Blountville
83° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Greeneville
83° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Abingdon
80° F
Clear
Clear
Advertisement

Cubs chairman threatens move out of Wrigley

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 01 2013 11:48:46 AM CDT
Updated On: May 02 2013 05:48:34 AM CDT
Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs

John Gress/Reuters

Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts threatened to move the team if plans for upgrades and renovations of Wrigley Field are not approved.

In an address at the City Club of Chicago on Wednesday morning, Ricketts said "we will consider moving out of Wrigley Field" if the installation of a video board behind the left-field bleachers and signs around the outfield are not allowed to proceed at the 99-year-old venue.

Nearby rooftop owners oppose the video board and the signs, saying the view would be restricted, and have threatened legal action. They charge fans for access to watch Cubs games from their buildings and fear a loss of revenue. Studies have shown the proposed changes would have minimal effect on the rooftops.

The Cubs, meanwhile, say they need to modernize the iconic venue to increase their revenues.

"We have to catch up to our large-market competitors on ballpark revenues, so this project has to work from a financial perspective as well," Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said.

The Cubs are set to file on Wednesday their plans for the renovation of historic Wrigley Field that include the giant video board above the bleachers in left field, new amenities for fans and expanded facilities for players.

If approved, construction would begin at the 99-year-old stadium after the completion of the 2013 season.

Among the enhancements to the stadium for fans will be the 6,000-square foot video board, a party deck in the left-field corner, enhanced concession areas and restrooms, wider concourses, expanded sky boxes, restaurants and additional signage around the ballpark.

The players' clubhouse also is part of the proposal. The enlargement of the clubhouse includes weight-training and conditioning areas, medical facilities, two battling tunnels, a lounge and media center. The Cubs currently have the smallest clubhouse in the major leagues.