respect wrigleyTomorrow, the Plan Commission is expected to pass upon various aspects of the Chicago Cubs’ comprehensive plans to renovate Wrigley Field, build a hotel, and create a plaza area just west of the ballpark. I’ve not read anything yet that indicates that will be anything but perfunctory … but let’s not get cocky. You just never know.

In the interim, tonight, a group of concerned Wrigley neighbors will be gathering at the corner of Clark and Patterson at 6:30pm CT to stage a rally opposing the Cubs’ renovation process. This group of neighbors believes they have been excluded from the process, and want to make sure they are heard before the Plan Commission takes any action tomorrow. You can read more on the rally here (DNAinfo) and here (Crain’s).

A few of you passed along a message from the rally’s organizers, stating their purpose:

YOUR support and your voice are needed to save our streets from being annexed to the Cubs and the area becoming a digital media circus and open container free-for-all.

In other words, it sounds like this rally’s purpose is to focus on the aspects of the renovation plan that are external to Wrigley Field: namely, the hotel and the plaza.

The Cubs plan to include video boards and advertising signage in the plaza and on the hotel, and there has long been a concern in some corners that the area will take on a “Times Square” atmosphere, inconsistent with the neighborhood in which Wrigley sits. From my perspective, the areas we’re talking about – surrounded by Wrigley, bars, shops, and commercial space – don’t really have much of a residential feel in the first place. I understand the concerns, but I see a great deal of upside for the community in having a hotel next to Wrigley, a large athletic club in the hotel, and an open-air plaza for various activities in the heart of Wrigleyville. Maybe that’s Cubs-colored blinders and an outsider’s perspective, but it’s not like I don’t love Wrigleyville. And it’s not like I don’t want to see it unharmed. I just tend to think the Cubs’ proposals for the area are affirmatively good. That they also help the Cubs is a bonus.

I’m told there are pro-renovation group(s) encouraging Cubs supporters to attend the rally and voice their support for the comprehensive renovation plan. I’m not going to encourage you to go or discourage you from going. I’ll only say this: these kinds of situations have a tendency to spiral out of control quickly, and lose sight of the issues. Don’t find yourself on the wrong side of that spiral. If you attend, please consider how your actions and behavior reflect on the issues/entities/people you support. Be respectful. Be positive. Be courteous.

  • Die hard

    If Cubs condemn perimeter streets for mall they may not have to pay much in compensation because would make immediate business area more valuable with increased foot traffic

    • DarthHater

      When did the Cubs obtain the power to condemn property? I thought that was a power belonging to the government (and to railroads in the 19th century). 😛

      • Die hard

        Cubs ‘ask City to’ … Picky picky … Look forward to you not posting tomorrow

        • DarthHater

          Thank you for confirming my correctness. It’s not a picky point, since it highlights the fact that, if the Cubs want to purchase the properties surrounding Wrigley, they can try to directly negotiate a private transaction with the owners, without any need for pointless complications related to condemnation law.

          And don’t get your hopes up about tomorrow…

          • Die hard

            They can’t condemn the streets professor .. To surround the park with a mall would be a tremendous boost to businesses and give Cubs freedom to do what they want except for Jumbotron.. however if they can show owners that its a win win to allow City to condemn abutting streets problem solved

  • MichiganGoat

    Was anyone there tonight that can provide a quick recap?

    • Headscratchin

      I went out to that Wrigley Neighbors web site that has put up posts here several times thinking they might have an update, but it’s a pretty simplistic website and there really isn’t much information there.

  • Mr Ed 73

    I am an outsider from northwest Iowa looking in, and have been a fan since WGN Super Station and Harry Carey came to our cable in 1982. We have also been to Wriggley 2 or 3 times with my kids and 2 or 3 times just my wife and I. We alway had agood time except watching the melt down begin Labor Day weekend 2008. Anyway, since following this renovation thing it seems obvious what the Ricketts family should do. Move the Cubs and the millions of dollars to the suburbs, win the World Series and call it good. And I have been one to believe Wriggley and the Cubs are one.

    • Jono

      Sounds good to me. I just want them to win. Wrigley is great, but the cubs are more important than the park in which they play, whatever that park may be

    • cubs 2003

      I respectfully disagree. I can still remember the first time I went to Wrigley when I was 6. I’m 34 now, and I still get the same feeling every time I walk up the stairs and see the ballpark. The Ricketts family and the City of Chicago need to work this thing out.

      • Scotti

        That’s like saying Tina and Ike needed to “work things out.” Ike BEAT Tina! The Cubs are treated like stepchildren by the city.

        Time to move on. But TR won’t pull the trigger because he’s sentimental about the place. And somehow HE’S the bad guy in this…

        • Hawkeye

          I think people underestimate the draw of Wrigley as it factors into attendence. The last thing I would call Ricketts is sentimental. Shrewd business man is more like it. I don’t think for a second the Cubs would draw like they do with a product like we’ve had the past few years in the suburbs.

          • Jono

            Everyone knows that Wrigley wouldn’t draw as much attendance away from wrigley. But the point is that they might (might) be able to supplement the reduction of attendance from other increased revenues, like ads, more night games (tv revenues). Of course it may not completely make up for the attendance loss, but the Ricketts are billionaires. If I were a billionaire owner of the Cubs, I might move the team out of principle of freedom even if it costs me some pocket change. Having control of your own property is a very important principle

            • Tom A.

              But, if they move and they WON’T, they would move 100’s or 1,000’s of miles away. It is nonsense to talk about them moving.

              • Jono

                Do you have any factual evidence to back that up? Why do you think it will be 100s or 1000s miles away? It’s just your opinion that it’s nonsense. I think it’s reasonable to want control over your own property

            • Jono

              Haha, oops. “…*THE CUBS* wouldn’t draw as much attendance away from Wrigley.” That mistakes just goes to show how connected and I feel the Cubs are to wrigley, yet even I wouldn’t mind them. That’s how annoying the local community has become.

  • Tennessee Cub

    What was the turnout like tonight at Mr. Cub’s statue?

  • Die hard

    If the city condemns the streets they will come to the Wriglley Field of Dreams

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  • Cub Style

    I desperately wanted to go with a boombox and play “Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds You” on replay.