1_PROPOSED_MARQUEE_VIEWYesterday, we learned that Alderman Tom Tunney was not yet willing to support the Cubs’ push for a City Council resolution approving an increase in night games available to them as soon as this season, the added revenue from which would be used to help fund the Wrigley Field renovation. His reasons for holding back support are, presumably, quite simple: he wants the Cubs to help out with a variety of community needs first. (And, although the issues are not directly tied, it’s a fair guess that he’d also like to see a plan in place with the rooftop owners before he gives up any leverage whatsoever.)

Now, it sounds like Mayor Rahm Emanuel isn’t interested in supporting the night game plan, either. At least not until there’s something more comprehensive put together.

“First of all, we are not going to break off a piece of that ordinance,” Emanuel said of the Cubs’ efforts to get an increase in night games, per CBS. “It is all in one piece. We are going to do this comprehensively.”

I doubt the Cubs have any problem with that at a conceptual level, but they are in something of a bind here. On the one hand, the City appears unwilling to apply necessary political pressures until the Cubs have a comprehensive renovation and funding plan in place. On the other hand, the Cubs can’t have a comprehensive renovation and funding plan in place until they know what funding mechanisms – ad signage, night games, concerts, street fairs – are going to be available to them. And they can’t know what mechanisms are going to be available to them until the Alderman, the neighborhood, the rooftops, and the City get on board with whatever plan the Cubs want to put together. But they can’t put that plan together until they know who’s going to be on board with what … I could go on.

I’m growing frustrated, and I would imagine that I know only 5% of what’s going on behind the scenes. Thus, the involved parties’ frustration must be tenfold my own.

If the City – and, let’s be quite clear, the Mayor – want the Wrigley renovation to take off while using no public funding, which is a huge feather in the Mayor’s cap, then the City and the Mayor need to do whatever is necessary to help the Cubs get the plan in place.

Oddly, Mayor Emanuel offered an additional thought when discussing the renovation efforts:

“There is an agreement to be had. It’s right there. All you need is a little leadership and a little will.”

Said as if he doesn’t still hold so very many of the cards.

I’m not out to make anyone in the situation the villain – again, we know very little of what’s actually going on – but, from the outside, it looks like everyone recognizes that the Cubs and Wrigley Field are the golden goose, and they’re all looking to squeeze out as many eggs as they can before giving the Cubs what they want (and need).

Let’s just hope all of those hands in the cookie jar don’t scuttle things for another year. Ricketts family spokesperson Dennis Culloton told DNAinfo that if there isn’t a solution in place on the funding questions by the start of the season, construction could be delayed.

  • Fastball

    Ricketts I still have that deal in Tennessee. If your reading this website you can get in touch with me. Leave Chicago all together and move completely out of the state. Then those politicians will be completely screwed. Do a Baltimore Colts and leave town in the middle of the night.

    • Pat

      Yeah, I’m sure a fifteen mil a year tv contract and twelve thousand fans a game are really enticing. My guess is they will pass.

      • Kevin

        No matter where the Cubs move there will be a high demand to watch them on tv.

  • JoyceDaddy

    I had an internship with an organization located at Arlington Park over the summer, and the track isn’t going anywhere. Both the track and other related organizations have multiple lobbyists fighting around the clock to bring more revenue to the track, such as a bill having slot machines at the race tracks. At the same time, Rivers casino (who rakes in around $30 Million PER MONTH) is also protecting it’s own interests to keep any forms of gambling out of the state. With that being said, Arlington Park is not a viable option for the Cubs, they (Arlington Park) will eventually get more revenue, but guess who is also delaying the racetrack from getting what they want: Rahm. His proposals of building a casino in Chicago (among other things) got attached to the slots-at-tracks bill, and Gov. Quinn vetoed it pretty quickly, and he is a supporter of slots-at-tracks. My point here is that Rahm has a knack for screwing up other processes outside of the renovations at Wrigley, so there could be a breaking point (on the Ricketts side) if plans aren’t finalized. At the same time, everyone wants to see the Cubs at Wrigley (myself included) and while I would hit the suburbs if they moved, it would feel incredibly weird. Long live the ivy. On a side note, if you live in Illinois, get ready for the Illinois Lottery preparing to takeover online gaming within the state. They want it to happen and everyone is going to want a piece of the pie.

  • Austin

    As fans, lets just do a charity to fund the Wrigley Field renovations.

    • Spencer

      I can set up a rockin’ lemonade stand.

  • dash

    If the Ricketts didn’t do anything at all to Wrigley, the neighborhood would eventually have a pile of rubble as its crown jewel. A fine view that would be from the rooftops.

  • Jamie

    Professional sports teams do sometimes move outside city limits and still carry the city’s name:
    Washington Redskins (hope L.Z. Granderson’s not trolling this site)
    Dallas Cowboys
    New York Giants
    Texas Rangers
    Detroit Pistons

  • Mikelach13

    As a long time Cubs fan who used to live in the neighborhood (wish I did again, so I could help vote Tunney out, based on his short sighted stances) … I think the Ricketts need to seriously consider using the moving to the suburbs card. No Mayor, no neighborhood and no landmark restrictions.

    I believe, just like at road games, Cubs fans will show up at a new state of the art (better than Miller Park) stadium in the suburbs.

    It’s a new financial landscape in baseball and the Cubs must be able to compete on the same financial basis as any other MLB team.

    It’s time for a level playing field for the Cubs!

  • Mikelach13

    Sorry Brett,

    Need to work on my punctuation! :-)

  • Curt

    I think ghe whole thing is bs, the city says we’re not helping you pay for renovations, but we still want to tell you how you can run your buisness, you wanted the cubs to foot the bill Rahm, so now be the mayor and get Tunney on board and get this done already.

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  • Windy City Misfit

    Dear Tom,

    I have always been a strong supporter of staying at Wrigley Field. Even to the point of saying I would stop being a Cub fan if you moved the team. The history and tradition of the park is what helps solidify the heritage of the Chicago Cubs. The ivy and scoreboard are both icons of American history.

    However… Chicago has made it very clear they have no desire to keep you inside the city limits. Time and time again they have tried to push you around and disrespect what the Cubs mean to not only the city, but to every person in Chicago. (Fan or not)

    I hereby give you my permission to leave Chicago behind and leave cook county. Every Cub fan will still show their support by driving the extra 30-40 minutes to get to the new modern ballpark. I only ask that you recreate the scoreboard (Maybe update it a tad) and grow ivy on the wall.


    P.S. Forget about the hotel …

    • Tom A.

      If they leave the city many of us will not be able to attend the games. I, for example, don’t own a car.

      I completely agree that the whole hotel idea is silly. I also agree that everyone is trying to grab for what they can get from the Cubs. I just hope that these apparently greedy bar owners and rooftop owners and city alderman don’t make it such that the Cubs do have to leave. So, I guess I agree with the sentiment that there is a deal to be made and nobody completely gets what they want — but it is so very much better than everyone losing.

  • paul

    someone will help the cubs you have to update or bye bye wrigley u will never win TOM

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I went to two Saturday day games when the Cubs played in Cincy last season. There were easy 15,000 Cub fans at the game. When we play Milwaukee, there are sometimes as many “Cub fans as Brewers. To think that the Cubs would only draw in downtown Chicago is just not corrrect. I agree with the previous letter writer above. The city is totally out of control in pushing the team around. It is absurd really. And nothing will change unless the Cubs show they have other options they can consider.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    mike k sounds like a rahm butt kisser.

    • TWC

      Well, that was a helpful contribution.

      When you don’t agree, malign!

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