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Chicago Landmarks Commission OKs Wrigley Sign Changes Over Tunney's Opposition
Published July 12, 2013
TUNNEY HOLDS FIRM: In Chicago, Fran Spielman reports Thursday's meeting was "delayed for two hours, in part, to allow" city Office of Legislative Counsel & Government Affairs Dir Matt Hynes to "huddle privately with Tunney in hopes of softening his opposition." Tunney in talking to the commissioner "choked back tears as he declared his opposition to a video scoreboard with lights." He said, "I can’t support a proposal that so dramatically affects the quality of life for residents. ... The enormity of this sign in your front window is obviously something that I have to be very attentive to" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/12). But former ESPN Radio 1000 Chicago host Harry Teinowitz called Tunney's stance "silly." Teinowitz: "Anybody that moves into Wrigleyville realizes that the Cubs are the attraction and you put up with stuff like lights beaming and picking up beer cans in the morning. Whatever keeps them at Wrigley Field, I am for." Comcast SportsNet Chicago's David Kaplan said, "What I don't understand is people in the community who complain that there's going to be more people. You moved in where a ballpark is." Teinowitz agreed and said, "For the people that complain about all of the stuff going on at Wrigley Field, why'd you move there? You're nuts, you're insane. Wrigleyville is one of the coolest places to live in the world" ("Sports Talk Live," CSN Chicago, 7/11). Meanwhile, the SUN-TIMES' Rick Morrissey wonders of the Cubs' negotiations with the city, "It's over now, right? No more talk of square footage and LED wattage? Don’t hold your breath." Until the renovations are done, the story "isn’t dead." Morriseey: "I envision Tunney making more demands from his soapbox even as the last bolt is being affixed to the video scoreboard" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/12).
CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN: Cubs historian Ed Hartig said Wrigley Field "has undergone changes pretty much from the opening" of the venue in 1914. Hartig said, "Change is inevitable, you have to make changes. But if you can actually bring the changes in slowly as well as try to capture some of the character of the ballpark as it existed, that's really the best way to preserve the look and feel of the ballpark." He added, "In order to survive, Wrigley Field has got to change. The fans' requirements for amenities at the ballpark, the players' requirements for amenities at the ballpark, they've changed. If you don’t change, you'll die. Wrigley Field will always survive if it is allowed to change with the times. It's changing, but it's still essentially the same ballpark that I first went to 43 years ago" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 7/11).