Wrigley Field Given Federal Landmark Status

Wrigley Field

According to multiple reports, Wrigley Field will be given federal landmark status in the National Register of Historic Places. This status allows the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, access to federal income tax credits.

National Historic Landmarks or, NHLs, are historic places that hold national significance. U.S. Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt gave approval for landmark status. “The historical significance of Wrigley Field is interwoven into our nation’s story and a key part of what has become America’s beloved pastime for over a century,” Bernhardt said.  According to NHL rules, renovations to the landmark can qualify for certain tax credits.

The Ricketts Family

In August of 2009, Tribune Co. sold all but 5% ownership of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field to the Ricketts family for $845 million. The purchase was led by Tom Ricketts, a Chicago investment banker. Also, he is a self-proclaimed die-hard Cubs fan. It had been announced in January of 2009 that the Ricketts family made the winning bid to purchase the team. However, the sale wasn’t official for another eight months.

Renovations

Wrigley Field is the second-oldest MLB ballpark behind only Fenway in Boston. The Ricketts personally funded a $550 million ”1060 Project” beginning in 2015. The name 1060 comes from the physical Addison Street address of Wrigley Field. As such, the renovations included bleacher expansion, infrastructure improvements, restaurant additions, a jumbotron, and an adjacent hotel.

Significance

Other than old Tiger Stadium, Wrigley Field joins Fenway Park as the only two current MLB ballparks in the National Register of Historic Places. This is a historic moment for the Cubs, the city of Chicago, and MLB as well. Only two original MLB ballparks remain. As a result, most of the old stadiums are only a memory. Also, the fact that Wrigley Field is on the list after renovations is a testament to its importance. It is now one of approximately 2,600 National Historic Landmarks in the United States.

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