The world of sports is constantly evolving. While the sport itself is evolving so must the business. Thus many franchises must compete in the arms race in relation to the latest venues. There have been rumors mulling around the northeast Ohio are regarding Jimmy Haslam renovating the venue formerly known as Cleveland Browns Stadium or possibly just building an entire new one. I will save that story for a day when the rumors become more than just rumors.
There are, however, two franchises looking to add to the value of their franchise by making their stadiums more fan friendly and more multi-purpose. Those two franchises are the Chicago Cubs and the Miami Dolphins.
Early last week the Dolphins released a plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium. Their plans will cost $400 million, however, Stephen Ross the owner has stated that he would foot the majority of the bill. The balance would come from the city of Miami in various taxes like an increased hotel tax and sales tax. The hope of the Dolphins’ organization is that with the new additions their venue will still be favorable for the location of college bowl games and more importantly the Super Bowl destination. They plan to add three thousand, six hundred seats closer to the field as well as an overhang on the roof to protect the fans from the harsh weather that Miami faces on the coast. They would still have naturual grass, though. Though residents and voters may not be totally thrilled with a higher sales tax, the Dolphins made mention that should they be approved for the renovations that will likely keep the franchise at home until 2034. They did not make any mention of leaving if the motion does not pass, however. In my opinion, I would pass the plans. I have never met a Miami fan, but I have not heard any good things about them either. So I will not judge them without the information, but if the Dolphins do not get the support they need to rebuild what makes them think that they will get the support to win? Why not just move to Los Angeles?
The storied Chicago Cubs franchise proposed Saturday to be granted approval to make $300 million in renovations to the landmark Wrigley Field. The project would start in 2014 and would be spread out across five offseasons to not inconvenience any of the Cubs’ home games. In the plans are brand new underground batting cages with access to the new clubhouse and the dugout, expanding concourses, renovating suites, adding an LED board in left field and removing the board below the famous scoreboard in center field, rewiring the stadium, improving the plumbing, new areas around the upper decks for entertainment purposes, and last but not least restoring the brick wall outside the stadium from 1935. Based on the Cubs’ researchers the project would created 2,100 jobs and bring in an extra $1.2 billion in revenue for the city of Chicago. The decision comes down to whether or not the city wants to fork over the money to renovate one of their most historic landmarks in Chicago. I personally think that idea of keeping the classic Wrigley look intact while adding new technology is perfect. The stadium may be quite a sight to see, but it has to be functional or else it will just be toppled over by a wrecking crew. Go ahead Windy City, update the stadium. It could only help.
Should Miami renovate? Should Chicago renovate? Should Cleveland renovate? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.
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