Wrigley Field Jumbotron might not be ready for Opening Day 2014
BY TONI GINNETTI email@example.com July 14, 2013 12:49AM
The decision by the Chicago Landmark Commission Thursday approving plans for a Jumbotron and other signage in Wrigley Field was “a tremendous win’’ for the team.
But the giant fixture in leftfield might not become a reality until well into next season at the earliest, team spokesman Julian Green said Saturday.
“We feel we have some good momentum to go forward, but there’s still a lot of work to do,’’ he said. The remaining governmental requirements from the zoning and plan commissions and then the City Council could yet take months, “and then we’d have to put out a [bid proposal] to select a company and that could take several months.
“It’s tough to say when construction could start,’’ Green said. “But the other thing we know is given the sensitivities surrounding this, we have to get it right the first time,’’ he added.
The Jumbotron alone will require putting together almost a “mini-television station’’, with a full-time video production staff, he said. The team’s marketing department already has visited other stadiums with similar structures to study their operations, he added.
He said the team has tried to work with “our rooftop partners’’ to cause the least interference to their businesses, “but we’re making decisions in the best interests of our business.’’
Ald. Tom Tunney has continued to object to the signs, but Green said the team has heard support from other area residents and from fans supporting the proposed $500 million improvement project the Ricketts family plans to fund.
“Many say `why would you stand in the way of progress?’ ‘’ Green said.
The first phase of the project continues to be upgrading the players’ clubhouse facilities, but that, too, is contingent on final approval by the City Council.
“The Mayor came through for us with more night games and the 3:05 p.m. Friday starts,’’ he said of Rahm Emanuel’s support. “He’s delivered for us so the [Ricketts] family trusts in him to get us to the final [goal]. “We’re still in the red zone, but we’re getting some wind to our sail.’’