Iconic Wrigley Field Marquee Is Getting A Makeover

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Following the end of the 2015 season, the iconic marquee from Wrigley Field was removed as renovations to the ballpark continue.

According to Danny Ecker at Crain’s, the marquee will have a little bit of a different look when it returns to its normal position over the main entrance at Clark and Addison.

“The permit review committee of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks today green-lit a series of cosmetic and operational changes to the sign, which is one of a few Wrigley Field elements protected under the city landmark ordinance that governs the ballpark.

The interior of the sign, which was removed after last season while the team renovates the ballpark’s main gate, was deemed structurally deficient and deteriorated.

As a result, the landmarks panel approved a new interior to be installed to get it up to code, with front and side panels on the exterior of the sign salvaged and reinstalled. The team is also replacing neon lighting in the “Cubs” lettering on the sign and stripping off 24 layers of paint before repainting it the same red and white colors fans are used to seeing.”

The LED sign on the marquee will also be replaced as part of the project. Many of the lights were missing or weren’t functioning properly, which prompted the landmarks commission to suggest the change….as long as it’s not too different.

“I don’t want to give carte blanche approval of (a new LED board) without it coming back before us if you’re going to change it dramatically, ” said landmarks Commissioner James Houlihan.

Mike Lufrano, the Cubs Executive Vice President, said that the new sign would certainly have more capability than the old one but the style wouldn’t really change.

“We have not yet determined what the programming will be or what exactly will be on it, ” he told landmarks commissioners. “But as we’ve demonstrated inside the park, our history and the tradition of the sign and how it operates has been to try to keep with the historic traditions of Wrigley Field.”

What that essentially means is that the Cubs can start the restoration of the sign to get it ready for the spring, but they’ll still have to figure something out as far as the digital part is concerned. Staying within the guidelines of the commission, as well as the National Parks Service, is vital to the Cubs. They’re seeking a spot on the National Register of Historic Places and the possible $75 million federal tax credit that could come with preserving a historic landmark, but that won’t be determined until all of the renovations are complete. That may not be until 2019.