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Mayor Rahm: No to city aid for Wrigley Field

chicago cubsAcknowledging that Wrigley Field needs a lot of TLC, incoming Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the city can’t afford to give up proceeds from an amusement tax to fund improvements to the home of the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs had floated a plan where revenue from the amusement tax would be diverted to pay off $210 million in bonds issued to fund a Wrigley Field renovation; the Cubs would then install a new triangular building with team offices and additional parking.

That plan was DOA during the last session of the Illinois Assembly, and were further spiked by Emanuel. Not a surprise: during the campaign he repeatedly said he would oppose any move to divert the amusement-tax proceeds.

That doesn’t mean no renovation of Wrigley Field is in the works; it means the team must come up with another plan that passes muster with the city. One such idea is the creation of a tax-increment district encompassing Wrigleyville; increases in tax collections would fund the improvements. Another is the extension of a 1 percent restaurant tax north from downtown to Wrigleyville.

RELATED STORIES: Poll: Voters oppose public funding of Wrigley Field renovations ; State funding of Wrigley Field renovations dies as Assembly adjourns

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