Chicago Cubs' Ricketts sees progress on Wrigley renovation plans


MESA, Ariz. — Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said the team is making progress with Chicago city officials on Wrigley Field renovation plans.

However, the efforts to get more night games at Wrigley this season are on hold for now.

“I don’t think that’s on the table at the moment,” Ricketts said of an effort for additional night games in 2013.

The issue was derailed by ongoing conflict with neighborhood leaders, causing Mayor Rahm Emanuel to delay support for the request until the sides reach an agreement on multiple issues.

“All the discussions on night games is toward the future.”

Speaking Sunday during his annual spring training address with reporters, Ricketts praised the mayor for being involved in the Cubs’ efforts to get the permission to closing Sheffield Avenue for game day street fairs and to lift restrictions blocking the team from putting up more advertising at the ballpark.

He said he believes enough progress will be made on that “in the next few weeks” to ensure the renovation project can begin on time next fall.

The team last month unveiled a $300 million Wrigley renovation plan it says ownership will pay for entirely on the condition it gets the concessions it seeks to allow more stadium-related revenue streams.

“The mayor’s been helpful. It’ll help move the process forward,” Ricketts said.

Ricketts said no new advertising at the ballpark is planned for this season and reiterated that the team has no intention of attempting to play home games somewhere else as a means to accelerate what is scheduled to be a five-year project at the ballpark.

“I think the most important thing we want to remind people is that this is all about winning,” said Ricketts, whose family purchased the Cubs in the fall of 2009.

“It’s about doing what we have to do to get the resources to give to the baseball organization and the resources we need to restore the park.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress. We’re still working forward. The mayor’s office has been very helpful, but it’s still in progress right now.”

Ricketts also said he thinks the 2013 team is great and praised the progress his second-year front office, led by president Theo Epstein, has made.

“I just have complete, total confidence that they’re moving us in the right direction every day,” he said.



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