SBD/July 1, 2013/Facilities

Chicago Alderman Could Be Impediment To Wrigley Deal Despite Previous Approval

Wrigley Field's renovation plans face objections from Tom Tunney
Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney last week added new demands to the Cubs' $300M Wrigley Field renovation plan, but before that, he "seemed to already have been bought" on the undertaking, according to Matt Spiegel of the Illinois DAILY HERALD. Tunney months ago had "signed his name to the Wrigley restoration 'framework agreement.'" So "why the violent turnaround" last week? Tunney is "trying to appear loyal to his residents." He has to "ensure his next decade of favorable treatment by non-Cubs entities." There are "campaign contributions still to collect." The "duplicity continued" at last week's Landmark Association hearing, when Tunney "opposed something he'd already supported in writing: expanding Wrigley's footprint." Tunney and his constituents "need to understand why their property has so much value, and stop complaining about the airplane noises when they choose to live by the airport" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 6/30).

PATIENCE GROWING THIN: In Chicago, Fran Spielman writes city Mayor Rahm Emanuel has "been patient" with Tunney when it "comes to the marathon debate over renovating Wrigley." But there comes a time when debate on a $500M private investment "needs to end and the jackhammers begin." That will "likely require Emanuel to do what he has, so far, refused to do: play the heavy by riding herd over a local alderman." A source said, "The goal is not to burn a bridge with an alderman. You need a good relationship with the City Council. I don’t care how powerful you are. The mayor has tried to put it off as long as possible. But this is too close to potentially happening to let it get away. The problem with Tunney is he can’t stick with a deal" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/30). Also in Chicago, Rick Telander writes, "It seems every ounce of Cubs energy goes into the Wrigley Field rebuilding mess." You wonder if the Ricketts family "had any idea what it was buying when it got this franchise" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/1).
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