respect wrigleyIn your why-wouldn’t-that-happen update of the day, Alderman Tom Tunney is still working to see changes made to the comprehensive Wrigley renovation and development plan before City Council passes upon it on Wednesday.

According to the Tribune, Tunney sent an email on Thursday evening to his fellow members of City Council saying that unless certain changes were made to the plan, he could not support it before the Zoning Committee on Tuesday (and, presumably, full City Council on Wednesday). Since that’s basically what he said for most of last week, you’re not surprised, right?

Except that at the Plan Commission meeting earlier on Thursday, Tunney publicly said that he no longer had any objections to the project. It stunned everyone – so much so, that we all steeled ourselves against the possibility that he was misunderstood or was playing more games. I can’t say whether one of those things is true, but the Tribune report goes on to say that Tunney would not rule out trying to rally fellow aldermen against the project if the Cubs do not acquiesce to his remaining demands (removing a pedestrian bridge over Clark Street, imposing a 10-year moratorium on outfield signs at Wrigley beyond the two large ones recently approved).

So, what exactly happens now? That’s the thing with the renovation story: you never know. The Zoning Committee will meet tomorrow to hear the plan, and then City Council meets on Wednesday to potentially vote on the entire kit and caboodle. I suppose we’ll get a better sense tomorrow at the Zoning Committee meeting on just how Alderman Tunney plans to proceed. No one expects City Council to do anything but pass the project at the urging of Mayor Emanuel, but it all becomes so much easier and smoother if Tunney is on board.

  • ETS

    Alderman Tunney

    • MichiganGoat


      • ETS

        Well we concisely summed up chicago (or maybe all of the US) politics.

  • cubzforlife

    Ok Tom. This is a 500 million dollar job. Union jobs. Don’t you watch the Soprano’s? Five no work and five no show jobs. And no funny business in the trucks when no one’s watching. That got Vito killed.

    • ETS

      nice reference

  • Indy57

    Not a very savvy move. He is showing his naiveté, which will not bode well for him in future elections. He has proven to be unreliable and erratic in these discussions. Will be interesting to see if he can get re-elected next time around. Perhaps he’ll run on the campaign slogan “Why have one alderman when you can have two? Alderman Tom Tunney: A tool and a Fool for the44th ward.”

    • MichiganGoat

      I actually think the people that vote for him are happy with what he’s done with the renovation. They want their streets quiet at night and uncrowded during the day (even though logic says: living next to a MLB stadium one should expect noise and traffic on game days). So he’s supported their voice and done everything he could to complicate the project. He might be douche but his voters wanted a douche.

  • Ross Wallace

    Fed up with this whole process, Tunney hasn’t stood by his word throughout this. I cannot even attend these meetings anymore for fear I’ll lose it.

    Bottom line. This will pass. The mayor is behind this and will not let it slip through the cracks.

    Tunney not only lost the battle, he’s losing the war too (the respect of voters in the 44th)

  • JulioZuleta

    I posted this on Friday but I’ll be at the Zoning Board hearing tomorrow. I signed the online petition and they called me a few hours later asking me to go and to speak in support of the Cubs (unfortunately declined to speak (Work for a judge, didn’t want to piss anyone off)). Anyways, anyone that can make it should go. 11 am at City Hall.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Clown Tunney is at it again

  • urbanted

    As someone who’s been following closely (but obviously not THAT closely), do we know why people object to the bridge? What’s the downside?

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Tunney “supposedly” doesn’t want the bridge because he thinks fans will throw beer off the bridge on cars in the street

      • Hansman1982

        You’re right. We should close down the bleachers that are elevated above the streets and that sell booze.

        • Hansman1982

          Wow, reply fail.

    • MichiganGoat

      According to Tunney the drunks will be throwing ballistic beer bottles onto the neighborhood.

      • Beer Baron

        Letting drunk baseball fans have access to elevated areas above the streets is dangerous for all involved. That’s why Alderman Tunney is tirelessly leading the effort to get rid of those dangerous rooftops across the street from the ballpark. Thank you Alderman for being consistent in your efforts to protect us all and look out for everyone’s well being!

        • Spriggs

          Destroy all upper decks… and don’t forget the rooftops — SAFETY FIRST!

          • YourResidentJag

            After seeing how violent drunks can get on my dorm floor in college, destroying doors, smashing bathroom mirrors, assaulting people….I’m inclined to agree.

            • YourResidentJag

              I should say could get…because it was in the past.

              • Spriggs

                We are “not here to talk about the past”.

    • CubsFanSaxMan

      I believe that the bridge issue has do to with falling objects (beer and their containers) from said bridge.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      The REAL reason why Tunney doesn’t want the bridge is because the Bridge leads fan into the Cubs new hotel, where there will be a bar and merchandise sold. Tunney is afraid that when games end and fans disperse into the neighborhood (Bars), that those fan’s dollars will be spent in the hotel Bar and on the Hotel merchandise store instead of the surrounding businesses.

      • tniem

        I think this is correct. But, for the neighborhood and good urban design, this is precisely why the bridge should not be allowed. The reason for the city to have the Cubs or a hotel is to bring people to the streets and multiple businesses. Not to allow people to drive into a single unit and not get out into the neighborhood. If you want to see what pedestrian bridges do to an otherwise dense urban space, see Streeterville and the Northwestern Memorial hospital complex. Tunney is right not to want that.

        As a resident of the neighborhood, I have been supportive of the Cubs plans in their surveys, the City’s/neighborhood’s surveys, EXCEPT for the sky bridge. It isn’t a safety thing to me (or likely to anyone else, that seems absurd). This position ensures Lakeview does not just get the traffic issues without the anticipated revenue to neighboring businesses, which should (as many on this site have pointed out) lead to increased property values (or at least not falling). But if all of the revenue goes to the hotel (which it won’t, but a larger portion) and pedestrian traffic declines around events, or hotel-goers only use the office buildings’s shops, the project only gives the bad to the neighborhood—traffic, more late night games, etc.

        The Cubs should do whatever they need to the inside of the park—jumbotrons, ads on the clock, more signs—outside of the stadium, their construction needs to fit in (within the parameters the Cubs need to make the financing of this project work). A hotel without a pedestrian bridge would do that and be a valuable addition to the City/neighborhood, while still providing the Cubs the revenue they need to compete. Sounds like from Crain’s today that is what will happen. I believe the neighborhood will (and should) support that final comprise when it is announced.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      This who’ll bridge issue is Tunney is afraid $’s will be taken away from the surrounding businesses.

    • JulioZuleta

      Covering the bridge seems like a reasonable compromise. No problem with that one.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I don’t think a covered bridge will be as neat. That’s just me talking as a pedestrian.

        • Mr. B. Patient

          Open air covered is fine by me. It rains a fair bit in Chicago. What is miserable is fully enclosed. A fully enclosed bridge feels like a cattle chute. I know that’s a bit of a stretch, but I just don’t think chain link fencing looks cool.

        • D.G.Lang

          The Cubs will be doing a lot of old time Wrought Iron in the Wrigley stadium itself so the same iron tastefully done on a covered bridge should fit right in.

          I don’t think that it would be a problem with aesthetics or even additional cost but more of a problem with Tunney lying and breaking his work while trying to extort even more from the Cubs.

        • JulioZuleta

          I’d *rather* have open air but if Tunney needs a few concessions to sleep better at night, I’m fine with that one. Also, people would throw stuff at cars… Also, if that had been in place for the 2003 playoffs, people may have jumped off.

  • https://twitter.com/WrigleyNbrs Wrigley Neighbors

    Support the Cubs plans for Wrigley Field and the sorrounding area here : http://www.wrigleyfield.com

  • Kevin

    Just how much more will the Ricketts family take from Tunney? At some point they need to move on……… Wrigley Field has such a small foot print …..add the restrictions and you have a 100 old building that can’t create enough revenue to support a competitive team.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I would hope the Ricketts did due diligence and have other options. At some point this has to end. Because of all the BS, it looks like the Jumbotron will not be done this off-season, which means that revenue stream will be delayed by one year.

      I understand the financial benefits of staying at Wrigley, but am not sure it’s as large as we think. If they moved out of the city, they may lose attendance, but they’ll gain advertising dollars, probably get a better tax rate, a club owned parking structure(s), and a lower entertainment tax.

      Like I said, I hope the Ricketts family did their research.

    • JulioZuleta

      At the end of the day, if these things pass it doesn’t matter what Tunney thinks. His only real power in all this is trying to convince the various committees that the whole thing is bad for the neighborhood and they shouldn’t pass it. He can’t actually prevent anything, as far as I know. Rahm has made his position pretty clear, this stuff will pass. Or at least enough will get passed such that it won’t be worth moving.

  • Mike


  • md8232

    So if tunny loses this fight, whats to stop him / clone from starting a lawsuit next year to further delay all projects?

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