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Wrigley Stadium finally getting renovated.

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Wrigley Field getting $500 million facelift, outfield video board

The historic home of the Chicago Cubs will get a $500 million facelift, including its first electronic outfield video board, as part of a hard-fought agreement announced Sunday night between the City of Chicago and the ball team.

Wrigley Field also will host an expanded number of night games under the announced pact, as part of Cubs owner Tom Ricketts' plans to renovate the second-oldest ballpark in the major leagues, boost business and make baseball's most infamous losers competitive again.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed what the two sides called a "framework" agreement in a joint statement issued Sunday night, noting that it includes no taxpayer funding. That had been one of the original requests of the Ricketts family in a long-running renovation dispute that at times involved everything from cranky ballpark neighbors to ward politics and even the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama.

"This framework allows the Cubs to restore the Friendly Confines (of Wrigley) and pursue their economic goals, while respecting the rights and quality of life of its neighbors," Emanuel said in a news release sent to The Associated Press.

Still uncertain was how the agreement will sit with owners of buildings across the street from Wrigley who provide rooftop views of the ball games under an agreement with the Cubs that goes back years.

I've never been near the "friendly confines" of Wrigley. The closest I've ever come was flying through O'Hare on business trips to Colorado or California. It has a reputation -- at least among Cardinals fans -- for being cramped and smelling of urine.

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My wife's uncle and his family live just outside Chicago, with his employer having a field box off third base, so we've been to a few games at Wrigley. I love the park and the neighborhood, which is a fantastic display of how baseball and it's surrounding neighborhood were at a time long gone but still seems to work.

I know the park has its detractors for whatever reasons, but since I'm more into the ballparks and their architecture, I really had no problems with Wrigley. Beyond that, you have the second oldest park in MLB, as well as the only surviving Federal League park in one.

Like the owners have done with Fenway, Wrigley, IMO, needs to be kept as long as possible. Like Thomas Boswell once said in a ballpark documentary, "When you build a cathedral 500 years later, it isn't the same."

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Great thread on this at a Cardinals forum. Cubs Owner: Jumbotron = World Series Championship


Hello gang,

Doubtless you've all heard that the Cubs finally got approval to makeover their giant outdoor baseball urinal - sorry, hallowed Wrigley Field - from the City of the Broad Shoulders. And that overhaul includes, for the first time, real honest-to-god jumbotron screens.

And apparently, that was the only thing holding the Cubbies back for the last 105 years.

A day after striking a $500 million deal with the city to renovate Wrigley Field and build a new hotel, Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said the agreement would bring a World Series title to the North Side.

?If this plan is approved, we will win the World Series for our fans and our city. We need this project in order to bring our fans a winner,? he said.

But then Back to the Future II told us it would be so, didn't it?

You have two years to prepare yourselves. Don't say you weren't warned.

Iguana added an even funnier post.

In other news, Wrigley Field renovation will also include another exciting World Series-guaranteeing feature:


(h/t to jdog55 at VEB)

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While I find the addition of upgraded displays guaranteeing a World Series championship absurd, I find the condescension in the Cards' post off-putting, especially given their honoring a cheater in the form of Mark McGwire, an enabler in the form of Tony LaRussa and ballparks named for brewers of swill.

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While I find the addition of upgraded displays guaranteeing a World Series championship absurd, I find the condescension in the Cards' post off-putting, especially given their honoring a cheater in the form of Mark McGwire, an enabler in the form of Tony LaRussa and ballparks named for brewers of swill.

Different strokes for different folks. Yours may be a little odd, but that's your prerogative.

I won't defend the vulgar posts which have been added to that thread, I know this Cardinals poster who started the thread well, and I can assure you that he's a very decent guy (and an O's fan as well). The comments about the Cubs are given in jest and many Cubs fans take them the same way. There is quite a friendly rivalry between many Cards and Cubs fans, one that I don't particularly share because I've never regarded the Cubs as "rivals". In the few seasons that they've been competitive, the Cards usually weren't. Our divisional rivalries have been with the Reds, Brewers, and Astros, while our historical rivalries have been with the Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees (although I doubt many Yankees fans regard the Cards as "rivals").

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I'm fine with it if its in jest. Too many forums have mean spirited people who would be serious with something like that. In mentioning rivals, I've always equated the Dodgers and Cards from Enos Slaughter mentioning it: "If a few hitters didn't get knocked down it isn't a Cardinal-Dodger game!"

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Lance Berkman on Wrigley

"If they're looking for a guy to push the button when they blow the place up, I'll do it ... Chicago's one of the worst places in baseball ... really for anything.

"I read where they got approval for some more upgrades. Count me in the group of people extremely happy to see that. I guess I'm just spoiled. There is a tremendous history associated with it and there is something special about playing on the same field that guys like Babe Ruth did. But really, what kind of history is there? It's not like there has been one championship after another. It's mainly been a place for people to go and drink beer."

Derel Lowe was a little kinder

"Current players are really going to hate it," right-hander Derek Lowe said. "Everything is new and state-of-the-art today [in other stadiums], and you have everything you could possibly need within walking distance of the clubhouse.

"But you don't have to be a baseball historian to appreciate atmospheres. I've played at Fenway, Wrigley and the old Yankee Stadium. I always thought of those atmospheres as the best, and it didn't disappoint."

Atmosphere? When the urine stench from the rest rooms pervades the rest of the stadium, that's "atmosphere".

But I've been in Venice, Italy (over 40 years ago), where the canals are practically open sewers. I was stationed at an Army post only 40 miles from Venice and spent a lot of time there. I noticed that after a half hour or so, my nose acclimated and I didn't notice the smell much anymore.

Whitey Herzog had a funny quote about Wrigley too several years ago, something about how any other building like that would be demolished, but I can't find it.

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I'd love to see a game there and Fenway just for the history aspects. Though it does strike me as amazing that for a ballpark almost a century old that only three world series have been played at it. Just for perspective, the O's had World Series games at Memorial for three years in a row for 69-71.

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