At the end of the day, the vote wasn’t close, as the Chicago Commission on Landmarks unanimously approved the new Wrigley Field renovation plan despite objections from neighbors and rooftop-bleacher owners.
The newest $575-million plan Wrigley Field renovation plan calls for new exterior signage and a realignment of the triangle area at Clark and Addison; greatly expanded clubhouses (the home one would be second-largest in Major League Baseball); four additional 650-square-foot LED signs; 300 bleacher seats and new party areas in back of the bleachers in both left and right field; a new restaurant behind the home dugout, a 2,400-square-foot videoboard in right field; new outfield lights; overhauled restrooms; and relocated bullpens.
The plan has been debated for months and opposed by the rooftop bleacher owners, who threatened litigation, arguing it violates a 2004 agreement between the Cubs and the owners, calling for the team to receive a portion of rooftop revenues ($4 million or so annually. The Cubs say a clause in the contract allows them to make changes and alter agreement if improvements are approved by a city authority — and the Chicago Commission on Landmarks counts, according to the Cubs.
This approval, however, doesn’t mean that the renovation will proceed with seven new signs. With the rooftop owners supporting two new signs and expressing a willingness to come back to the bargaining table in lieu of a lawsuit, the plan could be altered.
Discussion before the commission was mixed, with some residents and Ald. Tom Tunney speaking out against the plan. We were amused by this bit of testimony:
But self-described bleacher bum Trudie Acheatel spoke in favor of the plan.”We need a proper place to go to, it needs to be redone,” she said. “I’ve been waiting a long time for my new bathrooms.”
Work could begin at the end of the season.
RELATED STORIES: Wrigley neighbors: We don’t want ballpark upgrades; Rooftop owners offer Wrigley Field compromise; city to discuss issue this week; Wrigley Field renovations back on hold; Cubs end negotiations with rooftop owners, expand Wrigley Field renovations; Rooftop owners, Cubs disagree over Wrigley Field renovations; Cubs to add more night games; beer plaza in question; Cubs test sign placement; rooftop owners not happy; Ricketts: No Wrigley renovations without rooftop-bleacher deal; Wrigley Field upgrades approved by City Council; Cubs win big battle: Landmark Commission approves Wrigley Field signage; Chicago approves additional Wrigley Field night games; Cubs still not happy; Cubs-city lovefest hits rocky patch; Cubs submit Wrigley Field renovation plans to city; Ricketts brings hammer down, threatens Cubs move; Cubs, Chicago agree on Wrigley Field upgrades; Cubs, Chicago close to Wrigley Field accord; Could parking ramp clinch Wrigley Field renovation plans?; Rosemont to Cubs: Here, have some free land for a new ballpark!; White elephant on Cubs ledgers? Debt service, not Wrigley Field imperfections; Chicago mayor: We can work with Cubs on Wrigley Field renovations; Cubs unveil more details on Wrigley Field renovations; Cubs exploring hotel, courtyard as part of Wrigley Field upgrades; Ricketts: We’re taking long-term view on Wrigley Field improvements; Spat between Cubs, Mayor Rahm continues; Can Bud Selig warm relationship between Cubs, politicians?; Cubs: Following the Fenway Park recipe for renovations; Ricketts family political activity threatens to scuttle Cubs reno plans; WSJ: Tear down Wrigley Field now!; Chicago politics at play: Tunney vs. the Cubs; Cubs reno plan draws harsh criticism from key alderman; Cubs funding request: $500M in Wrigley Field improvements; Emanuel plan for Wrigley renovation: set aside landmark status; Illinois guv: No public money for ballpark renovations; City, Cubs finalizing terms of Wrigley Field renovations; Ricketts: Time to talk Wrigley Field public funding again; Want to buy a chunk of Wrigley Field? Dream on; Gammon rips Wrigley Field, defends Ricketts; Mayor Rahm: No to city aid for Wrigley Field; Poll: Voters oppose public funding of Wrigley Field renovations; State funding of Wrigley Field renovations dies as Assembly adjourns
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.