The owners of the beloved Chicago Cubs proposed renovations to one of the few “ball park” stadiums left in United States. The anchor of Chicago’s “Wrigleyville” neighborhood is on stage for a makeover.
The adjacent taverns that have a very unique business, and relatively recent Chicago Zoning Ordinance revision that allows them legal rights for, of having “mini-grandstands” on their roofs to watch the game over the current wall of Wrigley Field. The proposed scheme currently proposes a 6,000 square foot mega screen, blocking the views from adjacent roof-top seating.
Meanwhile, the trend continues for professional sports teams owners to maximize non-sports revenue by, increased advertising signage through seating fascias, leasing the “name” of the facility, and creating mini-malls integral with the facility.
Overlaid on the business issues layers and the neighborhood planning issues, we must mention the long standing “love-hate” relationship that many fans and anti-fans have with the Chicago Cubs. Even further deeper, beyond any connection to sports whatsoever, there is that invisible wall in Chicago that some Chicago residents stand firmly behind when they support their choice of the “north-side” or “south-side” baseball team.
Whether you are a sports fan, and business person, a neighbor, a planning professional, a Chicago “north-sider”, or just a spectator of this phenomenon, this “game” consists of many ingredients of the Chicago we love, and maybe hate.
What is your opinion?