Chicago Cubs: JumboTron

Video board won't be ready for start of 2014

July, 13, 2013
7/13/13
8:21
PM CT
By Sahadev Sharma
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Cubs vice president of communications and community affairs Julian Green indicated Saturday that a video board at Wrigley Field would not be ready for the start of the 2014 season.

On Thursday, the landmarks commission approved the large video board in left field and another sign in right field, but there are still hurdles to get over.

"At the end of the baseball season and first day of baseball there's roughly 22 weeks," Green said. "Even though we've gotten the approval from the landmarks commission, we still have to go through the planning commission, the zoning committee and full City Council approval. Once that's all said and done, we might be looking at late August or September. We have not selected a video company. We'll probably have to put a [request for information] and [request for proposal]. That takes probably a few months. And then we go through the design process."

Green said the Cubs would have to hire a production crew and productions staff and add cameras and other aspects to ensure the video board would run at its full capabilities. He said the video board was a priority, because many of the assets added in the renovation were to drive revenue and the amount generated from a video board would be significant.

The unanimous vote by the landmarks commission is a good start to the approval process, Green said, and despite having a lot of work to do, the Cubs have some strong momentum. He added that the Ricketts family's decision to pay for the $500 million renovation to Wrigley and the surrounding area itself was likely the turning point in earning the public's support.

While the news from the landmarks commission was positive for the Cubs, not everyone was thrilled with the decision. The rooftop owners, whose views may be affected by the addition of a video board and an outfield sign, still oppose the changes.

"From our position, we went through the expensive step of doing the mock-ups in right field and left field," Green said. "Originally we wanted a half-dozen signs in the outfield. We decided to go with two, the left-field video board and right-field sign. On top of that, last week we decided to shrink the video board and shrink the right-field sign significantly from 1,000 square feet to 650 square feet. We made accommodations all throughout this year, and we believe, with those compromises, these are still viable businesses. Is there some impact? Yes, we acknowledge there is some impact. But all along, we’ve tried to act with the best interest in terms of trying to help our rooftop partners to go forward.

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