Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Mayor Emanuel Introduced Ordinance for 40 Night Games

Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an amendment to the night game ordinance Wednesday according to a report from Serena Dai. The ordinance would allow the Cubs to play 40 night games at Wrigley Field plus add six 3:05pm Friday start times. The current ordinance limits the Cubs to 30 night games, 27 scheduled, with an additional three dates reserved in case Major League Baseball asks for game times to be changed to accommodate National TV.

The ordinance that was introduced on Wednesday would allow the Cubs to schedule 35 night games with the possibility to add five more night games if Major League Baseball asks to move game times. According to a report from Serena Dai, “any additional night games must be approved by City Council and would not count against the limit, including playoff games, rescheduled games and All-Star games.” The four concert dates fall under a different ordinance and would not count against the night game limit. The new ordinance would give the Cubs flexibility to schedule up to 56 or more night events according to DNAInfoChicago.com.

Reportedly it could take 30-60 days for the amendment to the night game ordinance to pass. A vote could come as early as next month’s City Council meeting according to the Tribune. The Cubs originally wanted to meet the league average of 54 night games but the backlash from the neighborhood reduced it down to 40.

If the ordinance passes, the Cubs could move some of their Friday 1:20pm start times to 3:05pm this season.

Ricketts Confident There’s Enough Support to Begin Restoration Project this Year

According to a report from Serena Dai of DNAInfoChicago.com, Tom Ricketts is “confident the team would be able to start restoring Wrigley Field this year – even though the proposal still required approval from a community that has voiced opposition to many critical details in the plan.”

During the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce’s annual Lead Off Luncheon at D’Agostino’s Pizza on Tuesday, Ricketts said “only the city process remained and emphasized the need for community support.”

Ricketts indicated everything is moving forward and anticipates the restoration project beginning “at some point at the end of this year.”

Full Report from DNAInfoChicago.com

Cubs File Paperwork to Move Footprint of Wrigley Field

According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs filed the paperwork last week “seeking zoning changes that would allow the team to use the public right of way to bump out the stadium’s exterior outfield walls on Waveland and Sheffield avenues.”

Moving the exterior walls back eight-ten feet would help limit obstructing the views of the rooftops by the new signs in the outfield, namely the 6,000 square foot jumbotron in left field.

Cubs Hire Top Obama Re-Election Campaign Aides

According to a report from Greg Hintz of Crain’s Chicago Business, the Cubs have hired two of the key people from President Obama’s re-election campaign to “help the team win its campaign to expand and modernize Wrigley Field.”

The Cubs have retained consulting firm 270 Strategies, a hiring that was confirmed by Tom Ricketts’ spokesman, Dennis Culloton.

According to the report, the firm has “begun calling residents who live near Wrigley to gauge their views and interest in helping out.” The Cubs are not trying to circumvent community groups but are trying to ensure that the residents not involved in the neighborhood groups know what is going on with Wrigley.

Full Report from Crain’s Chicago Business

Beth Murphy called the hiring of 270 Strategies a “step back” after there was progress made last week between the Cubs and the rooftop club owners according to Serena Dai.

Wrigley Field Restoration News

According to a report from DNAInfoChicago.com, the rooftop club owners have asked for the Cubs to provide more renderings of the proposed jumbotron so they can try to figure out the impact the scoreboard could possibly have on their business before it is built.

During Tuesday night’s East Lake View Neighbors meeting with the neighborhood, the Cubs indicated they have reduced the proposed amount of signage on the hotel and office building at the request of the community.

Bob Nightengale reported this week that there is no joy in Wrigleyville as the Cubs and neighbors clash. Nightengale spoke with Beth Murphy, as resident of Wrigleyville since 1979. Beth Murphy told the USA Today, “We live here, this is our neighborhood. This isn’t Disneyland, or a place where people just come and go. People have invested their time and money to make it what it is. Wrigley is a neighbor. And a big neighbor. But he’s just part of the neighborhood. Wrigley doesn’t run our neighborhood. People need to understand that.”

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  • John_CC

    Onward and upward! Beth Murphy is a piece of work. Yes, Wrigleyville is a neighborhood, a neighborhood called —- wait for it —– WRIGLEYville! Ha.

    All of my best friends lived two block down Sheffield back when we were in our 20s and I loved coming to the city and staying with them and walking up the street at 9am completely hungover to buy “day of” SRO tickets. And now that I’m old(er) I can appreciate protecting the neighborhood one lives in.

    But come on Ms. Murphy. As if you’re just another neighbor! You make your living on the Cubs and Wrigley. Such BS.

    • paulcatanese

      Happen to agree with you John, they are placing way too much on their own importance.
      From what I have seen it will only enhance the place for blocks around, and business will abound after the changes are done.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Absolutely agree. I’d just love to see the backpedaling if the Cubs were to announce an agreement to move. Talk about calling a bluff. The “neighbors,” would crap their pants!

      • Dorasaga

        Curious, Paul, were you in shock at the change in your neighborhood when you returned Chicagoland after service in Germany? or what were the changes you spot?

  • 07GreyDigger

    Sure sounds with the mayor behind him and this new PR team that Ricketts just plans to steamroll any opposition. With the exception of the rooftops and their contract, I can’t imagine any chamber of commerces or neighborhood associations with memberships of just a few people can mount any fight against them.