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Report: RF Sign At Wrigley Could Go Up At Season's End

The Cubs are going to start making changes to several things at Wrigley Field once the 2013 season is over.

Al Yellon

While the Cubs' complete renovation plan is still on hold while the team seeks assurances that the rooftop owners won't sue, one portion of the plan could be installed soon after the 2013 season ends:

The Cubs announced a deal Friday to make Anheuser-Busch their exclusive beer sponsor in 2014 and beyond, and they plan to install a 650-square-foot Budweiser sign in the right-field bleachers.

That's bad news for Old Style, which has had an affiliation with the team for more than 60 years, as well as for Wrigleyville rooftop owners opposed to installing a large sign that could obstruct some views.

A source said the Cubs will install a mock-up of the sign when the team goes on the road next week. While it's questionable whether construction on the $300 million ballpark renovation plan will begin this offseason as planned, the Cubs have the go-ahead to install the sign either way.

Beyond that, the article says the proposed left-field video board might also be constructed sometime next year:

But the beer sign and the video board can be installed without the permission of the rooftop owners, and both could be up during the 2014 season, the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field.

For those of you who like Old Style, Cubs spokesman Julian Green said that this deal doesn't mean Old Style won't still be served at Wrigley:

For Old Style lovers and traditionalists who drink it only at Wrigley, hope springs eternal. Green said the team and its concessions management partner, Levy Restaurants, might choose to continue serving Old Style in 2014.

The Anheuser-Busch deal is a marketing agreement only. Budweiser will maintain naming rights throughout the stadium, but that doesn't mean Budweiser products will be served exclusively at Wrigley, which would be illegal.

And, the A-B deal means some other Chicago favorites could be served at Wrigley:

One expected product of the deal will be Goose Island flowing at the ballpark in 2014. Brewery spokeswoman Ana Serafin said it has not yet been determined which beers will be available or in what quantity.

However, she said, the brewery's "Chicago-influenced beers," like 312 Urban Wheat Ale and Green Line, would be obvious candidates. (I would also add Goose Island's IPA to the obvious candidates list.)

Beyond all this, the first link seems to point up the continued intransigence of the rooftop owners. It's really time for them to back down and let the Cubs get started with their renovation project, which is supposed to take up to five offseasons to complete. I don't think I need to rehash all the rooftop press releases threatening lawsuits; it's time for them to stand down.

I hope to have photos of the mockup mentioned above when it happens next week; the photo at the top of this post is of a previous mockup of the right-field sign that the Cubs put up at Wrigley Field last May.