New scoreboard, signage not going up this season
CHICAGO -- The unanimous approval by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks last week of a video scoreboard in left field and new signage in right at Wrigley Field is just one step, and even if the Cubs get the go-ahead by other city commissions this year, they won't be able to install the signage this season.
The Cubs made compromises since the matter was last discussed by the commission. Instead of a 6,000-square foot video scoreboard in left field, the Cubs say they will accept a 5,700-square foot scoreboard. Plus, instead of installing a 1,000-square foot see-through sign in right, the Cubs were willing to install a 650-square foot see-through sign.
Julian Green, vice president, communications and community affairs for the Cubs, said they still need approval from the Chicago Plan Commission, zoning committees and the full Chicago city council. Green said the Cubs have not selected a video scoreboard company. Plus, they want to be careful with what they install.
"We know the sensitivities of the new assets coming to the ballpark and people wondering how it's going to fit into the character of the ballpark, and we know we have to get it right the first time," Green said Saturday. "It's going to live with us the next 100 years."
The scoreboard also will need a full-time production staff, which has not been hired.
What about getting the signage up for next year?
"The amount of revenue that can be generated from an asset like a video board, we're going to try to get it up as soon as possible and get it operating," Green said.
The Cubs and chairman Tom Ricketts were encouraged by the approval from the Landmark Commission.
"A unanimous vote by the Landmarks Commission sends a strong signal as we go through the additional approval process," Green said. "The Mayor [Rahm Emanuel] is on board. Thanks to his leadership, the Landmarks Commission is saying [the video scoreboard and signage] does not interfere with the landmark designation of the ballpark. As far as we're concerned, we think we have some really good momentum to move forward with this $500 million investment."
The investment includes renovation of Wrigley Field as well as building a hotel outside the ballpark at Clark and Addison Streets. The hotel has not been formally approved.