The Chicago Cubs on Saturday formally announced their plans for a lofty renovation of Wrigley Field estimated to cost as much as $300 million and take as long as five years to complete.
And the Cubs are also willing to foot the entire bill for the improvements -- so long as the city eases up on some restrictions the North Side team currently faces, such as limitations on the number of home night games it hosts and the amount and types of advertising it can run due to the 99-year-old venue's landmark status, according to the Associated Press.
“One of the ways we look at it is: treat us as a private institution," Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said Saturday, according to NBC Chicago. "Let us go about doing our business and then we’ll take care of ourselves."
The renovations include expanded concourses and concessions, more restrooms, a restoration of the stadium's exterior and the building of new batting cages and a clubhouse, according to Patch. The Ricketts family has also announced their plans to build a new boutique Sheraton hotel across the street from Wrigley Field, where a McDonald's restaurant currently stands.
(Scroll down to view renderings of the planned renovations.)
Ricketts said he hopes to begin the remodeling at the end of the Cubs' next season, in October 2013, the AP reports.
Many of the planned upgrades to Wrigley Field were previously announced last year, though the Ricketts' push for support from City Hall for their plan was stalled after reports spread that Joe Ricketts had considered spending $10 million on a racially-charged anti-Barack Obama ad campaign.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who had previously said he was in the "final stages" of conversations with the Ricketts concerning a Wrigley Field renovation plan that could include help from the city, was reportedly "livid" with the news.