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   Wringing cash from Wrigley; New name possible

NEWS INFORMATION

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Parent

News Date

12/15/2007 10:00 pm

Author

Media

Chicago Tribune

Category

News

Database Record

Entered 12/15/2007, Updated 12/15/2007

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Changes may be coming to Wrigley Field, with talk of more advertising signage, a new section of premium seats down the left-field line and a new owner who would add skyboxes and sell the naming rights. Some of the proposed changes may occur in 2008. But whenever there's a discussion regarding renovations at the corner of Clark and Addison, the debate begins anew over how much change Wrigley Field can withstand and still remain Wrigley. The proposed plan of selling Wrigley Field to the State of Illinois was floated this week, garnering mixed reviews, particularly from Mayor Daley. The thinking is that selling Wrigley separately would bring in more money than if it were sold along with the Cubs. The ballpark would be owned and operated by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, and no state taxpayer dollars would be used. The talks have been characterized as "preliminary," but former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson has said such a move would ensure that Wrigley Field remains the "long-term home" of the Cubs and that it would be able to undergo "any necessary restorations," like adding skyboxes. The next owner of the Cubs would rent Wrigley from the ISFA, as the White Sox do with their home, U.S. Cellular Field, and the ISFA would pay for all renovations. Because of its history, Wrigley Field's owners could probably fetch more than $200 million for naming rights and could even incorporate Wrigley into the name, like Baltimore's long-winded name, Oriole Park at Camden Yards.


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