Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Wrigley Plan Receives Unanimous Approval from Zoning Committee

The Cubs passed the last major hurdle on Tuesday when they received unanimous approval from the Zoning Committee on their plans to restore Wrigley Field. The Cubs are expected to receive approval from the City Council on Wednesday.

The Cubs had to make three concessions to their plans in order for the renovation plans to receive approval from Ald. Tom Tunney. The Cubs agreed to “remove plans to build a portico on a proposed 182-room hotel on Clark Street, which was to connect to Wrigley Field via a crosswalk bridge spanning Clark as part of the $500 million rehabilitation” according to a report from DNAInfoChicago.com. The Cubs “will also reconsider placement of the hotel entrance from a side street to either Clark or Addison Street.”

Ald. Tom Tunney said that there are still a lot of questions for the community according to the report but he was prepared to give his support with the compromises.

The Clark Street Bridge was deferred indefinitely and the Cubs told the alderman and the mayor that “the two approved outfield signs would be the only ones the team would post, at the very least, until their contract with the rooftop owners expires.”

Ald. Tunney also “encouraged the Cubs and rooftop owners to continue negotiations going forward.” According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs “are exploring the possibility of building the 650-square-foot-see-through sign in right field behind a deck that would hover over Sheffield Avenue” to help minimize the impact on rooftop views.

Fran Spielman reported in order for the Cubs to change the location of the sign in right field, Wrigley’s exterior footprint would have to be moved back even further “at least twice as much as previously planned.” That would push the exterior footprint of Wrigley Field back 16-20 feet, instead of the planned eight-ten feet.

According to the report, the Cubs would like the rooftop owners to “drop their threat of a lawsuit” in exchange for making adjustments to the location of the right field see-through sign.

The team has not received any assurances from the city that the rooftop owners would not sue them over the restoration plans.

Fran Spielman reported that if the Cubs cancel their plans for the pedestrian bridge over Clark Street then they would like to be able to build an arch over Clark and sell advertising on it.

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  • 07GreyDigger

    I don’t quite understand the opposition to the bridge on Clark. First of all, it would help alleviate foot traffic on the street. Second, it would be an architectual anomaly and might improve the overall feel of the neighborhood.

    • paulcatanese

      And the bridge with the foot traffic up there, would minimize injuries to pedestrians.
      As I mentioned in my post, don’t like the “changing of the guard, so to speak”, but support Ricketts in this.

  • John_CC

    Tunney had to protest something that he could possibly earn a concession on to save face after his previous threat’s miserable failure and epic jackassery in general.

    Now he can stay in the pockets of his constituents … er the “rooftop” owners for his next re-election campaign. I certainly hope that someone challenges him this time around.

  • paulcatanese

    While I am in TOTAL support of the Cub family in wanting to make these changes to Wrigley Field it is because of the principle involved. It is their park and they have the right to make those changes, and I would not oppose that right.

    Having said that, it is with all honesty after getting an all around look at Chase field last night I would say it could be an abomination for the beauty of Wrigley Field.

    Chase field to me looks like the Vegas Strip at night, with no resemblance of a Baseball field.

    Why? People can just sit, drink, talk and text to friends, and look up on the many screens to see themselves propose to someone or a replay that they haven’t seen live. Wow, flashing lights up and down the upper deck separation on both sides of the field, advertisements all over the place non-stop for the whole game.

    Got a look at Fenway Park with their jumbo’s or whatever they are called, and the same thing, that park is destroyed as a historical institution.

    But like I said, I support Ricketts and his efforts, he owns the franchise, and should be able to do what he wants, but does not mean I have to like it.

    • 07GreyDigger

      That’s a good point. Part of the charm of Wrigley Field is the lack of a jumbotron. But I must say those TV’s they had in the 200 level that were the size of a 10 year old child suspended above you always bothered me. I really don’t think Ricketts is going to kill the old timeyness considering his love for the team and desire to buy Wrigley. If he wanted to buy a new stadium, they would have moved already.

      • paulcatanese

        I agree, Ricketts is all about Wrigley, and the fans, that’s why I support his decision. I know with today’s market, money is all important to survive, and the signs are needed. I really don’t see the rooftop owners ready to chip in out of their pockets to help out, or Tunney willing to take less money every year for the same.

      • JasonPen

        They could design the Jumbotron in a way that it still fits with the ‘look’ of Wrigley Field. I know it can be done. Everything Ricketts has done so far has been exactly what he promised. I used to be mad that we didn’t get Mark Cuban, but now I’m glad we have Ricketts. I have a great feeling about the future.

    • Dorasaga

      And you wonder why Americans built a city full of banks in the middle of a desert…

      • paulcatanese

        Love it, and they have my contributions there to prove their being there.

        • Dorasaga

          Yeah, be proud, and you would be financially balanced, as opposed to the last three years of the Hendry Cubs.

    • GaryLeeT

      Waiting for the Jumbotron was like waiting for lights. Soon it will be here, and we get to watch players craning their necks to watch themselves on the replay, just like at any other park.

      • paulcatanese

        Always were for lights there. Had to go to Old Comiskey to watch after work.

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