Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As you may have recently seen in the media, the Chicago Cubs have unveiled plans to restore Wrigley Field.
The reported 2,100 new jobs and millions in new revenue created by the project coupled with the benefits the Cubs and ballpark bring to the community make restoring our neighborhood gem important for our community.
In addition to ensuring generations will enjoy Wrigley Field for years to come, the Ricketts family has separately designed plans develop the land west of the ballpark. The development will house restaurants and retail with the potential for year-round benefits to the neighborhood such as an ice skating rink, open spaces and summertime events like a weekly Farmer's Markets or movies.
For many years, the community has expressed a desire for a hotel in the area and this is our chance to make it a reality. The time to begin these improvements is now. I am assembling a group of neighbors who support the Cubs and the Friendly Confines and want to see the icon at the center of our neighborhood reach its potential. I am committed to working with my neighbors, the Cubs and the Ricketts family to help restore Wrigley Field and bring huge economic opportunity to Lakeview, while enhancing the quality of life in our great community.
With our help to support the Cubs' desire to put signage in the outfield, flexibility regarding concerts like Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and other world-class musical performances, night events and other issues, they can restore the ballpark without requiring tax dollars.
We have also been hearing other community groups are seeking input about the Cubs request to adjust Friday afternoon games to start at 3:05 p.m. and to plan occasional Saturday night games. I, for one, appreciate later game times on Friday afternoons. A recent online survey the Cubs conducted shows 87% of those in our neighborhood agree. We want to make sure our voice is heard and let Ald. Tunney and others know there are many residents - and voters - in our community who would like to see him support the Cubs in this regard.
I hope you will join me in supporting the Cubs and helping Wrigleyville Neighbors advocate for things which help our community thrive. Please email me at Info@WrigleyNeighbors.com and let me know if you will support Wrigleyville Neighbors in this effort.
President, Wrigleyville Neighbors
FROM THE CHICAGO CUBS
Happy New Year!
There has been quite a bit of media coverage this week about the remarkable proposal being considered by the Cubs and the Ricketts family to help restore Wrigley Field and invest in our neighborhood. The project we are sharing is based on creative ideas for how to improve the ballpark, input from tens of thousands of fans and neighbors and research to preserve the historic features fans cherish. We will continue to discuss these plans with our community as we work through designs and ask for help to allow signage in the outfield, flexibility regarding concerts, night events and other issues. But with this help, no tax dollars are needed for this project.
Below are some of the illustrations we shared at today's Cubs Convention. They indicate how the $300 million investment by the Ricketts family will help restore Wrigley Field for future generations of Cubs fans.
Separately, the Ricketts family is also considering an investment outside Wrigley Field. For many years, we have discussed a vision for the open space plaza, office building and retail on our triangular-shaped piece of land just west of Wrigley Field. The Ricketts family has signed an agreement with Starwood Hotels and Resorts to develop a boutique hotel on the land currently housing a McDonald's restaurant on Clark Street. The community has expressed a desire for a hotel in the area and we look forward to working with Alderman Tunney, our neighbors and the Ricketts family as the design and plan develop.
The hotel is a critical part of a more than $500 million plan to reinvest in Wrigley Field and the neighborhood. The plan will create 800 construction jobs and 1,300 full-time jobs, preserve Wrigley Field as one of the top three tourist destinations in the state and grow the ballpark's $650 million in annual economic impact to Chicago and the region.
Inside the ballpark, we hope to begin construction following the 2013 baseball season. We plan to build in the off-season, without leaving Wrigley Field or impacting the neighborhood businesses, which have come to rely on it. It will take approximately five off-seasons to complete the project.
As plans develop and permits progress, we will of course work with our community, seeking input and keeping you informed along the way. We are already working with Ald. Tunney and groups like the Lakeview Citizens Council about scheduling additional night games and ways to continue the world-class musical performances and entertainment events, which have made Wrigley Field an internationally-renowned venue.
These elements, as well as signage in the ballpark outfield, provide additional options to fund the renovations without needing any tax dollars. We remain the only major professional sports team in Chicago with no public funding assistance and the only Major League Baseball stadium in the country to get no support from its home city, while contributing more than $14 million in amusement taxes annually.
We look forward to working together on this exciting project. Thank you again for all your help and support for our team.
Wrigleyville Neighbors is a group of residents committed to working with our neighbors and the Cubs to help save Wrigley Field and bring huge economic opportunity to Lakeview, while enhancing our great community. We join the Cubs in their desire to improve the ballpark and the surrounding area while bettering the fan experience to keep Wrigley Field thriving in Lakeview for future generations to enjoy.
We hope you will join us in supporting the Cubs and helping Wrigleyville Neighbors advocate for things which help our community thrive. To support Wrigleyville Neighbors in this effort, please email us at:
Please join us in support of the Cubs at the Wrigley Field Community Meeting on Tuesday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the 19th District Police Station, 850 West Addison Street.