Ricketts Explains Wrigley Field Renovation Proposal

Gov. Quinn Surprised By Cubs' Tax Plan: 'I Read About It In Paper'

UPDATED: November 12, 2010 1:45 p.m.

CHICAGO (WSCR/WBBM) — Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts asked the state of Illinois for $200 million dollars Thursday to help renovate Wrigley Field and Friday he joined the Mully & Hanley Show on 670 The Score to further explain his proposal.

One problem: Ricketts hasn’t explained the plan to the governor, who said he’s not too pleased about that.

“They haven’t proposed it to me,” Gov. Pat Quinn told Newsradio 780’s Craig Dellimore, during a taping of “At Issue. “I read about in the paper like everyone else.”

The bottom line: Ricketts wants to start renovations on Wrigley Field immediately and he wants to take the money Cubs fans are already spending and reinvest it into saving the ballpark.

“If we can do this, we can get a couple 100 million dollars plus another couple hundred dollars to put to work right now when the economy is soft, when nothing is going on, no development is happening in the city,” Ricketts told Mully & Hanley. “We have a chance to really energize the North Side. I think it makes an incredible amount of sense.”

Listen: Tom Ricketts on The Mully and Hanley Show

The plan calls for a portion of the amusement tax already placed on Cubs tickets to be reinvested in the ballpark. That, plus the money Ricketts is seeking from the state of Illinois, will go towards $200 million worth of renovations over the next five years. The Ricketts Family also plans to invest a similar amount of money in the surrounding neighborhood.

LISTEN: Gov. Quinn Reacts To Proposal

“The increase in amusement taxes won’t amount to much unless we can save the stadium and improve it,” Ricketts said.

Bob Reed, of the Better Government Association, tells Newsradio 780 that he’s skeptical.

“There is always a concern … whenever you go to a government body … because ultimately, somewhere in the fine print, you are probably going to find the taxpayers are on the hook,” he said.

More from The Mully and Hanley Show
  • spiritoflionelhutzlives

    …no…no….no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no….no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no….no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no….no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no….no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no….no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no….no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no….no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…no…AND NO!

  • Bob Loblaw

    LH: “Uh oh, we’ve drawn Judge Snyder.”
    MS: “Is that bad?”
    LH: “Kind of. See, he’s had it in for me since I kinda ran over his dog.”
    MS: “Ya did?”
    LH: “Well, maybe if you replaced the words ‘kind of’ with ‘repeatedly’, and the word ‘dog’ with ‘son’.”

  • Bob Loblaw

    And Jim Hendry, like Scurvy Rickets, is lucky to be in f%(king baseball!

  • Matt

    Do it. Spend the money, make the renovations, get it done and over with. It will happen eventually…..

  • Rudy

    The Ricketts will invest a similar amount in the surrounding neighborhood and reap big profits on those investments. Illinois is not paying their bills now – Just say NO thanks!

  • James D

    Joe Ricketts runs the super pac “Taxpayers Against Earmarks” and is the sole financier to it’s political arm “Ending Spending Fund” that spent over $500,000 in just the Nevada senate election against Harry Reid because of this earmark spending. Funny how his kids are now looking earmarks from two states – Arizona for spring training facilities and now Illinois for Wrigley. Didn’t his kids get maybe a walk through and/or inspection of the real estate they were going to buy as part of the package? They would have know then if they could truly afford to buy the team. Instead, Joe’s kids are going to ask the states for tax dollars to be used for a specific purpose, which is the definition of an earmark.
    You might want to rename your super pac, Joe.

    • Brad Collins

      In all of this discussion, I’ve heard nary a word about the state having a $12B or more budget deficit for this year alone. The Ricketts request is like your brother asking you for $30,000 to buy a new pickup while the bank is foreclosing your house! It’s time to stop mortgaging our future both locally and nationally, and this is a great place to start. It can’t cost more than a few million to put real urinals in the washrooms and remodel the locker rooms. I seriously doubt that the Cubs would move to the suburbs. Think: location, location, location. They are in the middle of a high entertainment-loving community that’s easily accessible by L for afternoon games. In the suburbs, the Ricketts would just have a losing team in a place that no one will want to go.

  • Inga Larsen

    I’m a “die-hard” Cub fan now living in Florida & this is how I feel:


    • NorthShoreBob

      Inga, if you want to save Wrigley Field, then move back, pay state and city taxes, buy season tickets or scapled tickets directly from the team, repurchase your Cubs wardrobe and pay for parking on game days. If not, then who really cares about what you think. I should have quit reading your response after “die-hard” Cub fan. Do us a favor and stay in Flordia and off Chicago websites.

    • Bob Loblaw

      I agree. They should really


  • crash corrigan

    Leave it to Tom Ricketts and his exquisite Cubs timing to propose a taxpayer bailout the day after a presidential commission put forth draconian austerity proposals for the United States to relieve its debt burden. This from the same man who gave us a Toyota sign in left field as that company was experiencing its worst p.r. crisis ever and the BP Cup for the crosstown series during the worst environmental crisis in U.S. history caused by, of course, BP! When is Taliband Day at Wrigley Field?

    • Roberta Waker

      Why not use Soldier Field for Cubs games? It’s already been renovated and the Cubs could pay to rent or lease it, which would be a lot cheaper than renovating Wrigley. Of course, something like that would make too much sense, wouldn’t it?

      • Rob

        You are obviously not a Cubs fan or a baseball fan in general if you are actually reccomending this. Wrigley Field represents everything good about baseball. In my opinion the ballpark captures the nostalgia of the game and a different time in baseball where jumbotrons and such didnt take away from the game. Also, as far as soldier field goes. The dimensions of the field there are solely for a football facility. It has one of the shortest distances from the stands to the playing surface out of all football stadiums. You cant fit a baseball field in the alloted space at Soldier Field. Wrigley Field needs to be saved at all costs. It would cost less to do that than to build a new facility for the team to use anyway.

    • Rick Jevic


      Great comment, you made my day!!

  • http://scoperadio.wordpress.com scoperadio

    A new wrigley wont stop the cubs from 104, 105, 106, 107, 108 and so on years of being losers

  • Janice


    They BUY a company then expect FREE Taxpayer money! Ironic!

    The stands are filled like no other franchise in MLB.

    They all make Millions and we live on a tiny fraction of the salaries they make.

    Jim Hendry is terrible and still keeps his job. I don’t go to games they are too expensive.

    Boycott, especially if they get this!

  • woz

    better of putting up a strip club in its place ,at least it will keep the mosques away….

  • Hanz

    To seal the deal, Jim Hendry is willing to grant a full no trade clause…

  • Paulie K

    Funny you don’t hear Reinsdorf opening his trap about this endeavor like he did with Mesa.

    He should come out and support since he got the money for Comiskey…

  • DR

    To the rich Ricketts: Admit it, you made a bad deal. And ‘investing in the surrounding neighborhood’ is pure bs. Bury Wrigley Field and move the Cubs to Indiana. There are more than enough sports teams to please everyone. Let another state foot the bill. We’re already taxed way too much for everything. This past election shook things up because we’re just tired of it. If IL gives these rich folks more money to renovate a falling down ballpark, there will be more fallout in the next elections. Give that money to people who are losing their homes or need it to buy medicine.

    • Morg

      hehe… republicans were elected. you actually think they will cut spending and help poor people? only a fool would. they WILL help out their rich friends. and help keep money in the hands of the rich. They have already proven this by demanding the tax cuts for the rich be extended. So if you don’t like it, then perhaps YOU should move to Indiana. The Cubs might be losers but Chicago still loves them.

  • Jim

    You can have 200 mill, for a 50% stake in Wrigley Field, 10% of the money it generates, and a 50 year lease. Otherwise, go ahead and move the team wherever you think you can make more money. I know I won’t be driving to schaumberg to tailgate like I’m a Brewers fan.

  • RW

    If Tom Ricketts had millions to spend on the Cubs why is he, and his famly, even thinking about spending everybody elses money for a losing baseball tema in Chicago? Spend your money, cut the players paycheck by 30% and produce a winning tems before you even think about.

  • Smooth

    Maybe if the players salaries, executives would take some reasonable pay cuts (after all who needs all that money to survive) they could re-invest into THEIR company.

  • Janice

    They are a privately held company and don’t have to disclose their books.

    They say “they will invest 200 miliion of their own money in the surrounding area”

    So we, the taxpayers, pay the for the stadium and the cubs say ‘they will pay 200 million’ in the neighborhood. We can’t prove anything of that number. It’ll be ten cents.

    Ok, I say let’s just trust them, you with me????

  • Gonzo

    It does not matter if the Cubs are winners or losers. We the tax payers don’t have the money. Our State and Federal Governments have wasted all our money and niether the State or the Feds can pay their bills anymore. The Ricketts should use their own money to fix up the ball park. We are all tapped out. We no longer have a two party system. Just the big government party, with two branches. The Republicans and the Democrats!

  • Sue

    Here’s a novel thought. How ’bout the state of IL get up to date on paying it’s own debts (like, hey, maybe pay the schools so we don’t have to go through yet another round of teacher layoffs) before it goes and loans $200 million (it allegedly doesn’t have) on stadium renovations. Good grief – no wonder our state’s finances are such a disaster. I know living within the constraints of a budget is a foreign concept – for the politicians anyway. Maybe next round of elections, some real people who get the concept of living within their means should consider running for office.

  • Jeff

    Tear it down and move to the suburbs !!!!!!

  • Chuck

    Since the players have all the money sell them the bonds and or stock in Wrigley as a part of their contract and pay them back over 30 years.

  • w wilk

    WALLY if babe ruth were playing today, he would pointing his bat at a toyota sign i’ve had enough with baseball and these owners.

  • NorthShoreBob

    I’m in favor of giving the Cubs $200 million. Just think: More statues of yesterday’s heroes to help us forget today’s losers. We could get a religious figure who would really raise the Curse off the team – that last one obviously didn’t have a direct line to the Almighty. We could get urinal troughs that don’t splash back. Come on people, you need to see the bigger picture.

  • Hands-out-Rickets-Family

    Now the spin! Sure we all want to put people to work, we just want you who bought the franchise, as a private business to pay for it!

    Use your 200 million you are going to put into the project to pay for fixing Wrigley.

    Fix up the neighborhood, next year or in two years, with your money. Its called a business plan!

    The state is beyond broke—NO MONEY. Don’t stand there with your hands out.

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