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Cubs to proceed with Wrigley plan, risk lawsuits

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 22, 2014 at 8:58 am •  Published: May 22, 2014
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Ricketts' revised expansion plan requires Landmark Commission approval for additional seating, new lighting, four additional LED signs of up to 650 square feet, and a 2,400-square-foot video board in right field.

Other changes sought by the Cubs that don't require commission approval include: design modification to the player facilities, including expanding the Cubs' clubhouse; expansion of the visitors' clubhouse; movement of the bullpen to an area under the bleachers; and a reduction in the size of a city-approved left field video board.

"I know this plan is in the best interest of our fans and our players," Ricketts said in a video posted on the team's website. "We hope to avoid heading to the courthouse. But the most important thing is we want to exercise our right to expand and preserve the ballpark we own and love."

An emailed statement from Emanuel's office was supportive.

"Like all Cub fans, the mayor doesn't want to wait for next year and if this proposal helps the Cubs get closer to a ballpark renovation this fall — and the jobs and neighborhood investments that come with it — it's worth taking a look at," it said.

The Cubs have invested in facilities and their farm system, and the team this year opened a new facility funded by taxpayers in Mesa, Arizona.

Ricketts has acknowledged that the $845 million purchase of the team from Tribune Co. left his family with a debt load, but pointed out Thursday that the team hasn't sought city or state economic development money he says is routinely obtained for projects such as this.