The Cubs have so many big ideas – once they figure out a way to finance the Wrigley Field renovation.

Team executives want more night games, more concerts – Pearl Jam tickets go on sale Saturday! – increased advertising around the ballpark, maybe even a Jumbotron. President of business operations Crane Kenney indicated a bowl game is a future possibility at Clark and Addison.

Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips hopes the atmosphere at five potential football games will give the Cubs the “ammunition” to convince local officials to shut down Sheffield Avenue and let them create their own pedestrian space to sell beer, food and merchandise.

After Tuesday’s news conference announcing that multi-year partnership with Northwestern, chairman Tom Ricketts declined to say whether he’s spoken to Mayor Rahm Emanuel since those restoration plans were unveiled last month at Cubs Convention.

But lobbying the city to ease restrictions around the ballpark appears to be a more sensible argument than asking for $200 million in state-issued bonds (especially when the head of the Ricketts family – Joe – has a conservative Super PAC called “Ending Spending”). And there seems to be a thaw in the cold war between the mayor’s office and the Cubs after a bitter presidential campaign.

“Everything’s moving forward and we’re making progress, I think,” Ricketts said. “So we’ll let you know when we have something that works for everybody.”

The clock is ticking if the Cubs want to begin construction in fall 2013.

“You kind of have to know a few months in advance,” Ricketts acknowledged. “I’m not sure what the hard deadline is, but we’d like to know pretty soon whether or not this is the season we get started.”

The Cubs say the stadium would be redesigned in a way that would allow the home dugout to be taken apart during the offseason, creating enough room to avoid the embarrassment in November 2010, when a last-minute change made by the Big Ten forced Northwestern and Illinois to use only one end zone.

But the event still generated a lot of buzz, and Northwestern will get a chance to tap into that again and again as part of an exclusive agreement. Notre Dame football is “not really on the table,” Kenney said, “other than potentially a bowl game.” Kenney, a Notre Dame graduate, cited Yankee Stadium’s Pinstripe Bowl as an example.