Update on the Wrigley Field Restoration Project

Mayor Rahm Emanuel addressed the Cubs’ plans to restore Wrigley Field on Wednesday and is ready to play ball with the Cubs according to a report from the Sun-Times.

The Mayor had a productive conversation with Tom Ricketts this week and has asked “all the parties involved to finish this up.”

According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs first hurdle “could come as early as next month with an ordinance authorizing more night games.” As part of the proposal, the Cubs are looking to increase the number of night games at Wrigley from 30 per season to the 37-44 range, with some of the dates reserved for concerts. The Cubs are also looking to have Friday afternoon start times moved from 1:20pm to 3:05pm.

According to the Sun-Times, the additional night games must be approved first in order to meet Major League Baseball’s requirements for scheduling purposes. The next step would be to “lift the restrictions on outfield signs” and the ability to open Sheffield Avenue for street fairs on game days.

The Sun-Times also reported that Mayor Emanuel is “trying to broker an elusive agreement between the Cubs and the owners of the 17 rooftop clubs” that would allow the Cubs to place the signs on the rooftops to keep from blocking the view of their clubs. The Sun-Times indicated that the rooftop owners could receive “a little bit” of the revenue generated by the additional signage as a compromise for the fact the contract between the Cubs and rooftop owners extends for 10 more years (20-year contract)

City Hall is prepared to side with the Cubs over the rooftop owners and Ald. Tunney if it comes to that according to the Sun-Times.

Along with the proposed $300 million restoration project for Wrigley Field, the Ricketts family is also building a $200 million hotel on the McDonald’s property that they purchased in 2011.

According to a report from Crain’s Chicago Business, the Mayor’s staff vetted and did not object to public release of the Cubs plans last weekend at the Cubs Convention.

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  • Dorasaga

    “Last weekend, Ricketts abruptly ended his multi-year quest for a public subsidy […but offered to] build a $200 million hotel development on McDonalds property across the street from the stadium – provided the city lift restrictions on outfield signs and night games and opens Sheffield Avenue for street fairs on game days.

    ” ‘The Ricketts family shares the mayor’s vision for a $500 million project to create 1,200 new jobs and hundreds of construction jobs,’ said Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for the billionaire family that owns the Cubs.”

    That’s good news to everyone. The Ricketts is establishing themselves as a “clean provider,” unlike their predecessors, those wretched and greedy owners.