Meanwhile, the Cubs are preparing for the April 10 home opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. During the third year of renovations at Wrigley Field, the club gutted the field and area beneath home plate to put in a new high-end stadium club and concession stands under the grandstand.
A new sound system will not be in place until April 2018, because the club has to wait until the ballpark’s structural work is done before replacing the sound system, Ricketts said.
The current system “is clunky,” Ricketts acknowledged. The issue is “close to my heart, and it’s something we’re working on,” he added.
According to Ricketts, the Cubs will raise their 2016 championship banner before the home opener, but the ring ceremony for the players will take place the next game, April 12.
During the Cubs Convention in January, Ricketts acknowledged, somewhat playfully, that the team’s extended playoff run through the World Series had “definitely cut into our construction time. But it’s all good.”
For years, Ricketts has voiced hopes that renovations at the ballpark and the addition of Hotel Zachary would spark new development in Wrigleyville that would give it year round appeal.
“On a sunny day in July, Wrigley Field is fabulous, and everyone who’s there is happy,” Ricketts said during a 2016 interview with 670 The Score. “But even on those beautiful days in July, the neighborhood directly around the park isn’t all that nice.”
While the Clark Street strip of bars south of Addison attracts plenty of business on weekends, Wrigleyville has its limits, particularly with non-game days and non-drinking activities, Ricketts said.
“With respect to non-game days, that area is just not that great,” he added.”It’s just kind of inert.”