The Chicago Cubs have a shorter offseason than ever before thanks to winning their first World Series title in 108 years. Which means less time to complete a lot of renovation work at Wrigley Field. The team this week detailed the parts of the Friendly Confines that will get face-lifts over the next few months in the latest stage of the 1060 Project, a $750 million ballpark renovation and redevelopment of its surrounding area.
With less than 150 days to go until the first regular-season game in SunTrust Park, the Braves are selling ticket packages, setting up new offices and spending some of their anticipated revenue increase on (very) veteran pitchers. The Braves’ race to opening day, which began with the announcement three years ago this month of the move to Cobb County, has entered the final sprint.
Home-field advantage didn’t help the Texas Rangers in last month’s playoffs. But on Tuesday, it landed them a new $1 billion, retractable roof stadium. An Arlington proposition to help fund at least half of the new ballpark passed easily with the opposition conceding early in the evening. The deal will keep the Rangers in their original hometown through the team’s 82nd season, which would come in 2053.
In the 1990s, the Dallas Cowboys tried to get voters in Irving, where the team played, to leave the regional transit system and instead spend that sales tax revenue on upgrading Texas Stadium. Voters stuck with Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Cowboys eventually left for nearby Arlington, who helped finance a new football stadium.
Not to steal the spotlight from the Chicago Cubs’ World Series run, but the crosstown rival White Sox began hoisting the sign for the baseball park’s new name. And yep, despite the social media hullabaloo that erupted when the naming-rights deal was announced two months ago, the newly named Guaranteed Rate Field still will carry the mortgage provider’s logo — a downward-pointing arrow.
Chicago and Cleveland. Two Great Lakes cities. It’s been 60-plus years since the Indians won a World Series; it’s been 108 years since the Cubs did it. Neither team’s current ballpark existed when they last raised the world championship pennant, yet both venues have provided a template for the most recent generation of ballparks.
What’s wrong with just watching a baseball game? Yankee Stadium is preparing to become the ultimate hangout in the Bronx for adults and children alike. The Yankees announced that the Stadium will undergo its first series of major design enhancements since the ballpark opened in 2009, adding seven new social gathering spaces as well as additional food and beverage areas. Construction will begin this week with the anticipated debut coming prior to the start of the 2017 season.
The Cubs against the Dodgers. Chicago versus Los Angeles. Carl Sandburg’s “city of the big shoulders” — “stormy, husky, brawling” — taking on the blue-skied, freeway-laced city of the future. A dense tangle of ivy on the outfield walls in one stadium and the clean lines of mid-century architecture in the other. Baseball’s National League Championship Series, which begins Saturday night in Chicago, would seem to be a classic matchup of architectural and even civic opposites.
It’s really happening. Tal’s Hill isn’t long for this world. The Astros held a ceremonial ground-breaking of their center field renovation project Monday at Minute Maid Park. Although’s Monday’s ceremony involved a simple pile of dirt, five shovels and some Astros execs decked out in suits instead of construction duds, the day still symbolized the beginning of the end for Tal’s Hill.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expects news within a year regarding potential plans for the Athletics to build a new ballpark in Oakland. MLB is monitoring weekly calls the A’s are holding to plan for a new stadium, and the low-budget franchise is exploring several potential locations. “I have spent more time with the A’s, on their stadium situation, than I have spent with any other franchise over the last two years,” Manfred said Monday.