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Cubs, Chicago close to Wrigley Field accord

Wrigley Field renovations

The Chicago Cubs and the city of Chicago are close to finalizing a $500-million Wrigley Field renovation plan that preserves views for local rooftop owners, adds more video signage and includes a new 300-capacity parking garage.

The deal, expected to be finalized for an announcement at Monday’s season opener, gives the Cubs the right to add a large videoboard in left field and more signage in right field — two moves that will definitely impact views from some of the rooftop bleachers, but the Cubs agreed to compensate the owners for an revenue losses. In addition, the Cubs agreed to build a 300-car parking garage at Clark and Grace on land already owned by the team; the Cubs will also foot the bill for more police protection in the area. We reported yesterday that a new parking ramp could clinch a deal for the Cubs, and that’s exactly what happened. (It’s important to note that the deal was negotiated by officials in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office; the mayor has always been an optimist about reaching a deal.)

One key part of the deal with rooftop owners: it did not extend the current 11-year deal. We’d expect another effort by the Cubs to impact the rooftop views once the current deal expires.

As part of the deal the Cubs would be allowed to add 10 or more more night games — up from the current limit of 30 — and hold more concerts at the Friendly Confines.

The core part of the plan calls for a dramatic renovation of the Wrigley Field grandstand, including a widening of concourses and the addition of more and larger restrooms. The Cubs also plan on building a hotel on the currently hosting a McDonald’s across Clark from the ballpark.

Rendering courtesy of the Chicago Cubs.

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