Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
The Cubs won two neutral-site games at Miller Park in 2008 as the visiting team. They thought about becoming the "home" team there... but it won't happen.
Many possibilities have been floated for how the Cubs would renovate Wrigley Field while still playing there, and the team has, for the most part, always said it would remain at Wrigley while any construction goes on.
But according to Gordon Wittenmyer in the Sun-Times, the club recently considered a plan that would have had it play some games at Miller Park in Milwaukee in 2014 and 2015:
Cubs spokesman Julian Green said the plan — which called for all home games in April and May in 2O14 and 2O15 to be moved to Miller Park in Milwaukee — was just one of "a number of different options" being considered and is now "off the table." For now, the Cubs say they’ll play all their home games at Wrigley Field while the anticipated work is completed. But the Miller Park plan was considered seriously enough that the Brewers were consulted and at one point late last season Cubs business executives apprised the baseball-operations side about the possibility.
This does, as Wittenmyer mentions, at least give some idea of what the Cubs' timetable is for renovations -- presumably, they want them done by the time the team celebrates its 100th anniversary at the corner of Clark & Addison in 2016.
If the upcoming winters are as mild as the previous two, work could proceed quickly through the offseason, and possibly during road trips during the season. When the current bleachers were constructed in 1937, work continued during the season -- in fact, occasionally during home games. Personally, I think the Cubs made the right choice -- moving games for just part of a season would have been a logistical nightmare for players (they'd have to have in-season homes in two cities), and bad for fans. Sure, many Cubs fans live in the northern suburbs, some closer to Milwaukee than Wrigley Field -- but would that be enough to draw decently at Miller Park? I'd think not.
The Cubs plan to reveal renovation plans Saturday at the convention. I'll report on that and hopefully, have some renderings of what they plan to do to post here.