Chicago Cubs Almost Had to Play in Milwaukee with Slow Stadium Rehab

Wrigley Field Roof Boxes
Chicago, IL

Thanks to the dual threat of a rooftop owners’ lawsuits and a harsh winter, the refurbishing of Wrigley Field has been slowed to a crawl. It has been so bad that the Cubs even considered playing home games up in Milwaukee.

A particular problem for the Cubs has been the constant lawsuits filed by owners of rooftop businesses whose properties overlook the diamond and who have for decades sold seating to watch the game from afar.

The Cubs have been slowly attempting to eliminate these outside businesses, especially during this rehab, by adding new signage that will block the view of outsiders. The owners of those business have not taken that effort kindly and have taken the team to court several times.

But the lawsuits haven’t been the only thing slowing the Cubs’ refit to a crawl. This harsh winter has seriously hampered the construction. Construction has gotten so slow that the team has asked the city for permits to allow 24-hour construction shifts. The team, though, has twice been denied those permits.

All the delays forced the team to seriously consider playing home games up in Milwaukee while construction continues into the spring and summer.

The Cubs have admitted to having taken serious meetings with the Milwaukee Brewers about playing Cubs home games at Miller Park.

But there is another potential problem facing the next phase of the stadium refit. The next stage includes digging up hundreds of tons of dirt under the streets and building a 30,000-foot underground clubhouse facility.

Not only will this be quite an undertaking, there is a problem with digging up the dirt of a city that is over 180 years old and built on top of Indian settlements. If the dig uncovers archeological artifacts that could force construction to grind to a halt once again as authorities assess the significance of what might be found.

Certainly it is unknown if this might occur, but it could and if artifacts are found the Cubs might find yet another thing that will stall progress.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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