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Cubs, Landmarks Commission Will Meet Again Regarding More Wrigley Changes

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You didn't really think this was all over, did you?

BCB's Mike Bojanowski made this photo illustration showing what the changes the Cubs are requesting might look like (sign eliminated in left field, and video board and fixed sign swapping positions in right field)
BCB's Mike Bojanowski made this photo illustration showing what the changes the Cubs are requesting might look like (sign eliminated in left field, and video board and fixed sign swapping positions in right field)
Courtesy Chicago Cubs

The Wrigley Field construction project, as you know from the photos posted here, hasn't had much work done over the last week or so. And now, there could be changes coming to the project.

Late Tuesday, Danny Ecker of Crain's Chicago Business posted this article indicating that the Cubs are heading back to the Landmarks Commission to get approval for some changes to the Wrigley signage plan:

In an unexpected development, the Cubs are scheduled to appear before the commission on Thursday, Dec. 4, where they will present a revised proposal that includes six outfield signs above the Wrigley Field bleachers instead of the seven the panel approved in July, according to a source familiar with the plan.

The 2,400-square-foot video board in right field will be reduced in size and moved closer to the right-field line. The new size of the video board could not be determined. A script ad sign that had been located down the right-field line will be moved to the location of the video board. And an advertising sign in left-center field will be removed.

And why are they doing this?

... the team has adjusted its plan after a negotiation with the National Park Service to earn a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Winning such a status from the National Park Service is a vital piece of the Cubs' financial plan because it would qualify the team for a valuable tax credits for preserving a historic landmark.

The potential credit, which would effectively reimburse Cubs ownership for some of the roughly $375 million it plans to spend on the renovation, would be equal to 20 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs.

The exact value of those costs at Wrigley remains unclear, but the tax credits are worth $75 million, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

This, obviously, isn't the only reason nothing's been done on the right-field side at Wrigley. I reported here last week that water-main work on Sheffield hasn't been completed, nearly two months after it was supposed to be, and the team can't bring in the heavy construction equipment to begin building the new bleachers until it is. Maybe that's a good thing, considering these possible revisions to the signage plan.

Since the Landmarks Commission has pretty much rubber-stamped each previous proposal the Cubs have made, I wouldn't expect any different result when they meet on Thursday, and the Cubs should qualify for the tax credits they seek.

Click here for a larger version of the image at the top of this post. You'll note it appears, based on the description in Crain's, there is less blockage of rooftop views with the changes. That's something that might become more important in the future if, as has been reported, the Ricketts family buys some of the buildings on Waveland and Sheffield.