Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Cubs Deadline Passes Without a Deal in Place, Talks Will Continue

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.

Theo Epstein from the Sun-Times:

“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.

Theo Epstein from the Daily Herald:

“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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  • Ripsnorter1

    NEWS FLASH: MARLON BYRD….the starting RF for the NY Mets, went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI vs. Jed’s SD Padres. The Mets have him batting 5th.

    Build a new stadium and let the Mayor just eat it.

    Speaking of lousy closers, the newest to join the Gasoline Allley Hall of Fame is one Mr. John Axford. He’s blowing saves like Mr. Marmol.

    • calicub

      I think you need to move past the fact that once upon a time Jed Hoyer was the GM of the San Diego Padres. Its been a year and a half since he last made a decision for them which is almost as long as he was even the GM there (2 years).

      Jim Hendry gets less credit for what he did to this organization than YOU give to Jed Hoyer for vastly improving their system, and Hendry was here for 9 YEARS AS A GM and 7 years prior to that.

      Get over it rip! I think Padres fans will agree that because of the moves he made there that organization is the best its been since 2005-06 despite the West becoming one of the much stronger divisions in baseball now that the Dodgers, Giants and even D-Backs are pushing for contention.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Again. Why I can’t I vote positive ten times!

      • Tarzan Joe

        How many division titles have the padres won sice Jed left?
        Exactly…… Zero

        • John_CC


      • Ripsnorter1

        Do you expect the Padres to finish over .500 in 2013?

        • calicub

          Not at all… But I don’t really follow Josh Byrnes’ Padres

    • 07GreyDigger

      I’m confused, are we supposed to be upset the Cubs released Marlon Byrd? I think its more of an indication how bad the Mets are that he’s batting 5th and starting than how we let a “good” player go.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Why the confusion, Mr. GreyDigger? I merely made a comment, “Marlon Byrd is not on unemployment. He’s awful, and he’s got a job in NY.”

        In fact, I agree with you: the Mets are bad. He couldn’t bat #5 for even the lowly Cubs. He might be able to bat leadoff (ahead of Mr. DeJesus), but he could not bat #5. LOL

        No, I am not deeply depressed that he’s gone.
        Neither am I deeply depressed that Mr. Axford is pitching like an axe murderer in Milwaukee. I was merely observing facts. : )

    • John_CC

      Thanks for pertinent update, Ripsnorter!

    • Steve Phillips

      I’m ready to trade Rizzo and Castro for Bryd. They can have Jed as well. Hopefully the Mets will go for it.

    • redlarczykg

      Rip. You missed the fact that another ex-Cub Corey Paterson is out hitting Byrd going 1 for 2. X superstar Patterson played only 5 games in MLB last year! Let’s go Mets!

      • Ripsnorter1

        How, oh how!, could I have ever missed that? Corey Patterson is working on a 15 year MLB career.

        Now THAT is stupefying. I am incredulous!

  • Brp921

    I think the best strategy for the Cubs, whether the wish is to remain in Wrigley Field or not, would be to begin negotiations with other locations and not involve themselves in anymore negotiations with the city of Chicago and the rooftop owners until if or when they decide to stop these bullying tactics and become reasonable. I personally have become a supporter of building state of the art facilities in another location not near an airport.

    • calicub

      Agreed. Even if Ricketts in the back if his mind knows he will never leave Wrigley, he needs to bluff his way into a stronger position negotiations wise. I really don’t see how the neighborhood is able to bully them so much, when they have everything to lose.

    • Roland Bowman

      I agree as well. It hasn’t been until last year that I could even entertain the idea of the Cubs not at Wrigley. I now believe they need to leave Wrigley. In my opinion the restrictions from the neighborhood, the roof tops and the landmark status outweigh the extra draw of Wrigley field.
      Build a state of the art facility. Negotiate with the surounding area to find the best deal and best location.

  • Ripsnorter1

    That settles it!! It’s all over!! Just forgetaboutit!!

    Mr. Bruce Levine, aka, the guarantee-or of Mr. Clevenger’s demotion, et al, has spoken. Today on “Talkin’ Baseball” on ESPN 1000 am radio in Chicago, Mr. Levine said, “The idea that the Cubs might move is ridiculous. It’ll never happen!”

    So it’s over folks. Settled and done. Kaput! The Cubs are building a new stadium and moving out of Wrigley!