The Chicago Cubs have won a key endorsement to put up a giant video board and oversize advertising sign that would rise above the outfield walls of Wrigley Field, two key revenue generators for the team as part of its plan to renovate the ballpark.
Thursday’s 6-0 approval of the two structures by the Landmarks Commission, which must sign off on alterations to the historically protected features of the 99-year-old ballpark, now clears the way for the Plan Commission and City Council to consider the team’s full $500 million plan to not only renovate Wrigley Field, but also redevelop surrounding land in the Wrigleyville neighborhood with a hotel and an office-retail complex.
The 5,700-square-foot Jumbotron-like screen to be placed atop the rear wall of left field will be nearly three times the size of Wrigley’s famous old-fashioned scoreboard in center field. With a horizontal script sign on top and new night lights, it would be 60 feet tall and 95 feet wide. The three-panel video screen itself would be 95 feet wide and 48 feet tall.
The video board will spell the end of the vertical Toyota script sign in left field, but the commission approved a new script advertising sign for right field that would be about 80 percent larger than the old one.