Wrigley Renovations: Wait Till Next Year

Courtesy Chicago Cubs

After nearly a year of putting out renovation plans to restore and upgrade Wrigley Field, the Cubs won't be doing anything major to the ballpark this offseason.

Just as the Chicago Cubs team waits for "next year", the year that never seems to come, the business side of the club now has to wait until at least 2014 before beginning renovations to Wrigley Field, according to this Chicago Tribune article:

The team had hoped to complete the ballpark renovation project over five offseasons, but that was based on being able to begin working aggressively shortly after the 2013 season ended. That will not be the case. The Cubs have yet to apply for any of the city permits that would be required for the ballpark renovation work, team spokesman Julian Green said Friday.

The rest of the article is basically a summary of what's gone on up to now; as you know, the owners of the rooftop clubs across from Wrigley on Waveland and Sheffield are blocking any work the Cubs want to do by refusing to agree not to sue the team. The rooftop group issued another statement, which to me doesn't make a great deal of sense:

Ryan McLaughlin, a spokesman for the Wrigleyville Rooftops Association, said there's plenty of work the Cubs could be doing now.

"The rooftop owners support the renovation of Wrigley Field and want the Cubs to succeed," McLaughlin said in an email. "There is nothing stopping the owners of one of the most valuable teams in baseball from fixing the dugouts, the bathrooms or the multitude of improvements that are long overdue. Let's be clear — those aspects of renovation have nothing to do with the issue between the Cubs and rooftops. For a team that set deadlines, their silence has been deafening when it comes to their renovation plans."

The Cubs, in fact, do plenty of maintenance-style work every offseason and from what I've heard, will be doing more such work this winter. For the rooftop owners to cite "bathrooms" or "dugouts" is disingenuous at best. Everyone knows that their refusal to agree not to sue is the major thing holding up putting shovels in the ground.

So the Wrigley Field you will see April 4, 2014 will look substantially like the one last seen for a baseball game, last Wednesday. If you were hoping to get to Wrigley to see what it looked like before all the changes, you've got at least one more year to do that. Wait till next year, indeed.

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