Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts discussed the state of the Cubs Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. Here are Ricketts' takes on ...
Plans for Wrigley Field
"Right now we're really in the process of studying what's the next step for the field. What we are committed to is making sure the same feel that you had the first time you walked into Wrigley Field is the same feel your father and your grandfather had when they walked in. We know that's going to exist and we're going to preserve that.
Will they add a jumbo tron?
"I don't know. There's really two sides to that discussion. The first side is it is great when you are able to see a replay of the play at third. But on the other hand, you also have the tradeoff with this is a traditional park and what has happened with some of the big screens at other parks has turned into more of a noise producing, distracting kind of thing. We're looking at ways to get more replays. Maybe we can deliver them in the park to PDAs. We're just trying to think creatively how we can do that. We're studying everything right now."
Naming rights for Wrigley Field
"That's a real possibility. We're not in any discussions on that, and we haven't made any discussions on that. One of the things I hope most really serious fans understand is that those kind of naming rights deals and the kind of revenue you can create from that are dollars that can be brought into the team and re-deployed toward player salaries or toward more amenities in the ballpark. So it's important that you keep your options open on that."
Adding more night games
"I really don't buy into the argument that we have bigger hurdles because of day games. There are times when it can be inconvenient when you're coming back from the road during the week and you've got to fire it back up for a Friday afternoon game. I don't think I would use that as a reason why we're not winning. A couple of times it's really difficult for the players from a logistics standpoint.
"In terms of night games over the long run, we don't have any plans to ask for more night games right now. I won't rule it out, but right now I think we have a pretty good balance."
The status of the Toyota sign
"The Toyota sign will get up. We're just going through the process. There were a few people who had some honest objections to it from a preservationist standpoint, and we do respect those people. The majority of the push back on the sign was not from a preservation standpoint."
The future of using seventh-inning stretch guest conductors
"Maybe some of those events don't work as well as others but there's 81 days to fill, and there's a lot of people who come through who are really sincere, terrific Cubs fans and high-profile people. It feels great when you have a Bill Murray up there, or Eddie Vedder; people who are real Cubs fans getting up to sing the stretch. I think it's a nice tradition."
Will there be more football games at Wrigley?
"I'm really excited about [Northwestern vs. Illinois on Nov. 20]. I think it's going to be a great thing for both programs. I think it's going to be a high-profile game. Hopefully we will figure out a way to work [more games] in. It's got a great history with football and we'd like to weave that in."