Earlier this week in Mesa, Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts confirmed what many had already long-suspected. Another season will pass without any of the Wrigley Field renovation project beginning. Even the end of the season isn’t a ‘hard date’ yet either, leaving many to speculate that if issues between the organization and the rooftops aren’t worked out soon, the saga could drag on into 2015.
“It’s our goal to get the [Wrigley Field] project started at the end of the season,” Ricketts said. “I’m not sure if there’s a hard date that goes with that.”
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, at least one major component of the renovation will, in fact, be ready by Opening Day 2014 – that is, as long as the Cubs have their way.
The signage is part of a new advertising package deal with Anheuser-Busch, which will generate $10 million annually over the next 14 years, according to multiple reports from earlier this week. Although the move, when announced last fall, was controversial, it opens another revenue stream for the organization to utilize moving forward.
It is with that same line of thinking that Cubs fans must approach the renovation of Wrigley Field and the surrounding area. Their concern shouldn’t lie in the changes themselves – more importantly, the revenue streams that will be opened, the facilities that will be made available to players and the training facilities that will be built – all will have a lasting impact and play a direct role in fielding a World Series-caliber team in the years to come.
The team is also working on new media deals – both radio and television – both of which will likely increase the club’s revenues, as well.
“The key is we’re committed to renovating and improving the park and saving it for the next generation,” Ricketts said. “Ultimately, you have to have control of your own field. We can’t live for the next 100 years with this kind of situation. We have to know it’s going to be over if we’re going to invest in the park.”