It the Wrigley renovation story were a trade rumor, it would be Brian Roberts plus Jake Peavy times Matt Garza. And if it were a trade rumor, we’d now be at the point where we’re regarding a Bob Nightengale report suspiciously.
That’s because, after another day of negotiations yesterday, CBS Chicago is reporting that the Chicago Cubs and the important players in the renovation negotiations – the City, the neighborhood, the politicians – are “close” to an agreement on things like in-stadium advertising, a video board, night games, parking, and security, which would then allow the Cubs to proceed with the actual meat of the renovation to Wrigley Field. The report indicates a deal could be done shortly before or after next Monday’s home opener, and sources say all sides are still talking. No details of the agreement are being reported, so I’d think the sources are instead simply relating the tenor of talks as suggesting a deal will get done.
The CBS report also notes that the Cubs plan to build a parking structure one block north of Wrigley Field on property the team already owns, which would alleviate some of the parking-related concerns (and could be an additional revenue generator).
NBC Chicago adds that yesterday’s talks, in its words, “amounted to little more than phone conversations between City Hall and team officials.” That’s actually a very interesting suggestion, because it indicates that (1) a deal probably is very close, if the sides are just having phone conversations on the day the “deadline” passes; and (2) the neighborhood stuff might already be wrapped up if the Cubs are only speaking to the City at this point. Perhaps, having settled signage, video board, night game, concert, and street fair issues with the neighborhood, the Cubs are now simply getting City sign-off on landmark issues, security issues, and parking issues.
Or maybe I’m just getting too optimistic. All signs as of today, however, point to a deal by next week.