Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Wrigleyville Residents Calling for a Slow Down in Negotiations

According to a report from the Tribune, “the Lakeview Citizen’s Council raised a host of red flags to parts of the rehab plan proposed by Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, who has said he would like to get the deal done by Opening Day, April 1.” The Cubs have publicly stated they need the deal with the city to be completed by April 1 in order to ensure they are able to begin the first part of the restoration project in October.

While the Cubs push to wrap up the restoration deal, the Tribune reported “the stadium’s neighbors are calling for a slow down in negotiations.”

William DeMille, the president of the Lakeview Citizen’s Council, told the Tribune “he was pleased a deal was not struck by early February, as city officials had hoped.” Mr. DeMille is concerned that the needs of the neighborhood (parking, traffic and public safety) will not be addressed if an agreement is reached too soon.

Tom Ricketts addressed the situation on Wednesday during the tour of the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility in Mesa. Ricketts said Wednesday that only “a handful of issues remained to be solved” in order for the Cubs to move forward with the restoration project.

The Tribune reported that Mr. DeMille admitted in the letter that the residents enjoy the benefits of Wrigley Field but also “the negative effects” such as traffic, noise and disorderly behavior. Mr. DeMille would like a limit of 33 night games, up just three games from the 30 games that are currently allowed, and is not in favor of later start times for Friday afternoon games due to traffic concerns and the negative impact it will have on businesses that are not game-related. Mr. DeMille would like to see more detailed plans from the Cubs.

According to the Tribune, the Cubs said Thursday they were encouraged that their neighbors appeared to be open to more games and concerts.

One of the main obstacles remains the owners of the rooftop clubs. Beth Murphy, owner of Murphy’s Bleachers, is hopeful things can be worked out and she told the Tribune, “I know this sometimes presented as rooftops versus Cubs, but really it’s just about everybody working together to make solutions that works the best for everybody, including the Cubs, including the rooftops, including the neighborhood. And we have a long tradition of hashing things out.”

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