Ricketts Explains Wrigley Field Renovation Proposal
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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.