NCAA

Cubs planning $300 million Wrigley renovation

Cubs planning $300 million Wrigley renovation

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs plan on restoring Wrigley Field, with or without the city's help.

The team announced a five-year, $300 million plan to rebuild the Friendly Confines at the annual Cubs Convention on Saturday, and owner Tom Ricketts said his family is willing to foot the entire bill - but only if some long-standing restrictions are lifted.

``(We would) like to be treated like the other 29 clubs,'' Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney said. ``If (the Ricketts) are going to be able to build their business, put signs where they need them, hold games when they need them, they're prepared to write the entire check themselves.''

That doesn't mean the Cubs wouldn't accept some help from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

``If we're a public enterprise that's going to be restricted like a public asset, and it comes time for renovation, we'd like to be supported,'' Kenney said, adding that the mayor has been ``terrific'' throughout their conversations.

A call to the Mayor's office for comment was not immediately returned.

Due to its location in the middle of a residential neighborhood, the Cubs are limited to a maximum of 30 home night games per season and can't play night games on Friday or Saturday.

They're also the only major league team that faces advertising limitations.

``We'd just like a little more flexibility to have that stuff,'' Ricketts said. ``We have an opportunity that is tremendous. Just give us some relief on some of these restrictions and then we'll take care of Wrigley Field.''

Taxpayer burden and job creation are two other points of contention when it comes to the project. Ricketts tried to put them both to bed on Saturday. The remodeling, which the team hopes will start at the end of the 2013 season, would create about 2,100 jobs over five years, according to team projections.

Ricketts, who bought the team in 2009, said the team has been looking beyond the taxpayers for help.

``We're not looking at amusement taxes,'' he said. ``We're trying to think of other things that might help us finance the renovations and move forward.''

The stadium overhaul includes a large increase in restrooms and an expanded concourse. More than 50 million pounds of concrete and steel will be removed.

All of the historical aspects of the field will be retained, including the ivy, center field scoreboard and the iconic Chicago Cubs marquee.

``The elements that really define Wrigley Field, we would be the last ones who would want to touch those,'' Kenney said.

Kenney also called the Cubs facilities ``the worst in Major League Baseball.''

General manager Jed Hoyer said the home clubhouse would top the priority list, comparing Wrigley's facilities to Fenway Park's when he and Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein were in Boston.

``Theo and I both saw how (the renovations) changed the organization, going from an iconic ballpark in a beautiful city, but also in adding first-class facilities,'' Hoyer said.

Ricketts make it no secret that they have a similar path in mind.

``We certainly watched what the Red Sox did and there are a lot of lessons we can use,'' he said. ``We've hired a lot of the people they used on their park to do our park.''

The Cubs also hope to match Boston's success on the field under Epstein and Hoyer. The duo is in its second year of a rebuilding project much larger than just a stadium. The Cubs lost 101 games last season, haven't been to the playoffs since 2008 and haven't won a World Series since 1908.

While the Cubs have a five-year plan for the stadium restoration, their on-field rebuilding is much murkier.

``We're trying to get this organization healthy,'' manager Dale Sveum said. ``Within a year, believe me, this thing has come a long, long way.

Still, Ricketts, Hoyer and Epstein repeatedly dodged fan questions about specific timelines for success.

``It doesn't happen overnight,'' Ricketts said. ``You just have to think long-term. We think we have the right time horizon to do it the right way.

``I really do believe we have the smartest guys in baseball building us a championship team. It just takes time.''

College Football 2019 Week 4 What to Watch: State bragging rights

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College Football 2019 Week 4 What to Watch: State bragging rights

In terms of local action, Week 4 is a little bit of a down week. Maryland and Penn State are both on bye weeks before their big matchup on Sept. 27. Navy and Virginia Tech also have the week off as well. But fear not! There is still plenty of college football to watch without your beloved Terps, Lions, Midshipmen or Hokies. Virginia hosts in-state rival Old Dominion and there is some big-time college football down south.

Here is a breakdown of all the local action.

No. 21 Virginia vs. Old Dominion

When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Va.
How to watch: ESPN2

The Cavaliers host Old Dominion in the first-ever meeting between these two programs. After narrowly escaping with a win over Florida State, Virginia remains perfect with a 3-0 record and already two conference wins. Because of that, the Cavaliers now sit ranked 21st in the nation, the highest the team has been ranked since 2007. Now the task before them is to not stumble or get caught looking ahead to next week's matchup at Notre Dame because the Monarchs love surprising the bigger in-state programs. Just ask Virginia Tech.

Game of the week: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 7 Notre Dame

When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.
How to watch: CBS

In 2018, Notre Dame was a playoff team. Georgia was not. Ask anyone in Athens, however, and they will tell you the Bulldogs were the better team and deserved to be in over the Irish. Whether they are right is debatable. Notre Dame entered the playoff undefeated but was embarrassed by Clemson in a 30-3 romp in the Cotton Bowl. That loss certainly looks less embarrassing than it did initially after the Tigers blew apart Alabama in the National Championship, but that does little to comfort Georgia fans.

Luckily, this year offers Georgia the chance for revenge as the Irish travel to Athens in one of the biggest games of the college football season

Georgia comes into this game with something to prove. Not only do they want to show who the better program is after last year's perceived snub, but they also want to reassert themselves as one of the top teams in the nation. With Alabama dealing with injuries and Clemson's schedule leaving much to be desired, there is room for the Bulldogs to insert themselves into the conversation for the top team in the nation.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, has a chance to topple our preconceived notions about the dominance of the SEC's top teams and to reassert themselves into the playoff race. Georgia is easily Notre Dame's toughest game. There is no reason the Irish can't go undefeated if they win on Saturday and a win over the Bulldogs in Georgia would be a pretty nice feather in the cap for any playoff resume.

On NBC Sports Washington

Wake Forest vs. Elon

When: 12 p.m.
Where: BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, N.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

North Carolina vs. Appalachian State

When: 3:30 p.m.
Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

Other local teams

Morgan State at Army, 12 p.m. Saturday on CBSSN
Robert Morris at VMI, 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Howard at Delaware State, 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Norfolk State at Montana State, 3 p.m. Saturday
James Madison at Chattanooga, 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
William & Mary at East Carolina, 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Hampton at Liberty, 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Villanova at Towson, 6 p.m. Saturday

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Elena Delle Donne named 2019 WNBA MVP for the second time following historic season

Elena Delle Donne named 2019 WNBA MVP for the second time following historic season

Elena Delle Donne has done it again.

For the second time in her career, the Washington Mystics' star has been named the WNBA MVP, Monumental Sports announced Thursday.

Delle Donne is the first WNBA player to earn the prestigious award with two teams, her 2015 honor while with the Chicago Sky.

“I would like to thank my teammates and coaches and our wonderful fans--I have the greatest teammates in the world, our coaches have put us in a position to succeed by forming this awesome unit and the energy of our fans has given us the best home-court atmosphere in the league,” Delle Donne said in the statement.

“Everyone has had a part in this, especially my wife and family, and it took a lot of hard work and focus from all of us together to get to this point.  I am extremely proud of this honor, but we still have work ahead of us and we’re all focused playing our hardest to bring a championship to Washington.”

During her 2019 season with the Mystics, Delle Donne averaged 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists, securing her spot on the All-Star team for the sixth time. Her most unbelievable feat, however, was becoming the first WNBA player to join the prestigious 50/40/90 club.

Delle Donne earned 51.5 percent from the field, 43.03 percent from beyond the arc and an incredible 97.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Mark Nowitzki and Malcolm Brogdon are the only players in the history of the NBA to accomplish that feat.

The Mystics look for another win Thursday night en route to a Championship against the Las Vegas Aces for Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals at 8:30 p.m.

You can watch the game on ESPN 2.

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