The question about what the Ricketts family plans to do with the McDonald’s property they bought last year across the street from Wrigley Field has been answered. Today, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide announced a partnership with the Ricketts family and the Cubs.
One component of the partnership is that the Ricketts family has signed an agreement with Starwood to build a boutique hotel across the street from Wrigley Field affiliated with the Sheraton brand.
“Once we know how we can save Wrigley Field, the Ricketts family is looking forward to the opportunity to build a hotel across the street. It could complement the neighborhood and its establishments while also serving fans and tourists,” said Dennis Culloton, a Ricketts family spokesperson. “Most importantly, building this hotel is a critical part of a more than $500 million plan to reinvest in Wrigley Field and the neighborhood. The family wants to create 800 construction jobs and 1,300 full-time jobs preserve Wrigley Field as one of the top three tourist destinations in the state and grow the ballpark’s $650 million in annual economic impact to Chicago and the region.”
Culloton said the Ricketts family will work with the community to seek City approval for the boutique hotel development. This development, he said, will drive tourism for local businesses year-round. It is intended to be a key anchor component of a large scale entertainment and retail development within walking distance of theaters, shops, restaurants and bars.
According to a previous agreement with McDonald’s, any future development on the site would include a McDonald’s. Until an agreement is reached for the hotel, McDonald’s will own and operate the restaurant currently on that site.
Starwood also announced that it is now the exclusive hotel and resort partner of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs Spring Training, Cubs Destinations and Chicago Bucs Charities. Those who are part of Starwood’s loyalty program will receive exclusive access to a variety of “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences with the Cubs through a program called SPG Moments. This begins with the 2013 season.
According to a Starwood press release, those experiences include seat upgrades at Wrigley Field, VIP experiences with players and team management such as serving as “Honorary Team Manager for a Day,” access to the SPG luxury suite behind home plate and opportunities to bid for VIP access to Cubs Spring Training and Cubs Destinations trips.