This will be relatively brief but serves to consolidate all the random Tweets by Anno, Roobs and other bloggers all over the interwebs. The Cubs hosted an informational session where they revealed their plans to restore Wrigley Field, and not to rebuild it. For the source you can check out the Twitter feeds on our sidebar run by Anno and Roobs. I’m sure photos will be available later but for now, let’s see what we got…
The overall project the Cubs outlined described a five-year restoration plan to preserve (read: restore, renovate, and NOT rebuild) Wrigley Field. The emphasis is to turn Wrigley into a state-of-the-art facility (or as close as they can get given the restrictions of the neighborhood and the footprint of the stadium), to win a World Series in Wrigley Field (recall that the Cubs’ two championships came before they moved in) and to be a good neighbor and improve family experiences. There was a quip about how the Cubs need to do better with families, and Roobs cited the White Sox as a role model as the Sox have some fun family events in the Cell.
The project will last five years and cost around $300MM, and just as Muskat reported yesterday, the Ricketts will pay for it. Crane Kenney suggests it will create 2100 new jobs, and generate approximately $1.2B in revenue for the state of Illinois. The wooden roof will be replaced, and a whole new roof will be installed. The seats will all be replaced (the new layout will have 70 less seats), and the players will have underground batting cages. They also plan to improve cell phone coverage and the plumbing at Wrigley, and as always the bathrooms were a huge topic. The plan calls for a 42% expansion of restroom space. They will also add an outdoor concession area for the upper deck. The project is being headed by DAIQ, which worked to restore Camden Yards. Because the Cubs emphasized that they are not playing anywhere else, the restoration will have to occur in the offseason over those five years.
For anyone worrying, the ivy, scoreboard and marquee will not be altered. However, they will likely install new video boards, and cited their survey where 60% of respondents suggested they would be okay with a replay board if it didn’t affect the manual scoreboard in any way, and yes, more than likely, a jumbotron is coming. They are considering adding more concession areas and a restaurant to the bleachers after removing the center field LED board under the manual scoreboard.
Jed Hoyer spoke and said that the player facilities were pretty much terrible. They will definitely work on that, especially the home clubhouse starting after this coming season. The Cubs are going to throw some random elevators in there (six were planned). The Cubs also announced that the new Dominican facility should be ready in May, while the Cubs’ new spring home in Mesa should be ready by November. That’s at least when they scheduled the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
UPDATE: Bleacher Nation has a blog up with some of the conceptual pix included.