Tom Ricketts’ deadline to have a deal completed with the neighborhood and city passed on Monday without an agreement in place. According to the Tribune, face-to-face talks broke off late Monday but were expected to resume on Tuesday.
Cubs’ Vice President Mike Lufrano, top mayoral aide Matt Hynes and Alderman Tom Tunney met at the Mayor’s office at City Hall to hammer out a deal. Ald. Tunney would not go into specifics with the Tribune but did indicate the two sides are not there yet. Tunney is hopeful the meeting will continue on Tuesday.
NBC Chicago reported late Monday night that with the progress made on Monday, the two sides agreed to continue their negotiations and the Cubs pushed back the deadline to have a deal in place until the Cubs home opener on Monday, April 8.
Mayor Emanuel has been consistent with his statements that he believes a deal is within reach. Mayor Emanuel pointed out on Monday that the Cubs set the deadline.
The Cubs are looking to add a 6,000 square foot jumbotron in either right or left field, to go along with other signage within the ballpark. One of the main clogs has been the fact the jumbotron would block views of the rooftop clubs. The neighborhood is asking for the Cubs to provide more parking and better security while continuing the limit of night games.
According to the Tribune, Mayor Emanuel has seen good progress on both sides where the Cubs could make investments within Wrigley and the neighborhood would see “the type of parking and security then need for games to also enjoy the community.”
Theo Epstein briefly discussed the situation with the media prior to Monday’s game with the Pirates. Epstein pointed out how important getting a deal done to restore Wrigley Field is for the baseball side of the organization.
“I think it’s fundamentally important to get us to the next level as an organization. We have a baseball plan, and we have a business plan, and they’re timed to sync up with one another. They’re interdependent, and if we don’t get our Wrigley renovation done in a timely manner and done the right way, then we can’t accomplish our business objectives, and that will certainly get in the way of us ultimately accomplishing our baseball objectives.”
Epstein also addressed the baseball side on his second Opening Day as the President of Baseball Operations.
“I feel the organization’s really unified compared to a year ago at this time. We were trying to explain what the vision was, to get people to buy in. Now, a year later, with some change in personnel and with some people who are still here who are fully empowered, the entire place is really united behind this vision. We’re only as good as our people and our processes and the work that we put in place. There’s been a lot of growth. There needs to be more growth, and we need to have it manifest on the big-league field, and today is the start of that.”
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