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Wrigley in 'brutal shape'

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08:11 AM ET 06.22 | Those stories you're reading about a crumbling Wrigley Field may not be coincidence. Publicly, Cubs management continues to profess its love and reverence for Wrigley. But privately, the same group is making sure people in baseball are well aware that it would take a massive infusion of dollars to keep Wrigley functional for much longer -- and even that might not be enough. "Honestly, I don't know if that place can survive for five years," said one of those baseball people. "The infrastructure is in brutal shape." Asked whether Wrigley was even a candidate for a Fenway-style renovation, the same source replied: "To be honest? I'd have to say no way." But you won't see anyone in baseball publicly suggesting the Cubs move out of their own little national historic monument.

ESPN.com

Wrigley Field, Getty Images Wrigley Field, Getty Images
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June 22, 2011  08:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Why couldn't it be renovated like Fenway was?

Because it's in Chicago?

Just kidding.

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June 22, 2011  08:40 AM ET

Most of the residents who live near Wrigley (except for my uncle) would absolutely love it if Wrigley was torn down and rebuilt elsewhere.

June 22, 2011  08:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I understand funding is the biggest issue. However,after reading this blurb and hearing about the stadium's shape from other outlets around here, one would think this stadium is about to collapse. That can't be the case.

Probably not ChiSixFan but one has to wonder why they've waited this long. The Cubs have been a good draw for years and it's not like all renovations need to be done at once.

June 22, 2011  08:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Probably not ChiSixFan but one has to wonder why they've waited this long. The Cubs have been a good draw for years and it's not like all renovations need to be done at once.

Grrr. I meant ChiSoxFan.

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June 22, 2011  08:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

I'll let this one slide.

Thanks, when I went to retype it I made the same mistake but caught it in the nick of time.

June 22, 2011  08:57 AM ET

Well, I would've considered Fenway in "brutal shape" before they renovated too. You really have to take statements like this with a grain of salt because in a perfect world they'd probably prefer a new stadium over renovation and trying to stir debate. It was the same way for Fenway. Once Red Sox owners realized they weren't getting any public $ for a new stadium they hushed up and started focusing on renovation. No reason they couldn't renovate Wrigley.

June 22, 2011  09:05 AM ET

Anything can be renovated. I bet Cuban would ensure the place got fixed up.

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June 22, 2011  09:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Someone explain why this wasn't an issue before the team was sold? Or why the owners suddenly are too frugal to remedy this situation not even two years after spending a billion dollars on the team and Wrigley?

You answered your own question. The Rickett's can't fund the renovations for a long time, because they are mortgaged to the hilt in the purchase of the team. Remember, the Cubs are one of the teams named recently that are on the MLB watch list for debt ratio, meaning they have more debt than MLB prefers, and its all because of the purchase of the team.

The city and state both turned down allowing them to use a tax to fund $200 million in renovations, and without public money, there is nothing the Rickett's can do to renovate because they simply can't accept any more debt on the team. Rickett's has two options for the renovations that need to be done big time, 1) raise ticket prices again(which considering the amount of fans dressed as empty seats this year, is not a great idea), or 2) cut the payroll and instead use that money to fund the renovations, because with the state and city in deficit spending mode, there is not going to be any public money going to Wrigley Field any time soon

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June 22, 2011  09:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

a few years ago there were a couple instances of concrete falling from the upper deck and almost braining a couple people. for the rest of that season, nets were put underneath the upper deck in case any more was to fall.

Nice proactive response.

 
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