There was some intriguing news that came out of this weekend’s Cubs Convention, most notably the proposed $300 million renovation the Cubs have planned for Wrigley Field. If you’d like to see some images of the proposal, click here. The team changed course and announced that they’ll no longer be seeking any public funding of the renovations.
On these conditions: The city lift restrictions on game-day use of Sheffield Avenue, game times for certain days and large-scale signage behind the outfield.(snip)
But the shift away from an attempted money grab from a financially strapped city has given Cubs officials renewed optimism that they might get cooperation from City Hall in time to start work on the five-year project this fall.
That requires getting permit and zoning approval for some of those projects this spring, explaining the full-court press the team applied Saturday.
‘‘One of the ways we look at it is treat us as a private institution,’’ chairman Tom Ricketts said. ‘‘Let us go about doing our business, and then we’ll take care of ourselves.
Since the government won’t give us any money, leave us alone! Hoping for a few details?
The plan will take five offseasons, and the Cubs will not have to play any of their games at another ballpark. The items on the long to do list include remodeling the home and visitor’s clubhouse, adding new batting cages that will be accessible in-game. The entire upper deck will have the wooden roof removed and new seating platforms will be installed. New concrete will be poured into the lower seating bowl. More restrooms will be added, more concessions stands, more restaurants. The landmark features will be not be changed.
Perhaps the question most asked and left unanswered: What is the plan for urinal troughs?
Tom Ricketts was asked about Sammy Sosa and suggested the team might reach out to him.
‘‘Maybe we should revisit that,’’ Ricketts told reporters Saturday morning after a Q&A session with fans. ‘‘When we got here, there really wasn’t much communication, and we haven’t really focused on it. But maybe it’s an issue we pick up this year and see what we can do about it.’’
Ricketts said he didn’t know whether the lack of contact with Sosa had more to do with the falling out between Sosa and the team or the suspected PED use that kept him far short of the required vote for Hall of Fame induction.
‘‘With Sammy, it’s awkward,’’ Ricketts told a fan who asked about Sosa’s continued absence. ‘‘I think over time there’ll be a good solution for all this stuff. But you saw what happened with the Hall of Fame voting this year. It’d be nice to put this chapter to rest and just welcome back all the guys who are from that era who people suspect of doing whatever. So we’ll work towards that. We’ll take a look at that.’’
There is no word on whether the Cubs are following him on Pinterest. Finally, Ricketts once again stated his dedication to sticking to the plan Theo Epstein and Co. have in place.
“We never talk in terms of specific years,” Ricketts said. “The key thing to remember is that there really are no shortcuts to building an organization or being consistently successful. Everything you think is a shortcut is a dead end. You just have to do it the right way. You have to do it from the ground up.
“Mark Twain once said: If you always do what you always did you’re always going to get what you always got. So we had to change. We had to change the way we look at our organization and really refocus on player development and we’re doing that. And it doesn’t happen overnight. There’s no like six-month return on that.”
I’m sure there were many more special moments surrounding the Cubs Convention, but you’ll have to seek those out for yourself.