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Cubs chairman threatens to move from Wrigley Field

9:43 AM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts threatened to move the club out of Wrigley Field if the team's plans for a larger scoreboard and additional signage are not approved.

Speaking at an event at the City Club of Chicago that included members of a rooftop residences' group, Ricketts told the assembled media and public that if the Cubs "cannot get approval for this plan and our signage plans are blocked we will then consider moving out of Wrigley Field."

The Cubs are seeking approval for a 6,000-square foot video board atop the left-field wall and four new signs ringing the outfield. Ricketts called the Cubs' current video board "mid-size" and cited the potential for tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue.

Speaking at the event, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said the changes would be necessary for the Cubs - long one of baseball's leaders in revenue - to remain competitive.

"We have to generate new revenue," he said. "We have to catch up to our large-market competitors on ballpark revenues, so this project has to work from a financial perspective as well."

Following his public remarks, Ricketts toned them down a bit in a follow-up session with reporters, saying that the club "wants to win at Wrigley Field."

Indeed, the Wrigley Field experience is an essential part of the Cubs brand, which would take a hit should the club move from the fabled park with its ivy-covered walls at the corner of Addison and Clark.

Nearby rooftop owners, who charge fans for access to watch Cubs games, worry such a board would block their views and have vowed legal action if that happens. Ricketts says studies indicate the views would only be blocked minimally, if at all.

Ricketts says the team will file its proposal with the city on Wednesday.

Contributing: Wire reports

USA TODAY Sports

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