Epstein: Fixing Wrigley a win-win
The hiring of Theo Epstein as president of baseball operations may pay off in more ways than one for Cubs owner Tom Ricketts.
In the deal, Ricketts not only gets a man with pretty impeccable baseball credentials but also a salesman for the team when it comes to renovating Wrigley Field, one of Ricketts' highest priorities.
Epstein has witnessed firsthand what the renovation of Fenway Park has done for Boston and the Red Sox, and he no doubt will be selling those in power in Chicago on the same concept for Wrigley Field, something he thinks is a win-win situation.
"During my time with the Red Sox I got to see how important it was to renovate the ballpark," Epstein said. "Going there as a kid in the '80s and the '90s, the park had started to fall into disrepair a little bit. It wasn't as great a place to watch a game as it had been earlier.
"I was lucky in getting there in 2002. That was right around the time the renovation started, and the impact was tremendous.
"It improved the fan experience fantastically. It generated revenues at a remarkable clip, and that in turn -- on the baseball side -- allowed us to take those revenues and pour them into our baseball operations to get to the level we wanted to be at and stay there."
But that wasn't all it did. It also made Fenway a must-see attraction, again a win-win for the team and the city.
"Fenway Park became this jewel of Boston. Everybody who came to town had to see it, had to experience it," Epstein said.
"If we're lucky enough to follow those same steps here in Chicago with Wrigley Field, it will only mean great things for the fans, great things for our revenues -- which in turn means great things for our baseball operation -- and great things for the city of Chicago."