Chicago Cubs: Doug Padilla

Chat alert: Rogers, Padilla talk Cubs, Sox

April, 12, 2013
4/12/13
11:28
AM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
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More plans to renovate Wrigley Field

January, 15, 2011
1/15/11
3:04
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The future of Wrigley Field, the new spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., and even a new development facility in the Dominican Republic all look bright.

During an event Saturday at the annual Cubs Convention titled “The Future of the Cubs’ Facilities,” a panel led by Chicago Cubs president Crane Kenney revealed even more about structural enhancements that could reach the “multiple $100 million” range.

The long-discussed triangle area adjacent to Wrigley Field to the west will be developed and include at least one restaurant as well as shops. Its working title is “Cubs Alley,” but Kenney said the team will look into a new name.

The area is being modeled after Fenway Park’s utilization of the street on the third-base side of the ballpark to give fans added concourse area during games.

A big concern is also adding space for players, including a bigger clubhouse, trainers’ area and an underground batting cage. The club has explored expanding the clubhouse under the playing field and could even put a batting cage there.

There is also a plan to eventually utilize the roof space along both the first- and third-base lines for fans. Party decks (for lack of a better term) with additional restrooms would service the upper deck.

Restoring the ballpark’s original look is also a priority. The plan is to replace all the exterior chain link fencing with decorative iron work.

The new spring training stadium, located at the junction of the 101 and 202 freeways in Mesa, is slated to be completed by 2013, but Kenney told an intimate gathering of fans that it might not be done until after spring training is complete. It will serve as a rehab and development facility for the rest of the 2013 season and begin to host spring games in 2014.

“We will have a baseball facility that is the best in baseball and we’re happy to be doing it with Mesa’s help,” said Mark McGuire, Cubs vice president of business operations.

The new park in Arizona will also have a retail/restaurant area attached in an effort to mimic the Wrigleyville experience, although on a much smaller level. There is no central gathering place for fans adjacent to the team’s current park in Arizona.

Currently, the Cubs lease their academy in the Dominican Republic, but plan on having their own facility there by 2013.

Other information revealed by Kenney:

  • There is no plan for the team to start using personal seat license agreements for season-ticket holders in order to increase revenue.

  • The team will continue to explore opportunities to play host to college football games like the one this fall between Northwestern and Illinois. Despite safety concerns that forced the game to be played in one direction, Kenney said: “It was not one and done. We will keep looking for more opportunities.”
  • Ricketts family fields fans' questions

    January, 15, 2011
    1/15/11
    2:35
    PM CT
    Padilla By Doug Padilla
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    CHICAGO -- The big news from The Ricketts’ Family Forum on Saturday at Day 2 of the Cubs Convention was the announcement that players will wear a No. 10 patch on their sleeve in honor of Ron Santo and that the team icon will be honored with a statue.

    But more was unveiled, primarily from Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, who revealed that team is expanding its use of sabermetrics, will seek the All-Star game -- possibly for 2016 -- and will be committed to enhancing the “Wrigley Field Experience.”

    Answering questions from members of the audience, the subjects stretched from the team budget, to Ryne Sandberg’s departure from the organization to Jim Hendry’s job status to upcoming Wrigley Field improvements.

    [+] EnlargeTom Ricketts
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesCubs chairman Tom Ricketts discussed the team's budget and general manager with fans on Saturday.
    One thing Ricketts seemed intent on making clear was that his first priority in owning the Cubs was not to line his own pockets with cash.

    “Just so everybody knows, it’s simple math when it comes to a baseball team,” Ricketts told the crowd of about 1,000 Cubs fans. “No money leaves the system. We sell tickets, we get our revenues from television, we get our revenues concessions and that’s where we start.

    “… Every single dollar not spent on operational expenses goes to the baseball budget. … We give [general manager] Jim [Hendry] every dollar we can, literally. Then he decides if it goes to the amateur side or to the payroll. In terms of payroll, we still are among the very highest in the league.”

    In a separate gathering, Cubs president Crane Kenney reiterated that Ricketts is dedicated to putting all profits back into the operational budget.

    Perhaps the biggest potential stir came halfway through the one-hour session when a fan from Skokie asked how Sandberg could be allowed to leave the organization and how Hendry still has his job.

    Ricketts said that Sandberg is still a valued member of the organization, but as for passing him up and giving the manager opening to Mike Quade, he was 100 percent in favor of Hendry’s decision. He said Sandberg was not asked to leave the organization but made the decision to leave on his own. There are no hard feelings from the Cubs’ view on Sandberg deciding to leave in order to enhance his chances of becoming a manager.

    As for Hendry, Ricketts gave his support.

    “We came in a year ago and I think it would be incredibly unfair to walk into an organization and judge people without information,” Ricketts said. “We spent a lot of time traveling to the affiliates and getting to know [staff]. Over the past year I have grown in confidence with Jim, to be honest. He has a good team of people that he’s put together.

    The real judge of how well he does is how many players we’re consistently bringing up to the major leagues and are the dollars we’re spending [worth it]. Hopefully we’re becoming smarter with how we do contracts.

    “I think Jim is doing a great job and we’re starting to see some of the fruits of his labor.”

    One question was whether or not the stadium facade will change during a planned Wrigley Field makeover that could cost more than $200 million and is scheduled to be completed by 2016, the 100th anniversary of the Cubs at the historic ballpark. When it comes to the Wrigley Field marquee, no changes will be made. When it comes to the chain link fencing that can be seen all over the ballpark, the plan is to eliminate all of it and replace it with decorative iron work.

    Ricketts admitted that the hope of bringing the All-Star Game to Wrigley Field by 2014 isn’t likely to happen. They’ll seek to play host to the Midsummer Classic by 2016 and have the game as a centerpiece of the 100th anniversary of the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

    On sabermetrics, Ricketts admitted that the club did not place a huge emphasis on the analytical analysis of the game when he took over. There will be a bigger effort to including the mathematical analysis as an effort to enhance the team’s current scouting practices in the near future.

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    RBIA. Rizzo 74
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    ERAT. Wood 4.86
    SOJ. Arrieta 157