Ricketts asks for easing of landmark restrictions on Wrigley Field

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Wrigley field: a delicate balance of history and business.  The ballpark needs hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations- but how do you do that without ruining one of the city’s most beloved landmarks?  Saturday, the team’s owners- the Ricketts family- tried to answer that question and many others at the annual Cubs Convention.

“We’re responsible for Wrigley field; we’d like to be treated like a private institution.”

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said says the team is willing to pay for a $300 million, five year renovation plan if the city eases on all the restrictions he says are holding the company back.

“We’re told what we can do… in the park, let us run our business… make the fans experience better, make the players experience better.”

Mixed reaction from fans tonight– some say the family should be doing everything possible to keep the ballpark the way it is.

Jack Robbins, Cubs fan, says “oh you can’t change it, it’s a landmark.”

Others say there’s plenty of room for improvement:

Joel Bergstein says “I like the feel of it… not too much about the seating or look, but fan experience is one place I’d like to see them improve.”

Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney says Wrigley Field has the worse facilities in major league baseball and that “We don’t do enough for families… senior fans, fans with disabilities.”

At the Cubs Convention Saturday they also unveiled several ideas for how the ballpark might be renovated– a new clubhouse for the players with state of the art facilities, new restrooms that are more accessible for fans and a complete re-design of the seating.

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