And so it begins.
Days after announcing an exclusive marketing agreement with Anheuser-Busch, the Chicago Cubs announced they will be building a short-term mock-up sign that will be placed behind the right field bleachers as part of the Wrigley Field renovation, scheduled to be completed in the next five years.
The threat of litigation from rooftop owners looms over the entire project, and in working with these parties, Tom Ricketts and Company are looking to avoid just that. According to Cubs’ beat writer Bruce Levine, a Cubs source stated the organization will not begin the massive overhaul until they have a clear legal path to complete the task at hand.
The mock-up sign will be in place to show Budweiser how the large display will look after the project is completed. This preview will give the team’s main advertiser some input toward creativity and engineering of the permanent sign. The sign will be 650-square feet and will sit above the right-center field back wall of the bleachers. The rooftop owners most likely will be brought in to help in placement of the sign, the source said.
Don’t expect to be catching a glimpse of the sign while you’re watching a Cubs game. The sign will reportedly only be up for a few hours before being taken down. It’s simply being built to give all parties involved – the rooftop owners, the Cubs organization and Budweiser, whose logo will adorn the sign – some input on the design and the overall decision on the matter.
A similar sign was installed at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, during the near-decade of improvements in the early 2000s, and has been received well by Red Sox fans. Not to mention the fact that increased revenue streams from decisions such as this allowed the team to bring home two World Series championships – snapping one of the longest dry spells in all of professional sports.
The sign will sit above the Budweiser patio deck, which was completed prior to the 2012 campaign and added a great space at the Friendly Confines. Such ventures are the only way the Cubs can increase revenue, begin to minimize the impact of the staggering debt the Ricketts family incurred as part of the purchase several years ago and return to being one of the most well-loved and competitive franchises in Major League Baseball.
We will keep you posted here at Cubbies Crib on the ongoing discussions between the organization and rooftop owners. For now, the seas have calmed a bit and the plan is moving along – slowly – but moving.