Illinois Legislature To Consider Bill To Preserve Wrigley Field

Jonathan Daniel

Wrigley renovations could come soon if a new bill is passed by the Illinois legislature.

The Cubs today sent out an email to season ticket holders and Wrigleyville neighbors in which they revealed that the Illinois legislature will be considering a bill, in its next session, to take part of the 12% city of Chicago and Cook County amusement tax and set it aside for the purpose of renovating Wrigley Field.

Chairman Tom Ricketts, in the email, said that if the bill is approved, the Cubs would spend $200 million over the next few years on Wrigley improvements and a comparable amount in the neighborhood.

November 11, 2010

Dear Season Ticket Holder,

When my family and I took ownership of the Chicago Cubs just about one year ago, we committed to being good neighbors and to preserving Wrigley Field. We're excited to tell you today about an opportunity to achieve both.

As the third largest tourist attraction in Illinois, the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field account for more than $600 million annually in impact to the local economy, including almost $400 million in annual new spending - spending which would not take place but for the team and the ballpark. This spending supports more than 7,000 jobs and generates more than $230 million in annual personal earnings. The Cubs and Wrigley Field also generate nearly $60 million in tax collections each year.

For many years, Wrigley Field has required millions of dollars in annual maintenance and, partly as a result, the team-owned campus around the ballpark has remained largely undeveloped. The Wrigley Field campus development, the centerpiece of our future, has been on hold for nearly a decade.

In the next few weeks the Illinois General Assembly will consider a bill to preserve Wrigley Field. Simply put, the plan allows a portion of future City and County amusement taxes, the 12% currently added to each ticket price, to be invested directly in the preservation of the Friendly Confines.

The plan is fair, simple and focused. Most importantly, it will not increase taxes you currently pay and will not create any new taxes.

This plan will preserve the historic character and tradition of the Friendly Confines for the next generation and will enhance the Lakeview community. If approved, the Cubs will undertake more than $200 million in renovations during the next five years and, in addition, the Ricketts family will invest a comparable amount in neighborhood development. The team will commit to play in Wrigley Field over the long run and to remain in the field during construction so, in this difficult economy, local businesses will continue to enjoy revenues the Cubs help attract.

We understand the importance of community and fan participation in this process. Wrigley Field renovation designs are being developed and we look forward to input on our surveys, discussions in forums and other communications we will send to you in the weeks and months ahead.

We have an opportunity in this upcoming legislative session to begin the process of renovating and restoring Wrigley Field and securing its continued future. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and hope you, like me, see this as a fair and straightforward way to accomplish our mutual goals. If you would like to support our legislative proposal in the fall session, please contact us at renovatewrigley@cubs.com.

Sincerely,
Tom Ricketts
Executive Chairman

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