When you think of Chicago, some of the thoughts that come to mind are: great food, tourist sites, and sports. Whether you are visiting or living in the city, nearly everyone loves to go to the Chicago Cubs games, unless you are a Sox’s fan, but even then, the charm of Wrigley Field and the surrounding area is something undeniable. So when Tom Ricketts announced the possibility of moving the Cubs outside of Wrigleyville, you better believe he received backlash. The degree of disapproval of the move came from die-heart fans, rooftop owners, and other local businesses. When I first heard that Wrigley Field might be moving, I was heartbroken. All I could think about was the memories my family and I had from going to the games and making a day out of traveling to the city. Even more than contemplating the move, Ricketts is planning a $500 million renovation that will impact the city, fans, and surrounding businesses as a whole.
At first thought, some fans might say to leave Wrigley the way it is. The old nature and lack of high-technology is what makes the field so charming and historic. However, by looking at this situation through Theo Epstein’s mindset, President of Baseball Operations, I have come to see the more important managerial implications that come along with the $500 million renovation. Decisions of forecasting, location, and organizing are all factors in the Wrigley renovation. Theo has to think of the costs/revenues that will be generated by these renovations and compare that to how the location of each addition will impact the field and businesses that surround the ballpark.
For those of you who are not familiar with the renovation, the $500 million plan requires no city or country money. It will provide a video board in left field that will be 6,000 square feet, and a secondary sign in right field that will be 1,000 square feet. The plans also include a three-story addition that will contain new clubhouse, restrooms, restaurants, and potentially an upper-level deck. Furthermore, there have been talks of a proposed hotel on the McDonald’s lot, a two-story Captain Morgan Club, and open-air plaza on the west side of the park.
My question to you is what do you think of the renovation and the managerial decisions that face the Wrigley organization? The location of the jumbotron, hotel, and restaurants are important decisions to consider in the overall effect of the renovation. How do you feel about the possibility of the hotel that will be built right by the ballpark – would you forecast that expenditure to be revenue raising or simply wrong for Wrigley?