Landmarks commission approves Cubs' Wrigley renovation plan

Landmarks commission approves Cubs' Wrigley renovation plan
July 10, 2014, 6:15 pm
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CSN Staff

It looks like the Wrigley Field renovations are about to get started.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks approved the Cubs' plan on Thursday, despite objections from the rooftop owners and alderman Tom Tunney.

The plan, which differs from the one the team proposed to the commission several months ago, includes seven advertising signs instead of the original two and a video board which has been reduced in size by nearly 2,000 square feet, according to the Chicago Tribune. The plan still calls for improved clubhouses, fan amenities and additional suites.

"The plan approved today for Wrigley Field is a step forward for the Cubs and the neighborhood," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "Not only does it upholds the architectural heritage of the stadium that Chicagoans can enjoy, but will generate thousands of jobs. I fully expect the owners to initiate the restoration of Wrigley Field and to invest in the surrounding Wrigleyville area, including traffic flow, security, and public parks. In addition, discussions with the rooftop owners should — and must — continue so that this plan remains a win-win."

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Rooftop owners were upset with the commission's ruling after they voiced their support for the team's original proposal, which contained just two advertising signs. They argue the signs not only block their view of the park but also violate the contract signed with the team in 2004.

"The rooftop owners oppose the plan brought by the Ricketts family the Landmarks Commission approved today," Wrigleyville Rooftops Association spokesman Ryan McLaughlin. "If these signs were to be erected, the blockage would absolutely violate our 20-year contract, just as they violate the spirit of Wrigley's long-standing landmark status. However, we're optimistic that Mayor Emanuel's directive to the Ricketts family to work out a compromise with rooftop owners could create a breakthrough. In fact, every rooftop owner supports a plan that's currently on the table resulting in two signs that mitigate blockage, generates revenue to modernize Wrigley Field and takes litigation off the table. We look forward to sitting down with Crane Kenney and Tom Ricketts immediately and engaging in good faith negotiations. We see a path for a win-win solution, and our intention is to report a global solution very quickly."

Though a date for construction has yet to be announced, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney was quoted in the Tribune as saying, "We are ready to go."