Ricketts' Wrigley game plan: rehab on a budget
By: Mike Colias Aug. 25, 2009
(Crain’s) — Among the most closely watched decisions awaiting Thomas Ricketts is what the likely next owner of the Chicago Cubs will do with iconic but rickety Wrigley Field.
Fans shouldn’t expect major changes anytime soon: A major overhaul of the 95-year-old park is probably four or five years out, according to two people familiar with the Ricketts family’s plans. And even then, the job likely wouldn’t exceed $250 million, one source said.
That would be far less ambitious than the $450-million-to-$600-million overhaul once envisioned by state officials when they attempted to buy the stadium from Tribune Co. last year. The apparent five-year horizon signals that the Ricketts clan will take time to digest the $800-million deal it finalized last week with Tribune Co. to buy the team, ball park and a 25% stake in Comcast SportsNet.
The family views as perhaps its biggest new moneymaker the development of the so-called “triangle building”
on the stadium’s west side, along Clark Street, one source said. Tribune has had a similar project on the drawing board for years. It would likely include a restaurant, shops, parking and other amenities
, but the Ricketts family doesn’t yet have firm plans for the project, the source said.
Other elements are likely to include upgraded skyboxes, a lounge area, widened concourses, better bathrooms and concessions, and some sort of fan-friendly space
between the triangle building and the stadium, a source said.