Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts confirmed Friday that his family is considering bringing on additional, non-controlling investors to help generate revenue for the planned renovations of Wrigley Field.
Reports surfaced Thursday that the Ricketts family may seek outside investors, who would not have voting shares.
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Ricketts issued a flat-out "no" when asked if this meant fans should worry about the team's financial health.
"It's pretty simple," he said on the field before Friday's home opener. "Anytime you're looking at financing a big project like this, you're going to look at all your different sources of potential financing. We're going to take a look at whether it makes sense to bring in outside investors.
"Most teams are owned by dozens of investors. It's unusual for anyone to own 95 percent of the team. We're going to look at whether or not that fits for us. But it is non-controlling minority shares."
The Cubs made a lavish presentation of renovation plans in January 2013 at their annual fan convention. The city of Chicago has cooperated along the way. However, the Cubs still face possible legal opposition from neighboring rooftop owners, who have a long-term contract with the club to charge admission for fans to watch games from those vantage points.
The Cubs do not want to proceed with their renovations until they get assurances the rooftop owners won't take legal action against them. At issue are signs in Wrigley that the rooftop owners claim will block their customers' views of the field.
If the Cubs can get started, they maintain they can get the renovations done in four off-seasons.
"I don't have a 100 percent clear picture, but we definitely want to be ready to get going this season if we can," Ricketts said. "The key is to just keep moving forward and keep talking. I expect that something will work for us.
"There are certain things we can prep for and get started with before the end of the season. Obviously the major work has to be done when the place is empty."
Soler hurt again:
Outfield prospect Jorge Soler was to undergo an MRI after injuring his left hamstring Thursday for Class AA Tennessee. Soler doubled off major-league pitcher Mat Latos, who was making a rehab start for Pensacola.
The 22-year-old Soler was slowed by a hamstring injury late in spring training.
"It sounds like the exact same injury," said Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer. "He maybe rushed back too early to get ready for Opening Day or maybe it's a coincidence. He hits a double in the gap against Latos and it's a shame that's the way his season started out. Hopefully, we'll get good news and he'll be back on the field soon."
Right-hander Carlos Villanueva still is the scheduled starting pitcher for Sunday's finale against the Phillies. However, Villanueva worked Monday and Wednesday out of the bullpen in Pittsburgh, pitching 1⅓ innings and suffering 2 losses.
"We're still going to talk about it and see where we're at," manager Rick Renteria said of Sunday's start.