Wrigley Field renovation lacks National Park Service approval

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According to the Chicago Tribune, a major portion of the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field renovation plan – $75 million in federal tax credits – is at stake over concerns from the National Park Service regarding the increased signage at Major League Baseball’s second-oldest park.

"More from Chicago Cubs NewsCubs need to walk the walk this winter after talking the talkAlec Mills shocked Cubs fans, baseball world with 2020 no-hitterCubs: After season of adjustments, Seiya Suzuki primed for monster 2023Projecting the 2023 Cubs Opening Day lineupCubs: 2022 season a ‘success,’ according to Tom RickettsIn a memo to the Cubs obtained by the Tribune, the agency expressed concern about advertising overkill at Wrigley, which is known for its ivy-covered outfield walls, hand-turned scoreboard and intimate dimensions as opposed to typical corporate billboards at every other baseball stadium."

The Wrigley Field renovation project, which is expected to cost in excess of $350 million, has drawn fire from rooftop owners and Wrigleyville Alderman Tom Tunney, but after the City of Chicago approved the team’s proposal, it appeared things would move forward following the conclusion of the 2014 season. In a statement, the team offered this take on the situation, saying it is, “normal for there to be changes to design and construction as a project evolves and we are working with.”

The team applied for federal historic-preservation tax credits last year, which are the same credits that are credited with the Boston Red Sox overhaul of Fenway  Park – the only stadium older than the Friendly Confines. In order to receive the tax credits, owners of property must “submit their projects for review to the Park Service,” according to the Tribune. All restorations must ‘maintain the building’s historic character.’

The Tribune article also spoke with an architect who gave the OK in terms of state approval for the project.

"In September, Mike Jackson, an architect with the Illinois preservation agency, recommended the Wrigley renovation for tax credits. In an email he sent to a Cubs official, Jackson said, “The overall program and treatments to the building show excellence in preservation design.”"

The renovation has five new signs and an array of basic improvements to Wrigley Field – including a renovated concourse, exterior and a complete overhaul of player’s facilities. Some of the most notable aesthetic changes include the ‘Triangle Building’ and a pair of video boards behind the left and right field bleachers.