Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: Tunney and a Cubs Source Essentially Confirm a Deal is Coming

respect wrigleyLast night we learned that, according to Sun-Times sources, a deal on the funding mechanisms needed to make a Wrigley Field renovation happen is coming by Monday, the Cubs’ home opener. That deal is expected to include outfield signage for the Cubs (including a JumboTron), more night games, more concerts, and a new parking garage.

A Cubs source tells Serena Dai of DNAinfo that, yes, a deal is coming by Monday, and, yes, the details in the Sun-Times report are essentially accurate.

Even Tom Tunney, the Alderman for the 44th Ward in which Wrigley Field sits, and who has frequently been seen as the most difficult member of the discussions, was willing to essentially confirm to the Tribune that a deal is coming.

“Can we come to an agreement on additional police, remote parking, additional parking in the neighborhood, community infrastructure improvements, and more night games? Yes, I think we can get there before [Monday],” Tunney told the Tribune at a meeting he requested.

Tunney added that there will be signage in the ballpark, though signs outside of the ballpark – including those on the Cubs’ development of the triangular property just west of the ballpark – are still under discussion. (I can’t blame Tunney on that one, since outward facing signs feel like more of a community issue than anything that takes place inside the ballpark.)

Tunney confirmed that, assuming the Cubs mitigate the community impact by way of increased security and parking, he will support increasing the number of allowable night games at Wrigley Field, as well as more 3:05 starts on Fridays.

You can expect the announcement of a press conference – probably set for Monday, just before or just after the game – soon.

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

39 responses to “Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: Tunney and a Cubs Source Essentially Confirm a Deal is Coming”

  1. Thom

    Nice! Forgive me if this has been discussed somewhere, but assuming everything gets approved, how would the renovation disrupt games played at Wrigley in the coming year(s) if at all? I know there was some discussion at one point about the Cubs possibly needing to play games at Miller Park or The Cell. Now there is a more specific time frame, will the Cubs need to play any games elsewhere?

    1. DarthHater

      You can expect to see more rats on the field during games, as they get evicted from the bowels of the stadium ;-)

      1. Thom

        Don’t eat the “Wrigley Burgers” ;)

      2. Ivy Walls

        Actually that likely might be a small issue and as more structural stripping and redevelopment takes place they will have to find new habitats. One other thought the place has been around for some time, they just might find a Capone or since it was on the northside, O’Banion safe and possibly a tunnel or two.

        1. Cub Style

          I’d expect to see the resurfacing of the crab people as well.

    2. cjdubbya

      The goal has been to do it over five successive offseasons to avoid exactly that. I’m thinking that playing home games at other parks was another card that the Ricketts family had to play, but based on what I’ve inferred, it’ll be done in five offseasons.

  2. aCubsFan

    David Kaplan was on WGN radio this morning saying the agreement is about crossing the ‘T’s’ and dotting the ‘I’s’ at the moment with a few moving parts. He reiterated that the other Ricketts family members wanted to move the team, but Tom didn’t want to be known as the owner to move the team. Kaplan also said the deals from other cities, especially Rosemont, were a gold mines for the Cubs.

    1. Ivy Walls

      There is some cold, capitalist reptile eyes in those Rickett’s family members if this were true. Or they were playing a wicked good cop/bad cop serenade.

      1. Wilbur

        … it is those cold retilian capitalists that make growth happen. God I love a good reptile when you need one …

  3. Brian

    It would seem some of the renovations, expanded club house, batting cage, type things, would be hard to complete during the winter(off) months.

    1. FFP

      I felt the same way in Boston years ago, Brian, but oddly, with enough pre-planning and commitment, this is exactly what was done at Fenway. Nearly all structural problems were fixed, new and better seating was added, comfort (no more ‘troughs’!) was increased; and not a home game was touched by so much as a ‘wet paint’ sign. It can be done. It has been done.

      1. hansman1982

        Ya, you have at least 5 months to get this done. Assuming you can have the crews ready to move into the field once the ump calls the final out, there shouldn’t be too much of a problem, especially when it appears the Cubs are breaking up the work over two offseasons.

        1. Tom A.

          What happens when the Cubs win the World Series in 3 of the next 5 seasons ?

      2. Brian

        Aren’t some of the facilities going underground with this renovation? If so, they will need the weather to cooperate at some point in time.

        1. FFP

          The snow gets shoveled. The superstructure gets wrapped in iron-worker-duty plastic. The architect (here Janet Marie Smith in 2006) wears gloves. And underground stuff is actually the most out of the elements. If ground water is your worry (and it should be), look up what a “fens” is. There were literally live fish swimming into the home dugout at Fenway before the architect and construction workers taught that park a lesson. 539w.jpg

    2. hawkcub

      They did renovate the bleachers in an off season. Can see this done pretty with little problems.

    3. MJ

      Not really the case. The Dodgers just did a massive overhaul of their clubhouse and grandstand, plus adding new video boards over this past offseason. No reason that the Cubs can’t do the same thing.

  4. TheDynastyStartsIn2016

    So the Cubs will be in Wrigley for at least 20 more years? Well, I guess that means I won’t be alive to see a Cubs championship, because Wrigley will never be the Home of A Champion. So sad.

    1. Patrick W.
      1. TheDynastyStartsIn2016

        Thank You. I feel better knowing the Bears are going back to Wrigley.

        1. TheDynastyStartsIn2016

          Can you send me the link to all the Cub’s championships since, let’s say 1914?

          1. Patrick W.

            Dude, it was a joke. You said Wrigley will never be Home of A Champion. Just like that you wrote it… like a title with capital letters and all. The Bears won a championship at Wrigley Field. Of course the Cubs haven’t won one there… but it technically COULD be called the Home of A Champion.

  5. Duffy

    So is there anything that we didn’t get that we wanted out of this deal? What did we “compromise” on? It seems we are getting everything we were asking for… Which is AWESOME!

    1. hansman1982

      The devil will be in the details. Ideally we wanted:

      1. Unlimited access to signage
      2. 6,000 sq ft jumbotron
      3. Unlimited access to night games
      4. Unlimited access to other festivals (concerts, street fairs, other sports, etc…)
      5. Complete removal of the landmark restrictions

      What it does appear that we got, was less than this but at the higher end of what I believed possible in January.

      1. Mrcub1958

        Hans…good summary. As a season ticket holder hopefully we got all of this. Love the 6000′ jumbotron. Late 20th century here we come!

  6. cub nazi

    Ivy Walls
    April 5, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply
    There is some cold, capitalist reptile eyes in those Rickett’s family members if this were true. Or they were playing a wicked good cop/bad cop serenade.

    How about the “Cold Commies in govenment”! Unless YOU are sucking off the public trough as a Govt employee or other… your job was provided by someone who was willing to risk their capital. People that do that deserve to be rewarded not scorned… No profit no job! Unless you work for BIG BROTHER!

    1. TWC

      Wow. Overreact much?

      1. DarthHater

        Nazis usually do. Especially regarding “commies.” :-P

    2. Kev

      Easy… This is not a Tea Party website, and it is in no way affiliated with Glenn Beck or any other rich white dudes whose faces look like canned hams. Go fly your reappropriated Gadsden flag somewhere else.

      1. DarthHater

        g1365180686628948729.jpg

  7. Andy

    My hope is that the Cubs got everything they asked for. I was calling loudly for the Cubs to explore the suburbs, so if the team is staying, let’s hope it wasn’t solely for the stake of staying. If it’s a good deal for the Cubs, that’s great. But if they’re going to need to go back and play this silly game every 5-10 years, I wouldn’t be so sure.

  8. Curt

    Barring post-season baseball how will all this get done in a construction period that’s only 3 months and thsrs being very optimistic unless lots of it is where they can work in bad conditions just asking what canbe done in bad and good weather to avoid any disruption of games.

    1. wvcubsfan

      I would think that much of the renovations (i.e club house, restrooms, etc) could be done no matter what the weather conditions since these areas would be “in the dry” for the entire length of construction.

  9. Clark Addison

    The burbs were off the table, but I’d guess the threat of moving games to the cell or Milwaukee got people’s attention. The Ricketts didn’t make their money by playing softball.

    1. DarthHater

      Now if they would just make some money by fielding a team that can play baseball…

  10. Kevin

    Tom, Look in the mirror and ask yourself “Are you truly happy with this deal?” If you have any hesitation at all, don’t sign.

  11. hawkcub

    Since it seem a deal is going to happen. Part of me is going to miss the OWR Watch. Brett should keep it up. There are countless things he can report. Just imagine J and R construction has been been given the contract to re-do club house and will be installing Kohler shower heads. Even better hearing Beth Murpy’s nephew’s company will be installing the Jumbo-tron and outfield signage.

  12. farmerjon

    Hey Brett, anything on the press release from the RTO calling this a direct violation of the 20 year contract…is it safe to assume a law suit