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Cubs Tweak Sign Plan, Expect Landmark Commission Approval

Get ready for more signs in Wrigley Field, if one report is correct.

Courtesy Chicago Cubs

So it would appear that the Cubs were serious about the seven new signs in Wrigley Field, according to Fran Spielman in the Sun-Times:

The Cubs said Monday they’re on the July 10 agenda for the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and expect to win approval for their revised plan to renovate Wrigley Field — including seven outfield signs, two of them video scoreboards — after a tweak to accommodate Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"We’re not prepared to lose another year and jeopardize delivering on the promises we made to our players, our fans and our [advertising] partners," said Cubs spokesman Julian Green.

"We believe the revised expansion plan fits within the guidelines of the Landmarks Commission. We’re confident we’ve addressed all of the outstanding issues and should be going through with our revised plan on July 10. We took the widening of the bullpen doors off the table. The only material change was those doors."

Well. About a month ago when the rendering above was first released, I wrote that all the new signs appeared designed for one purpose only: to block rooftop views. Do the Cubs really need two huge scoreboards in the outfield? Or static signs in each corner? Or 92-foot-tall light towers that ... well, where would they go, anyway? For a larger panoramic view of the new Wrigley sign rendering, click here (opens in new window or tab).

Once again, the Cubs were very careful to term this an "expansion," to go along with the clause in the contract with the rooftops that said, essentially, that any "expansion" of Wrigley Field wouldn't be a violation of the contract:

The plan called for seven outfield signs, including two video scoreboards, 300 new seats, 300 standing room positions and new outfield light standards rising 92 feet high.

So the 600 new tickets the Cubs can sell (300 seats, 300 standing room) constitute an expansion of seating. There's really no question about that.

Personally, I think all these signs are a little too much. At some point, the rooftops are going to have to go through with their threats to sue (or, more likely, ask for arbitration, as the contract itself states), or we are going to be in this indefinite holding pattern.

We'll find out more July 10 when the Landmarks Commission meets, though Spielman writes:

Eleanor Gorski, landmarks chief for the city’s Department of Planning and Development, could not be reached for comment. The July 10 agenda was not yet posted on the landmarks commission’s website.

Let's get this thing under way already, whatever form it finally takes. It should have started more than a year ago.