CHICAGO — Wrigley Field is the most likely destination for the 2016 All-Star Game, according to major league sources.
The Chicago Cubs originally had petitioned Major League Baseball for the 2014 game, but Wrigley Field, in its current state, is not prepared for the events that occur along with the game, including the Fanfest and live entertainment.
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Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday that he would announce the site of the 2013 All-Star Game first, then disclose several other future destinations at once.
“We have discussed the matter,” Selig said Wednesday of his conversations with Cubs’ ownership. “It’s appealing. No question about it. We have a lot of things to work out here. But it is appealing. There’s been a lot of cities that built new stadiums and a lot of commitments have been made. I’ll just have to work my way through it.”
The Cubs must have the exterior and interior of the ballpark refurbished before getting the OK, according to a major league source. The Ricketts family has plans to update 97-year-old Wrigley and the area outside of the park in order to better accommodate fans.
The plan should be done within five years, according to another major league source.
The Ricketts family has been busy attempting to purchase land around the park. It envisions the Wrigleyville area around the park will be a one-stop shop for hotels, restaurants and entertainment.
One purchase the family is attempting to make is the land on the corner of Clark and Addison that houses a McDonald’s, which is the third-busiest in Chicagoland. That would be a multimillion-dollar purchase, if completed.
The corridor on the west side between Wrigley Field and Clark Street will be a redeveloped area for entertainment, stretching from Addison to Waveland and most likely another two blocks beyond a parking lot owned by the Cubs.
The 2016 date for the All-Star Game would mark the 100th anniversary of the Cubs playing at Wrigley Field. The ballpark was built in 1914, but was the home of the Federal League Chicago Whales for two seasons before the league disbanded. In 1916, the Cubs moved in, leaving their old home at Westside Park.
The Cubs hosted the All-Star Games in 1947, 1962 and 1990.