SBD/March 8, 2013/Facilities

Chicago Alderman "Talking Tough" About Terms Of Agreement On Wrigley Renovations

Cubs Owner the Ricketts family is seeking $300M to renovate Wrigley Field
Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney on Thursday was "talking tough about his terms of agreement" with progress "stalled" in the Cubs' effort to strike a deal with the city of Chicago for a $300M Wrigley Field renovation, according to Hal Dardick of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Tunney said that he "would not sign off on a deal unless it included more parking, better police protection and 'aesthetic' assurances sought by Wrigleyville residents and businesses -- all issues that have yet to be settled." He added, "It's not going to be on the backs of my community, sorry." Regarding Cubs Owner the Ricketts family's push for a deal, Tunney said, "You're talking about one of the wealthiest families in America." At stake is a $500M investment with $300M to "fix up Wrigley" and another $200M "for nearby development, including a plaza and hotel." The owners of the 16 rooftop clubs "give 17 percent of their annual revenue to the Cubs under a 20-year deal brokered by Tunney." They "fear their lucrative birds-eye views will be blocked if the Cubs put up signs in the outfield." They also said that it would "violate their deal" with the team (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/8). In Chicago, Fran Spielman reports Tunney on Thursday was "asked repeatedly whether he would agree to any signs inside the ballpark that block the rooftops’ birdseye view." He insisted that he has "not yet made that decision and won’t until the Cubs present a comprehensive plan for all of the ballpark signs they intend to sell." Meanwhile, the Cubs "got the go-ahead Thursday to hold two more summer concerts at Wrigley Field" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/8).
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