball fan or player come to Chicago, there is only one location on their mind. That location is none other than Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field being the home of the Chicago Cubs. With the Cubs renovating their front office with the additions of President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, General Manager Jed Hoyer, and Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod; the belief was that the trio of executives will bring with them a culture change. That change has already been on display this season with Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano no longer with the organization; and being replaced with the likes of Ian Stewart and Chris Volstad.
With the front office, coaching staff, and playing roster all undergoing changes this off-season, Cubs’ chairman Tom Ricketts may be beginning to put his focus on the biggest change of all. The change being the to the structure of Wrigley Field. That change is already beginning with the renovations being made to the right field section of Wrigley Field. The Cubs are expected to have in place by opening day new right field patio seats that feature a 70-foot LED scoreboard. The scoreboard will not feature replay, but will feature various stats and player information. Changing Wrigley Field has always been a controversial subject for Cubs’ fans. The new changes that are being made in right field have been criticized by some, but most fans fall in the same category as I do, in that the change is much needed for Wrigley Field.
In addition to the changes being welcomed by a majority of Cubs’ fans, most fans are anticipating more changes to be made to Wrigley Field. After all, the goal for The Ricketts family since taking control of the Cubs’ organization has been to modernize Wrigley Field. Tom Ricketts has already had 2014 circled as the year he wanted to renovations to be completed by. 2014 would be the 100 year anniversary of Wrigley Field, and Ricketts anticipated Wrigley 2.0 to be ready in 2014 as a way to convince Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig to award the Cubs the rights to host the 2014 All-Star game. It does not seem likely that the Cubs will host the All-Star game in 2014, but that is not stopping Ricketts from going through with his plans for the Wrigley renovation.
According to a report from NBC Chicago, rumors are circulating around Wrigleyville that Cubs’ officials are contemplating whether or not to give the green light for Wrigley Field to undergo a complete face lift during the 2013 season. If the Cubs do go through with that face lift, the report suggests that the Cubs would play their home games at U.S. Cellular Field.
The report does seem to hold some substance. Just for the mere fact of common sense. If the Cubs’ chairman Tom Ricketts does in fact give the green light on the Wrigley Field renovation project–assuming he has secured the neccessary funds–it would not be a project that the Cubs would be able to complete during one off-season. The process would likely drag into the season, and given the Chicago winters, it likely will take an entire summer for the renovations to be completed at Wrigley Field. Meaning the Cubs would have to find a temporary home for the 2013 season. U.S. Cellular Field would be a likely location for the Cubs to call home. But Cubs’ officials are not ready to talk that far into the future.
“You are putting the cart before the horse,” one source said. “There is no done deal,” said another.
“I have never heard of a done deal of moving home games to the ‘Cell,” said Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for the Ricketts family. NBC Chicago
It should be noted that neither the source cited in the report nor did Dennis Culloton deny the possibility of the Cubs playing their home games at U.S. Cellular field during the 2013 season while Wrigley Field is being upgraded. Rather both stated that there is no done deal. That alone should be confirmation that the scenario mention in the report is being considered. Ricketts has always played his operations close to the vest, so it is likely that we will not much more about a potential renovation to Wrigley Field until Ricketts announces it himself.
Before any renovation can be made, the Cubs needs to secure the funds for such a project. The Cubs have been rebuffed in their attempt to have the taxpayers pay for the Wrigley Field upgrade, but the reports suggests that the Cubs may ask season ticket holders to purchase PSL’s in order to provide resources for the renovation. In any event, Ricketts will likely look to get the ball rolling on Wrigley’s renovation this season in hopes of starting the project next season.