Wrigley Field has been a landmark in Chicago, and in Cubs’ fans hearts, for decades. 2020 was the beloved ballpark’s 107th season, 105th as the home of the Chicago Cubs.
Now, per Jesse Rogers, the ballpark is going to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s a reason for that, too:
The move will give owners of the Chicago Cubs, the Ricketts family, access to federal income tax credits on the recently completed refurbishing of the 106-year-old ballpark. The official announcement is expected Thursday.
Wrigley Field was built in 1914 but had not had an extensive makeover until the past half-decade when the Ricketts family spent about $1 billion of their own money to refurbish it. They applied for the federal status back in 2013, after becoming eligible for it in 1987, but needed to keep that eligibility through the renovations before being approved. The move should earn millions in tax credits, just as it did for the owners of the Boston Red Sox, who made a similar move with Fenway Park about a decade ago.
The Ricketts family spent over $700 million on the renovations of the ballpark, which include two video boards, four high-end private clubs, new dugouts and a new clubhouse which is among the best in baseball. It’s clear that the ballpark was falling apart in many areas before the renovations and these should keep Wrigley Field as a jewel in baseball for decades to come.
Here’s more on what being on the National Register of Historic Places means:
National Historic Landmarks are defined as “buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects that have been determined by the Secretary of the Interior to be nationally significant in American history and culture.”
Wrigley Field was named a Chicago landmark in 2014 and the local landmarks commission did have some input into the changes made, as I reported here in December 2014. The national designation was a long time coming — per this article the ballpark was first deemed eligible for inclusion on the national list as early as 1987.
The Wrigley renovation project was well-done in every aspect, preserving the historic nature of the park while upgrading amenities for fans and players. It certainly deserves a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Of course, the benefit of a tax credit for the Ricketts family is the real story here. Hopefully, sometime in 2021, we as fans will be able to enjoy our beloved ballyard in person again.