Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reportedly has a new vision for Wrigley Field that he hopes will help bring in the revenue that the 98-year-old ballpark needs for renovation without leaving the city's taxpayers to pay the tab.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Emanuel is hoping to model changes at Wrigley after Boston's Fenway Park by easing the North Side ballpark's landmark status with the city. His plan could reportedly generate some $150 million in sponsorship and advertising revenue.
The proposed changes, according to NBC Chicago, include the addition of more outfield advertisements, a possible Jumbotron in right field, more premium-priced seats and the addition of game-day street fairs on Waveland and Sheffield. The proposal -- reportedly dubbed "the Fenway plan" -- also calls for the ballpark to host more football games and concerts, such as the recently announced Bruce Springsteen show slated for Sept. 7.
Additionally, Fox Chicago reports that archways may be constructed near the park to welcome visitors to Wrigleyville.
Emanuel said earlier this month that the city is in the "final stages" of conversations with the Cubs-owning Ricketts family concerning a Wrigley Field renovation plan that could include help from the city. He has hinted at the field's facelift as part of his broader plans to boost tourism in the city.
Both parties involved have thus far remained tight-lipped on details. The Ricketts family responded to the report in a statement, ABC Chicago reports:
"Discussions continue with the mayor's office, the city and the county. The family is very encouraged by the mayor's leadership and by the great interest shown by the governor and legislative leaders."
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts previously told the Tribune that renovations to the ballpark will be "a win-win for the city, for jobs, tourism, for development."
Meanwhile, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said last week that any plan for the state to chip in funds for Wrigley Field's renovation was not "in the cards."
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