Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: The Deadline Has Come … And Passed

respect wrigleyWe’re either about to hear a great deal of positive spin, a great deal of backpedaling, or a great deal of posturing.

Today was the self-imposed deadline for talks between the Chicago Cubs and the City/neighborhood/politicians/rooftops to yield a deal that would allow the Cubs to feel comfortable starting the renovation of Wrigley Field in earnest come October (or November, if you’re the optimistic sort). That deadline – the close of business today (but, I mean, they can keep talking tonight) – has come and passed, and there isn’t currently a deal, according to various reports.

None of the interested parties has yet spoken out, however, except for the Mayor, who didn’t say much.

“I did not set the deadline,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said earlier today, per the Sun-Times. “[The Cubs] did — and they’re a party to the conversations. And I believe when all the parties have something to say, they’ll say it.

“There’s good progress made to both allow the Cub owners to make the investments … that they need to make in their stadium and … also make sure that the community around Wrigley … sees the type of parking and security that they need for games to also enjoy the community …. There will be a time in which the fog will lift in the negotiations and people will see what’s in front of them as a victory.”

If parking and security are the only matters left to be decided – instead of night games, advertisements, a JumboTron, and rooftop issues – then a deal is going to get done. I imagine, however, that the Mayor was just speaking off the cuff. At least his comments did not indicate that there is any concern that a deal won’t get done. Remember: the Mayor has a whole lot of skin in this game, as a $500 million project, privately-funded, is hanging in the balance.

Dennis Culloton – the oft-cited Ricketts Family spokesperson – told the Sun-Times only that the Cubs are still “talking exclusively” with the City of Chicago, but that what happens when the clock strikes midnight can’t be guaranteed.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

30 responses to “Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: The Deadline Has Come … And Passed”

  1. Richp

    It just doesn’t seem that Chicago cares if the Cubs move. No sense of urgency at all.

    1. Kyle

      The city just doesn’t find the threat that they might move credible. Because it’s not.

      1. Patrick W.

        I completely agree.

  2. Die hard

    Wait til attendance is down 15% by June 1 before see movement

  3. whiteflag

    I’m hoping the cubs go with the bubble roof BCB is reporting. lol

  4. Indy57

    All the time and energy spent working to get Motorola and Boeing to move a few jobs into the City could be overshadowed by the inability to keep the Cubs in town. Not something the Mayor or the 44th Ward Alderman will want on their Wikipedia pages.

  5. clark addison

    The Cubs do have a hammer. They can close down Wrigley during renovations and play their games in Milwaukee or at the Cell. At least they can threaten to do that. The rooftop owners will cave.

    1. fearbobafett

      Playing at the cell gives them zero added leverage with the city. It will be a negotiated thing with the city to stay in Chicago to play thier games, and we all know that the Sox will not make it convienet for them to do so

      1. Tim

        Yes it does. It will show how badly the Wirlgeyville neighborhood will suffer without The Cubs

  6. Al Spangler

    Move.

    1. TWC

      Hey, Al Spangler, you know what would be awesome? How ’bout this: every time Ace posts an article about the Wrigley renovation, you post a witty one-word response. Say, something really brilliant, like, “Move.”

      Just make sure you do it all the time, and I’m sure you’ll really get your point across. You’ll be super-stealth-like. It’ll be awesome and stuff.

      1. DarthHater

        Sure. Ridicule him for posting one-word responses, so that maybe he’ll post longer ones in the future. Real good. :-P

        1. TWC

          Maybe he’s just shy.

          1. Hansman1982

            I wish you were shy.

  7. Die hard

    What happens to NW football contract if move?

    1. cjdubbya

      Wrigley just becomes the home of the Wildcats? *shrug*

      1. Cheryl

        Wonder how that would suit Rahm and the Rooftop Owners? Anybody know if they’re still talking?

  8. Dan

    Please move please move I spend a grand a year at least at Wrigley my money spends else were and have no problem following the team

    1. caryatid62

      A thousand dollars doesn’t even pay for a single season ticket in the 500 section. I’m pretty sure there’s bigger dollars to be had.

  9. Tom A.

    The Mayor is correct, the Cubs put in place the deadline. They also are very quiet. Quiet does not always mean good. Quiet often means that there is nothing to say. They gave a deadline for the contract and they did not state when they would react to a passed deadline.

    I truly had hope for better that what we seem to be getting related to these negotiations that are being done by the City of Chicago. I simply don’t understand why it takes so long for the City of Chicago to accept a $500 million investment.

    Why can’t it go something like this ? You get your night games and street fairs if you provide suitable parking for 5,000 cars and support an increased police presence. You get permission for your advertising alternatives if you donate and move the scoreboard to a museum and avoid blocking any views until the end of the existing contract. You get your building permits and approvals if you let Mayor Emanuel get a photo op digging into the dirt to start construction. City: Deal ? Cubs: Deal ! City: Deal ! Tunney: Who cares what that greedy guy says ! Bar and rooftop owners: Again, who real cares about these greedy people !

  10. FastBall

    Just got home from the Reds Home Opener. God that was a long game and I had about 30 Molson Canadians today. Saw Charlie Sheen, Nick Lachey and Jimmy Jackson up on the Sky Box. I have to admit that Great American Ball Park is a an awesome stadium to watch a ball game. It’s in my City but I am not a Reds fan. I will say that all the new bars and the downtown parade and everybody starting the partying at 10:30 this morning was a hell of a time. I think the Cubbies are missing out big time. Either fix Wrigley or build a new place with all the fun stuff to do around the park that brings people in early and keeps them late. Wrigleyville has some of that but it has to be upgraded and updated. The experience needs to improve. And the big ass jumbo tron in GAB does take up all of Left Field so the one the Cubs want is on par and they should have it. I watched Poophole drop that easy pop up at least 20 times. :) I gotta think Ricketts wants his ballpark on par with his fellow owners in the division. Everybody has an updated stadium but the Cubs. After midnight it’s going to be difficult to turn the boss man back around. I think the city of Chicago and the 44th Ward needs to drop its pants and give the man what he wants or they are going to be sorry. Does anyone think Ricketts wants to be living in HUD housing when the rest of the guys in MLB are living on the Right Side of the Tracks? * Not talking about neighborhoods just stadiums.

    1. Tom A.

      Glad you had a great time at a newer stadium.

      Two quick questions. (1) How many buildings in the area surrounding the ballpark constructed seating on their roofs to steal views of the game ? (2) How many bar owners were complaining that there was a MLB ballpark drawing patrons to their establishments ?

      I will guess the answer to both is a LOL none !

  11. medler

    David Haugh ‏@DavidHaugh 6m
    Wrigley renovation negotiations between Cubs, city made enough progress to continue discussion Tuesday, according to source close to talks.

    Again…this is getting done. I plan on enjoying my ST in taking the CTA to Wrigley Field…in beautiful Chicago, Illinois….for a long, long time.

  12. medler
  13. gutshot5820

    Just saw an amazing thing on the Washington Post. They have a picture in Super HD and you can zoom in literally on anyone fan in the ballpark,

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/sports/nationals-opening-day-pano/d/?hpid=z1

  14. Stinky Pete

    I think in the end, the Cubs end up giving Chris Carpenter to the Rooftop owners…

    1. MichiganGoat

      But but but they want Rizzo

      1. Stinky Pete

        And Garza, and Castro and on and on….

  15. Doc

    I know the Cubs get a percentage of the revenue that the roof top owners take in. I wonder how honest the owners are with the Cubs. They might be as honest as the folks who count the ballots in a Chicago election. The Cubs should take a hard line on the issue of remodeling verses moving and see if Tom Tunney and his cronies will do the right thing by the Cubs. This should be a business decision and not one based on sentimentality. If the Cubs move out of Wrigley, the roof top owners won’t be the only ones who get hurt. Look at all the restaurants, bars etc. that depend on the fans. Tom Tunney, do you want it in your legacy that you destroyed Wrgleyville?

  16. DONNIE621

    “Move”… economy of words… I like it!

    What’s to say that has not already been said? Time for talking is over… time for action is now!