Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Mayor Says Cubs Not Ready to Meet with Landmarks Commission

Mayor Rahm Emanuel addressed Wednesday the changes the Cubs unveiled on Tuesday to the team’s plan to restore, renovate and expand Wrigley Field. And the Mayor is not happy.

According to the Sun-Times, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared that his handpicked Commission on Chicago Landmarks would not consider the revised plan to build seven outfield signs, including a second video board, 300 new seats and new outfield light standards because there were elements of it that no one at City Hall had ever seen before that would impact landmarked elements of the century old stadium.”

The Cubs did not clearly communicate the latest changes to the Wrigley Field plan with City Hall despite what Crane Kenney said on Tuesday. Mayor Emanuel said that no one knew about moving the bullpens to underneath the bleachers and the Mayor is also “frustrated that the Cubs are returning to City Hall seeking more signs after a deal already had been carefully crafted last year” according to a report from the Tribune.

The Cubs said last week the team would go in front of the Landmarks Commission on June 5 to get the final approvals needed to begin the now $575 million project. Mayor Emanuel said Wednesday, “This recent submission is not ready for next week” and the Cubs “have work to do.”

Cubs’ spokesman, Julian Green, addressed the Mayor’s statement. Green said, “We are happy to address any questions about the bullpen doors or bullpen relocation. The Cubs look forward to resolving these last few issues so we can begin construction as soon as possible.”

If the Cubs are not able to meet with the commission next week (June 5) it could further delay the project. The Landmarks Commission does not meet again until July, but Commissioners could call a special meeting according to the Tribune.

The Score’s Dan Bernstein reported that his source said the comments the Mayor made on  Wednesday “are political cover and any issues are minor.” The Cubs and the City “still anticipate approval of the plans. The Mayor needed “to provide the appearance the Cubs plans approval is not a rubber-stamping.”

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