With the Cubs’ brass, including Tom Ricketts, in Orlando on Tuesday, the team received good news on the Wrigley Field Restoration front. According to a report from Danny Ecker, “tweaks to the Chicago Cubs renovation plan advanced through their final City Council committee approval.” The plan will go in front of the full City Council on Wednesday for final approval.
The Cubs received approval from the Transportation and Public Way Committee “to move its property lines farther into Sheffield and Waveland Avenues.” Moving the footprint of the park allows the Cubs to not only add concessions and make the Budweiser deck larger but will push the large signs in left and right fields back which in theory will help reduce blocking the views of the rooftop clubs.
Wrigley Field’s footprint will move 25 feet closer to Sheffield Avenue and a little more than 24 feet closer to Waveland. The additional space will allow the team to move Wrigley’s exterior walls.
According to the report from Crain’s Chicago Business, in return for being able to move Wrigley’s footprint, “the Cubs will pay $3.75 million over the next decade into the ‘Cub Fund,’ which the city uses for infrastructure improvements to the Lakeview area, including new lighting and new traffic signals along Clark Street between Belmont Avenue and Irving Park Road.”
The Cubs will receive $250,000 “worth of air rights along the streets” that can be used to pay “for through things like advertising during games for public transportation, use of remote parking lots and city services.”
Even after the City Council approves the new tweaks on Wednesday, the Cubs “still want to finalize the terms of the proposed ordinance that would allow fans to carry alcohol out of the ballpark and into an adjacent plaza in a marked cup.” Ald. Tom Tunney put his proposed ordinance on hold in order to receive more feedback from the neighborhood.
As for when the restoration project will begin, the team has not applied for permits or ordered any material as they wait for assurances from the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association that they will not pursue legal action to protect their views. The Cubs have not ruled out building the sign in right field, even without clearance from the rooftop club owners, due to their agreement with Anheuser Busch.