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respect wrigleyIf you need a full catch-up on where thing stand with respect to the Wrigley Field renovation project, here’s that catch-up. The very short version is: the Cubs, the Mayor, and Alderman Tom Tunney have agreed on the framework of a deal that will allow the renovations, and will allow the Cubs certain new revenue streams. The particulars of the deal still have to go through the actual approval process, which will include stops at City Council, the Landmarks Commission, and various local Planned Development community meetings.

A couple of those new revenue streams and one of those community inputs are “more night games and more advertising” and “the Southport Neighbors Association,” respectively. And that association isn’t keen on giving the Cubs the 40 night games and additional late Friday starts that they’re looking for, nor are they crazy about the advertising plans the Cubs have conceived (which includes a large new hotel, which will bear some advertising).

Jill Peters, the President of the SNA, seems to oppose every part of the renovation plan, per a report from the Sun-Times, though I suppose that’s hyperbole. Specifically, Peters finds anything more than 37 total night events to be excessive (connecting night events to drinking (yes), property damage (probably), robberies (eh), shootings (no, no) and home invasions (I find that connection very hard to believe)). She also questions the size of the proposed hotel, which she says will actually be considerably larger than 91 feet when you consider an additional structure the Cubs will put on top, per drawings she was shown. (I’m not sure what the structure would be – Peters described it as “tiara-style crown” – but I’d guess it would be advertising related.) Peters also opposes moving the Wrigley outfield walls outward, a move motivated in part to help reduce the impact on the rooftops, because of the traffic implications.

The Sun-Times piece has more details and is worth a read. While I doubt that this particular set of objections will derail anything, it is a reminder that this community process won’t be smooth sailing. I don’t think the Mayor or Alderman Tunney would have announced a “deal” with the Cubs if they didn’t plan to help push the Cubs’ plan through, however, so I tentatively expect that they will be on the Cubs’ side. The Cubs will take input from the community groups, and will likely compromise on the margins of their plan.

As for core elements like the night games – in noting that the Cubs are seeking only 40 night games, Cubs VP of Communications made sure to point out that the MLB average is 54 games – and the hotel, however, I doubt the Cubs are going to bend too much. I suspect that they already bent considerably in the months-long conversations with the Mayor and the Alderman just to get to this point.

  • Die hard

    Here’s my legal 2 cents— if the city would exercise eminent domain over Wrigley hotel site et al including air rights over Wrigley which includes sight lines from roof tops and do a legal taking and then have court set fair value of whole package which city would pay out to affected owners incl Ricketts then city owns all and then can lease back to Ricketts— problem solved

    • mak

      Yea, I’m sure that wouldn’t cost the city 100’s of millions in legal fees.

    • JB88

      If that’s the sort of legal advice you dispense, you must pay an arm and a leg in malpractice insurance.

  • Chad

    You don’t want to deal with Cubs/Wrigley traffic then don’t live by Wrigley. I mean really can it be any more simple than that?

    • Featherstone

      But they want the rising property values! Gah, is it really to much to ask to have my cake and eat it too?!

  • Mrcub1958

    Brett, reading your earlier well written piece on Theo, and now, yet another report on an upset parasitic neighbor, you gotta wonder goes through Theo’s mind. You thought Boston was tough? Get a load of this deep dish mess. I’m thinking we’re hearing frustration from all sides from his comments.

    • Noah

      I’d bet one advantage with Boston would have been that Boston proper is tiny in comparison to Chicago. Way less people to appease.

  • fortyonenorth

    I’d be curious how many members of the Southport Neighbors Association lived here 20-30 years ago. Back then, Wrigley-area residents had a more realistic view of what living there entailed. As the area has gentrified, you have “new” residents who want Oak Park, but with the convenience and culture of the city.

    • Joe N

      I agree. This has the feel of someone who moved in and then wants the neighborhood to conform to the way that they envision it. I would venture a guess that there are fairly few people that lived around Wrigley prior to 1988. It’s like they expect time to stop for them and them alone.

      It’s just like people moving next to O’Hare and then complaining about the noise. I have a similar question for both of these types of people. What did you expect that you were going to get?

      These people need to have a wakeup call from the 21st Century.

  • Richp

    Please just move already.

  • ChicagoDawg

    As a southport neighbor, this is all complete horse crap. Crime: home invasions, robberies and sexual assaults have increased in the seven years that I have lived here and it has nothing to do with Wrigley. Southport went from a polished turd version of Clark to a high end boutique, Gap and sushi bar filled street which means more people with more money attracting the degenerates who victimize the upper middle class. Losers are not coming to this neighborhood to rob drunken cubs fans in from Iowa or Mchenry Co. They want the stay at home house mom, Depaul students and D.I.N.K. (dual income no kids) that pour from southport establishments 365 days a year. Yes I get idiots banging around after Cubs games throwing trash and peeing in my yard, but these folks have been here and will continue to be here if the Cubs are good or bad, play during the day or night, or have a hotel next door. Honestly, Parking is easier durning night games because the streets are permit parking only. Add a couple of parking enforcement people and out of towners will quickly learn they cant expect to park on the streets. When I come home at 430 after a 120 game it is tough to find a spot because the street parking is free until 6pm and suburbanites are still in the stadium. Get with it.

    • Eternal Pessimistic

      I think I peed in your yard…and thanks for understanding!

      • ChicagoDawg

        My dog sits on the corner of our yard on Racine and greets each Cub fan as the pass. No doubt you have shared an Old Style inspired piss!

  • Derrek

    The arguments from the neighbors are getting old. I live in Lakeview, just a few blocks east of Wrigley. I chose the neighborhood because I thought “sweet, I can go to like every single Cubs home game. Superfan.” Well, it is a great neighborhood and I have taken advantage of a few Cubs games but the charm quickly wears off. My main problem is traffic. I hate traffic… a lot. I usually plan around the start and end of a Cubs game to get where I need to go. I’ve come to accept the fact that red line trains are going to be sardine cans on game days. Sometimes it’s a nuisance but I chose my own fate. That’s what the other neighbors of Wrigley need to digest. Despite the burdens games create, there are times when I approach Wrigley and I just think to myself “Whoa, living the dream”.

    My relator cautioned me before I bought my place that there are “implied inconveniences” with moving into the Wrigleyville area. So basically, this should not strike anyone as shocking.

  • Tommy

    Does anyone else find the demand for no more than 37 night games a little ridiculous, when the actual amount being requested is 40? Is 3 games really going to make that big of a difference?

    Something tells me Ms. Peters just wants to get her name in the news.

    Either way, I’m about sick of these neighborhood associations. These people moved into Wrigleyville knowing full well the Cubs were there, more than likely make a nice little profit because of the Cubs being there, yet they do everything they can to make life difficult for the Cubs. Yes, I realize there may be some good reasons for their demands, and understand that it’s their right. I just think it’s got more to do with money and politics than it does with the wants and needs of the people in the neighborhood.

  • Die hard

    If the Bears would have stayed in Wrigley then the City would’ve been more interested in making this the best complex in the country by using eminent domain to take out a few square blocks around site— maybe tonites draft will bring Bears luck

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