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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.''

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Bradley Beal says he played the role of Wizards recruiter at All-Star Weekend

Bradley Beal says he played the role of Wizards recruiter at All-Star Weekend

CHARLOTTE -- Wizards guard Bradley Beal enjoyed every part of All-Star weekend in Charlotte. He met countless fans at charity events and autograph signings. He mingled with rapper J. Cole and actor Chris Tucker at the All-Star Game. He dropped 11 points for Team LeBron and threw down a big two-handed dunk.

Beal had a lot of fun. But he was also there with business on his mind. He recognized an opportunity, being in the locker room and on the floor with 25 other All-Stars, to do some recruiting.

Yes, Beal wants some help in Washington and believes he may be able to find it by selling other stars on the Wizards' future. After trading Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris, the Wizards could have some money to play with in free agency and Beal wants to help them use it.

"The recruiting process is really going alright. It's going alright. I'm trying," Beal said. "This is new for me. I'm definitely getting some ears and seeing what guys are looking for."

Beal wouldn't name names for fear of reprimand from the league. But he did share some details about how those conversations went.

He said he asked players about their situations and whether they were happy playing where they are. And to his surprise, some players came up to him and started the conversation themselves. Some asked about his situation, likely wondering if he would want to leave.

But it sounds like some may have inquired about what it would be like to play for the Wizards.

Beal said he got questions like: "So, what are y'all doing in D.C.?" and "How is D.C.?"

Whenever he was pressed for further details by reporters, Beal brushed the questions off. 

"I'm gonna keep it in my piggy bank, in my back pocket. Hopefully we can do something," he said.

Though Beal could technically have asked players who aren't set to hit free agency, ones that could join the Wizards via trade, it is more likely he was going after those who could sign a contract this summer. 

The point guards can probably be eliminated because John Wall is about to enter a supermax contract next season. That leaves Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Khris Middleton, and Nikola Vucevic.

The first two can be set aside. Durant said he doesn't want to play at home and Leonard seems to have a good thing going in Toronto.

Thompson has been assumed to be headed for Los Angeles or to stay in Golden State. Though, he would be a fantastic complement to Beal and Wall.

Middleton and Vucevic are the two most realistic options, but may not be perfect fits.

If Beal was seeking out players who might be attainable in trades, Anthony Davis is, of course, the big name. Wouldn't that be something?

Hey, he did say all 29 teams are on his list of trade destinations.

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Capitals at Kings: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals at Kings: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Washington Capitals head to Los Angeles to take on the Kings on Monday at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Caps are second in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 32-19-7, while the Kings are scraping along the bottom of the Pacific Division with a record of 23-29-6. The Caps also beat the Kings (quite recently) 6-4 on Feb. 11.

The Kings are hoping to break out of their season slump and put an end to their four-game losing streak against the Capitals during Monday evening’s 10:30 p.m. ET game.

Here is everything you need to know about Monday’s late-night matchup, which will begin at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.


CAPITALS at KINGS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals at Los Angeles Kings, Game 60 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Monday, Feb. 18, 10:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Capitals at King game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder Link)
Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals at Kings on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.
Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS at KINGS TV SCHEDULE

9:30 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
10:00 PM: Caps Pregame Live
10:30 PM: Capitals at Kings

CAPITALS at KINGS INJURY REPORT

Capitals: 
Lars Eller -- lower body as of Feb. 1

Kings: 
Alec Martinez -- upper body as of Feb. 15
Sean Walker -- face as of Feb. 15
Jonny Brodzinski -- shoulder as of Sept. 20

CAPITALS at KINGS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Evgeny Kuznetsov, F, Capitals (15 goals, 39 assists, 54 points): Last time the Caps faced the Kings (which was only one week ago), Kuznetsov contributed two goals and two assists to the Caps’ 6-4 victory. His timely goal finished out the game, essentially securing the Caps’ victory, NBC Sports Washington’s J.J. Reagan reported. In the two games that have happened since, Kuznetsov has given the Caps one assist and one point. 

Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals (39 goals, 27 assists, 66 points): Ovi is just shy of 40-goals and played a key role in the Caps’ latest game against the Kings. He led the team with eight shots on net, and the team captain gave the Caps the first point of the game.

CAPITALS vs. KINGS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 111
All-Time Series Record: Kings lead 60-38-13
Last Meeting: Caps win 6-4 (2/11/19)

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