For real and all that. There was a press release last night, and today’s press conference and printed agreement cemented the deal. Hats off to Aisle424 of OV and Bleacher Nation for the links via Twitter.
The details are within those links, but for those too lazy to click through, here’s the gist:
- More night games, more Friday 3:05 PM start times (Central time), with flexibility for MLB to switch day games to night games where necessary.
- The video replay board is coming. Sorry.
- Flexibility for the Cubs to move outfield walls out towards Waveland and Sheffield.
- More concerts.
- Parking, security, shuttle service, etc.
- Hotel and stuff across the street plus Triangle area development.
- Sheffield closed for a specified period of time before games and into the second inning.
- Some more community investment stuff, but no public funding (though there might be tax breaks and kickbacks, who knows).
The press conference was held in the main concourse inside the stadium which was a bit different. Podium set up and everything. Tom Ricketts gets to strut into the limelight, I guess. Pretty slick setup.
There are some obstacles left, the Cubs still have to meet with the community and the City Council about some details and for coordination, but as far as I could tell from reading and from listening to Tom, the thing is done and should be a win-win for the city and the Cubs. They’ll definitely generate jobs and income, but just how much remains to be seen.
Ricketts says he hasn’t talked to the rooftops and will just deal with them when it happens. Sounds like he isn’t worried, but there’s obviously still work to be done in terms of behind-the-scenes legalese etc. So the gist is: the framework is done, now they actually have to push the deal through and start building. Just do it.