CHICAGO (CBS) — A published report says Wrigley Field could soon look a lot more like Fenway Park in Boston, if Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets his way.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, sources tell the Chicago Sun-Times the mayor hopes to ease the landmark status at the 98-year-old ballpark, so as to allow the Cubs to maximize advertising and sponsorship dollars to the tune of $150 million.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports
The newspaper says the proposal is being called Emanuel’s “Fenway plan,” and would be modeled on the upgrades to Fenway Park – the only Major League Baseball park older than Wrigley.
Among the ideas are more outfield signage behind the bleachers, and a possible Jumbotron in right field, the Sun-Times reported.
Outside the ballpark, the mayor is proposing street closures, and street fairs, every game day on Sheffield and Waveland avenues, and archways that welcome visitors to “Wrigleyville: Home of the Cubs,” the newspaper reported.
Also suggested are more concerts and football games at Wrigley, a new stadium club and restaurant, and thousands of new premium-priced seats, the Sun-Times reported.
The plan reportedly would not include more night games beyond the current 30, but could at some point.
The Mayor’s office says the objective is to make the necessary improvements at the least possible expense to taxpayers, the Sun-Times reported.
The revenues from the new advertising and new businesses would go toward upgrades to the ballpark.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) told the Sun-Times the plan is “part of the negotiating process” and would not rule anything out.