Rizzo, Cubs eager to see Wrigley renovated
MILWAUKEE -- Cubs players feel similar to Cubs fans regarding the Wrigley Field renovation plans. Enough talk. They would like to see it get done.
The latest proposal has stalled because the Cubs altered the plan approved by the city of Chicago last year by increasing the number of outfield signs to seven; adding 300 new seats, 300 standing room positions and new outfield light standards; and installing larger outfield doors that alter the landmarked ivy-covered walls.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago was unaware of some of the changes. The Cubs players are weary of the delays.
"They told us again that it was going to get approved, and it didn't get approved, and I know a lot of guys aren't happy about that," first baseman Anthony Rizzo said Friday. "It's kind of a shame because we get excited about it. Give [the Cubs] credit, they're working their tails off, but it got shut down. It's kind of a bummer because we all thought it would happen. Now we'll just wait and see like everyone else."
The Cubs had hoped to begin work in July on the new clubhouse, which will expand to 30,000 square feet. That's on hold.
"When guys are promised that things are going to happen, and they don't happen, they're not happy about it," Rizzo said. "When it gets done it'll be great. Now it's when it gets done it gets done, and we won't get our hopes up."
Rizzo has never used the batting tee and net in the Cubs' clubhouse that substitutes for a batting cage. He didn't feel the ballpark's antiquated facilities held the team back.
"I don't know if it holds guys from signing here," he said. "Me, personally, I love to play [at Wrigley]. It's at a point where you want [the renovations] done with."
So do the Cubs' executives.
"I know we'll do everything first class because that's the way the organization is," Rizzo said. "It's just, you're sick of hearing it's going to be done. You just want to see it be done."