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respect wrigleyPerhaps there is a tone-deafness that can be perceived only outside of the community in which the galling statements occur. Or perhaps, as outsiders – to the city or the neighborhood or the political process – we are unable to understand the forces animating the ostensibly odd things that people say.

Alderman Tom Tunney, whose ward includes Wrigley Field, and who has been an extremely visible voice in the excruciating process to allow the Ricketts Family to fund the renovation of Wrigley and a surrounding development project, wants everyone to know that he’s now pushing the Cubs to get the renovation underway. You read that correctly: the project that ground to a screeching halt over the course of 2013 in large part because of political intransigence is now being kicked in the ass by the most prominently involved member of that political machine.

Tunney spoke with the Sun-Times, criticizing the Cubs for failing to start the renovations that City Council approved earlier this year. Tunney believes the Cubs should have already secured the necessary permits and started work, something the Cubs have indicated they are not yet ready to do. The hold-up is the Cubs’ fear that the rooftop owners will sue – potentially shutting down construction and injecting the uncertainty (and time-suck) that necessarily accompanies a lawsuit – as soon as they begin constructing outfield signage.

Tunney responded that any dispute between the Cubs and the rooftops is none of his concern, and the Cubs should nevertheless start renovating Wrigley. This is, of course, disingenuous, because Tunney knows that the money to finance the renovation and development project – no public dollars, Alderman – is coming predominantly from the erection of two large outfield signs. Tunney also knows that those signs have been the subject of a long-standing dispute between the Cubs and the rooftop owners – the very owners on whose behalf Tunney worked so hard throughout the sparring in the run-up to the renovation deal in the first place.

The temerity Tunney shows in taking such a public position would be shocking to me if he hadn’t already shown it before.

In that regard, then, nothing here is a surprise. It is technically correct that construction at Wrigley Field could begin at any time. There is nothing stopping the Cubs, the rooftops frequently point out, from working on the seating bowl, the roof, the bathrooms, the interior amenities, the player facilities, etc. The rooftops would not sue to stop the Cubs from putting in a new set of batting cages. But the Ricketts Family is understandably concerned about writing huge construction checks before they know for certain that their revenue-generating signs will not be blocked legally.

Between Tunney’s remarks, and a report last week that the Mayor’s Office is assisting with some of the Cubs’ lingering concerns, at least attention on the renovation – and the stalling thereof – is ratcheting back up. The Cubs have communicated in various ways, however, that they do not expect to begin any substantial portion of the renovations this offseason, instead focusing on basic structural/electrical work. The hope was that new player facilities – badly needed player facilities – would be in place for the 2014 season.

  • FullCountTommy

    Can this clown go away already?? I’m going to move to Lakeview so I can vote for whoever runs against him in 2015

  • Blackhawks1963

    The Ricketts are smart business people. Of course they shouldn’t sink a dime into the proposed $500 M renovation project until they have legal guarantees that those rat bastard rooftop owners won’t sue them. Tom Tunney needs to have the conversation with Beth Murphy and the other rooftop extortionists. And seriously, why does Rahm Emanuel allow this tinpot dictator Tunney to even function?!? Just proves once again the corrupt and slimy reality of how things work in Chicago politics.

    • Jon

      It doesn’t get any worse than the liberals in “Crook County”

      • ETS

        Aren’t they who run the country? [/tongue in cheek]

      • Jim L

        They may be Democrats but they’re not liberals.

        • TOOT

          Yea. As onybody stopped to think the GOP has an extremist right(Tea Party) and Dems don’t? Wouldn’t that make the Tea Party terrorist in entity? Yikes!

      • caryatid62

        If you think the Democrats in Cook County are liberals, you need to spend more time studying the political spectrum.

        Democrats in Cook County have been far from liberal for a very long time, going back to before the days of Anton Cermak.

        Liberals aren’t in favor of selling public land (the Skyway, Parking Meters) to private companies.

        Liberals also aren’t in favor of closing public schools and opening charter schools in their place.

        There are many more examples in this vein, but the point is simple: The term “Democrat” in Cook County is an organizing title, not a philosophical ideal. City politics are VERY different from national politics.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      “And seriously, why does Rahm Emanuel allow this tinpot dictator Tunney to even function?!? ”

      Because no politian is powerful enough to get rid of, or reform, the Alderman system. I’d imagine Mr. Emanuel would love to, as it would directly increase his power.

    • 1060Ivy

      What has occurred since the exchange of team information for the Cubs purchase till the announcement plans that would make the Ricketts, or Cub fans, believe that the Ricketts’ course of action regarding the renovations has been the most expedient and efficient?

      It’s been clear that Wrigley required major renovations for well over a decade.

      If the Ricketts are soo damn smart, why did they begin the planning process before gaining assurances from the rooftop folks that they wouldn’t sue?

      • Scotti

        “If the Ricketts are soo damn smart, why did they begin the planning process before gaining assurances from the rooftop folks that they wouldn’t sue?”

        Because without the other assurances the Cubs have no leverage with the rooftops. Now they have the City with 500,000,000 reasons to help persuade Beth Murphy and Friends to play nice and reasonable. How would you get the rooftops to agree to not sue before you had the mayor on board?

      • bbmoney

        Kind of hard to get those assurances if you don’t have plans to show them exactly what’s going to happen.

  • Peter

    Again, may Tunney be gunned down in a drive by and fucks like beth murphy and the other leech sucking rooftop whores have there building collapse on them. It would be a bonus if the rubble burned too.

    • ETS

      I think this is a little over the top. If they just would let the Cubs do what they want to the stadium they own then I would be happy.

    • OCCubFan

      Lots over the top.

    • Patrick W.

      Disgustingly over the top.

      • Jon

        I lol’d. HARD

    • TWC

      Hey, Petey, ‘member when your last death wish was deleted from the site? Yeah, it’s about to happen again. Quit being a dick.

      • Jon

        Maybe someday, Brett will let you be a site admin.

      • Jeff

        Hilarious!!! TWC asking someone else not to be a dick…..that was just too funny.

        • King Jeff

          Wishing death on people takes being a dick to a whole new level, and supporting that in any way reflects on the type of person you are.

          • Geo

            Relax there Jesus oh holy one!

          • Jeff

            I was not defending the OP in his comments in any way, I was pointing out TWC’s usually snarky attitude on here.

            Frankly., neither of their opinions are appreciated and neither is yours, you have no idea of the type of person I am, so keep your opinions of that to yourself.

            People seem to have a hard time discussing simply the “Chicago Cubs” on here without turning it into personal attacks.

            I am tired of this crap and your post just inflames the issue, hence my post.

            Let it go with the personal attacks and keep it about the Cubs.

            If TWC wouldn’t always act like a pompous ass in how he treats other people’s comments on here, he never would have gotten called out in the first place.

            • TWC

              “…I was pointing out TWC’s usually snarky attitude on here.”

              Pretty pompous of you to point that out, don’cha think? Kinda makes it look like you’re talking down to people. Careful with that — you don’t want to get a reputation.

              • Jeff

                hard to top you buddy :)

              • YourResidentJag

                Well you took the time to respond, so what do that say about you defending your turf? I’d conclude just as pompous.

                • Jeff

                  So constantly seeing one poster antagonizing or disparaging other posters in a rude manner and calling him out on it makes me pompous?????

                  nice!!

                  • YourResidentJag

                    Wasn’t responding to you…so unclear what you’re talking about???

                    • Jeff

                      Sorry YRJ,

                      it’s sometimes hard to follow the flow of reply’s…my bad

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Here we go again… another poster being overly sensitive becomes somebody made them sad or didn’t agree with them. My or my how quickly this site has become a sensitivity clinc… toughen up kids or find a My Little Pony site to entertain your fragile egos.

                    • Frankfort Dave

                      A unicorn site would be awesomer then My Little Pony

                    • TWC

                      Too bad Darth killed all the unicorns.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      I’m just awaiting for Darth’s epic my little pony pic… waiting… waiting… waiting…

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Hey, Bronies can be VICIOUS…..

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      [img]http://static3.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/fluttershy+is+truly+a+vicious+pony+_b0b713fa6a37ec25c066f140d4615f2f.gif[/img]

                    • DarthHater

                      [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3727/10192616614_841858b06e_n.jpg[/img]

                    • Pat

                      Or maybe the fact that people keep requesting TWC stop being a total douchebag is less about their sensitivity, and more about the fact that he is a douche in most of his posts.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      You know Pat, you may be onto something ;)

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Also, that’s my reputation: you can’t have it!

              • Peter

                You’re a douchebag TWC, get a job.

            • On The Farm

              “Frankly., neither of their opinions are appreciated and neither is yours, you have no idea of the type of person I am, so keep your opinions of that to yourself.”

              So are their opinions not appreciated because they differ from yours? I just wonder who put you in charge of determining what poster’s opinion matters? Seems like you can have opinions on TWC, but when someone makes an opinion of you, you get defensive. Interesting.

              • Jeff

                Peter wanted to see people die and TWC in his usually snarky attitude told him to stop being a dick.

                Yep, I don’t like the one’s opinion or the way the other reacts,….there has to be a better way to react to someones opinions??

                I don’t agree with Peter’s comments, but I’d ask him to politely reconsider his thought process and comments he posts in the future, It’s simply inflammatory to call him a dick which is what TWC does so well.

                But that’s what so many on here live to do, drop snarky comments because they live for the verbal assault. Good luck with that kind of attitude in your life.

                King Jeff, must have assumed I agreed with Peter’s comments and threw me under his bus, not cool.

                The fact we live in a “free” country allows us the ability to carry on a “civil” debate, let’s keep it civil.

                So let’s stop calling people dicks.

                • TWC

                  “Peter wanted to see people die and TWC in his usually snarky attitude told him to stop being a dick.”

                  That’s 100% accurate. I stand by it. Is a death wish — even a hyperbolic one — really worth, in your words, “a ‘civil’ debate”?

                  “So let’s stop calling people dicks.”

                  Then stop acting like one.

                  • Jeff

                    TWC, classy as usual…

                    Your are the resident expert on Dicks…aren’t you???

                    • TWC

                      Ah, gay jokes… the last refuge of the 7th grader.

                  • miggy80

                    [img]https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/377626880/h331521D4/[/img]

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Sorry, mig. Only you will know what you were posting about.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      It was deserved.

                    • miggy80

                      That’s okay. While everybody was tied up in this post, I think everybody missed my BN Banana hammock wager.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Quite bringing it up. That image was hard enough to clear the memory banks the first time.

                      [img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v206/nynoah/BannaHammock.jpg[/img]

                    • miggy80

                      They hire Martinez, and I swear I’ll do it!

                • Frankfort Dave

                  Would “Richard” be more appropriate?

                • On The Farm

                  “The fact we live in a “free” country allows us the ability to carry on a “civil” debate, let’s keep it civil.”

                  Yeah because telling people that their opinions don’t matter really seems civil.

                  Also you left a little gem in your first post you get defensive: “People seem to have a hard time discussing simply the “Chicago Cubs” on here without turning it into personal attacks.” When your first post in the thread :

                  “Hilarious!!! TWC asking someone else not to be a dick…..that was just too funny.” Was clearly a shot at TWC. It’s kind of funny you preach being civil and how people live for verbal attacks, yet when TWC said something you couldn’t wait to jump in.

                  • Jeff

                    That’s because it gets old seeing the same people like TWC with the same snarky attitude always acting like they have the only opinion that matters on here.

                    Your one of those people too, you’ve bashed my comments before just so you could argue your opinions, so your not a very good one to act so innocent.

                    • mjhurdle

                      Ya! how dare you disagree with Jeff. You should be ashamed On The Farm!!!

                    • MichiganGoat

                      And its equally frustrating and annoy seeing some people cry anytime somebody disagrees with their opinion start to demand that people treat them with marshmallows and sunshine.

                      Jeff is your skin this thin? Is it this hard for you to just laugh it off, walk away, or respond with little fun snark. This running to mommy game is quite… childish?

                    • On The Farm

                      I am not preaching we be civil and acting all high and mighty, and then contradicting myself, but whatever.

                      If I have “bashed” your comments I appologize. For the record, I don’t think I have ever said you are wrong and I am right when addressing your comments, so to act like I try and come off as my opinion is the only one that matters is false. I have god given right to disagree with you, if you don’t like it convince me otherwise, that is the whole point of a discussion. While I may have a strong opinion I respect that others may be right, may know more than I do. Nice try to act all innocent yourself when I all I was pointing out is how you were saying we all need to be civil, and yet you started this all by calling TWC out. You could have just let it go. You could have chalked it up to TWC being TWC and ignored it. You had no right to call him out other than to verbally attack him. If he was doing something against the site’s rules, Brett would have said something. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean what TWC is doing is wrong, and believe it or not someone might think its funny.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Oh my Jeff is sad… need a hug buddy

                  • Jeff

                    Depends, when’s the last time the goats had a bath??? No hugs from an unclean goat.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Especially one who reeks of beer. :)

                    • MichiganGoat

                      BEER IS MY BATH… I’M FERMENTED IN DELICIOUS IPA, MY HIDE IS A TRIPLE IPA OF GREATNESS!

          • Geo

            Relax there Jesus !

      • YourResidentJag

        By dick, you mean whiskey dick, right?

        • ssckelley

          ohhhhh, that was good!

          and funny :D

    • Hee Seop Chode

      Careful what you wish for. If it happened, you’d now be a suspect.

  • CubChymyst

    Maybe the stall on renovations is a tactic for the Cubs to get a few more concessions. The politicians of Chicago got the feather in their hat with getting the Cubs to finance the whole project. However, with no visible reminder the voters will soon forget so the politicians what this started as soon as possible. Still would be nice to get the players sections (locker room and batting cages) updated, but I am guessing it is cheaper to do the whole renovation at once instead of bit by bit.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      This. Everyone was holding out during the approval process for every last item and issue. Now that they’re approved, the Cubs finally have the upper hand in negotiations.

  • Boogens

    Brett, this is an extremely well written article. I sincerely appreciate how well you pull these articles together.

    Not sure if I can say anything new about Tunney that hasn’t been previously covered here in BN. To be stuck in this kind of quagmire, with this cast of characters (Tunney, Murphy, etc.) is truly a Cubbie occurance.

  • OCCubFan

    The rooftops and Tunney would love the Cubs to do expensivve interior upgrades so as to lock them into staying, Then they can sue and otherwise harrass the Cubs.

    The Cubs should do the signs first. Only after that is locked in should they spend money on other things.

    • MichiganGoat

      Exactly and the plan was that the sign would already be in construction if not already done so that they can start to have bidders on the sponsorships and ads that would fund the rest of the remodel. I promise you the rooftops wouldn’t spend a dime on their business if they felt the threat of a lawsuit shutting them down. I do wonder how long this can continue before Ricketts start to drop hints or even talk about moving away from Wrigley. At this point I’d love to see them make plans to have no home games next year so they can do the complete remodel in one season and then when the rooftops panic they force them to sign a no-suit agreement to keep the Cubs at Wrigley. As long as the Cubs play games at Wrigley the rooftops have no reason to give into the Cubs demands.

      As for Tunney I wonder if he has made some promises to construction companies about getting bids/jobs for the remodel and now he is feeling pressure since he can’t fulfill his promises. Cubs need to hold strong and start playing nasty to get things their way, we’ve been bent over for too long.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Unfortunately, games away from Wrigley in the Short term would not provide the answer.

        Fewer would make it to the south side to see the cubs, and that would not provide enough disincentive to the city of Chicago, since they would still get a lot of revenue for it. Going to Milwaukee won’t provide the same revenue (they have their own fans).

        I think their are three options left:

        1. Put up the signs and take the risk of lawsuits, but I think this is too risky w/ the Chicago political machine (including judges) likely to punish the Cubs.
        2. Don’t put up the signs (or put up smaller, temporary signs that will not block the rooftop views until their agreement is up – giving some revenue boost, and then replace them w/ the full size signs they originally wanted which will block the rooftop views and finally kill the parasitic rooftop beast).
        3. Have honest conversation about building an alternative stadium, duplicating Wrigley field…but much better, outside of Chicago (Rosemont, Arlington Heights, other??) and truly consider the possibility, calculate the revenue boost and see if it is worth it. In this scenario they can move their minor league team to the Wrigley facility for 20 years and possibly move back if Chicago is ready to reconsider.

        Maybe a fourth option is to threaten #3 and move to #2 if you really have no intention of entertaining a move at all. It is time to play hardball with a city full of politicians that don’t really appreciate what the Cubs are offering.

    • CubbieBubba

      Exactly! The signs are the most important part. They’re really what help hitters get warmed up, anyways.

  • cavemencubbie

    Dear Tom;

    Never, ever, trust a politician!

  • Evan

    Tunney almost makes Congress look good.

  • Dustin Smith

    My question though is how do the Cubs get to the point of being guaranteed that none of the rooftops will sue? It seems a bit like pushing a rope. Basically anyone can sue anytime for any reason. So are the Cubs waiting for the rooftops to sign a waiver stating they can’t sue? If so, it would seem difficult to get that. If most of the rooftops sign a waiver but a handful don’t, will the Cubs still hold up the major renovations? What if rooftops “promise” not to sue, but won’t sign a waiver?

    In the end I imagine the Cubs will eventually accept some lawsuit risk and will move the major sign-dependent renovations forward, but the line to reach that point is still very hazy.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      They could sign a new agreement w/ parameters within which they will not sue making any other lawsuits far less likely to occur. The rooftops could also ask for an extension of their agreement for allowing the signs to go up and partially obstructing their view. I would be the Cubs could go for something like that.

  • iowacubs

    Ricketts knows as soon as he invests $1 into any renovations the “WE WILL MOVE” card is no longer a card he can play, he would basically be at the mercy (time wise) of a pending rooftop lawsuit. I just wish that idiot Tunney would shut the hell up already!

  • beerhelps

    Man, Tunney really brings out the best in us BN’ers. Emotions run a little high in here at times when a little politics gets sprinkled in.

    • Good Captain

      Politicians make lawyers look good.

  • Leroy K

    The issue is never complete—even when we think it’s complete.

  • Kramden

    This has evolved into a circus with all clowns.,,,

    First Tunney didn’t want the Cubs to move forward… but now he does.

    First Ricketts wanted to move forward,….but now he doesn’t.

    What gives with these people?

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’ve talked about this subject with a friend of mine who is a corporate real estate partner with a major national law firm. He tells me that the Ricketts are absolutely doing the the right thing. It is not in their interest to plow a dime into the $500 M renovation until ALL legal hurdles have been overcome. Until an agreement is in place with the rooftop owners the threat exists that they could get a court injunction that could halt construction in its tracks and create a multi-year and very expensive nightmare in court. The Ricketts FINALLY have the leverage. It’s up to the city of Chicago to get these rooftop owners to play ball.

    And another thing being lost here is that the planned for renovation project has always been a 5 year phased process. Renovation work is going to be done in piecemail fashion during 5 consecutive offseasons. It doesn’t happen all at once to be perfectly clear on that point.

    • Napercal

      The Ricketts are doing the right thing by waiting until all hurdles are cleared. However, they completely screwed-up the politics at the outset and set the project back by two years.

      • Kramden

        Absolutely the Ricketts are doing the right thing. It’s pretty obvious that Tunney and those that are lining his pockets are trying their best to maneuver Ricketts into a corner.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “And another thing being lost here is that the planned for renovation project has always been a 5 year phased process. Renovation work is going to be done in piecemail fashion during 5 consecutive offseasons. It doesn’t happen all at once to be perfectly clear on that point.”

      Are there folks who aren’t clear on that point?

    • Headscratchin

      But do the Ricketts really have the leverage? The way it sets now, the rooftops still have unobstructed views, they can still sell their tickets and beer, and they are still in business. Why wouldn’t they be happy with Ricketts doing nothing right now? I’m sure they’ve figured out that non extension is coming so when the contract ends the gig is up. Seems like they would be perfectly happy right now. I’m sure they wish the Cubs didn’t suck so they could sell more tickets and beer, but aside from that, what is their rush to start construction?

      Which makes Tunney’s comments even more baffling!

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Stunning comments. I love the “we rolled out the red carpet for them”. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried, nobody would believe you. Not surprising, Tunney also lies, when he says the Cubs said they would be starting at the end of the season. Just the opposite, the Cubs said they were not doing anything until the litigation threat had been removed.
    I mentioned last week, I was told that the Cubs had resigned themselves to the fact that the whole thing was a cluster eff. They will get through season ticket sales season, and start entertaining other options. Of which there are some lucrative ones.
    If anything, the Cubs have certainly positioned themselves to avoid any blowback from moving. The “we didn’t really have any choice” card plays quite well at this point.

  • RoughRider

    Didn’t you mean The Duplicitous and Disingenuous “Alderman Tom Tunney” ?

  • Stu

    The Cubs don’t have to do anything that is not in their financial interest. The rooftop owners can’t be idiots either in that if the Cubs keep trotting out a bad product every year, that THEIR revenue will be cut also.

    It seems like at some point all parties will have killed the Golden Goose: the loyal Cub Fan who shells out the 3rd highest ticket price. It would be interesting if the garbage continues on the field for the next few years how all of sudden the 2 sides will magically figure it out as the “pie of money” gets smaller, smaller,…..

  • http://BleacherNation.com Dean

    Why the hell can’t the affected rooftop owners just raise the height of their bleachers if they want to see over the news signage that damn bad?

    • Northside Neuman

      Ever hear of zoning laws.

  • mr.mac

    Is it possible that Tunney is the most ridiculous human ever? What world does this guy live in?!

  • Kurt

    Interesting how politics are verboten, on this board, concerning the messiah in the white house; yet politics that skewer the Cubs are embraced, no matter how vitriolic.

    Oh hypocrisy, what a beautiful hand maiden you are…when you’re our hand maiden.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Politics in the White House – and your childish characterizations thereof – have nothing to do with the Cubs. This is a site about the Chicago Cubs.

      • Kurt

        And all the politically correct “fair handmaidens” speak.

        I’m not nearly as castrated or feminized by the politically correct on this board that are so racially cowed by the color of a man’s skin that they would use personal attacks “your childish characterizations” to quell discussion, not unlike the technique that a famous local alderman uses against the Cubs.

        What a shock though, double speak from the ex-laywer and his merry band of sycophant Stepford wives when it comes to the hypocrisy of their own personal pick and choose politics.

        Tunney is white so it’s open season by the weak-kneed.

        • On The Farm

          “What a shock though, double speak from the ex-laywer and his merry band of sycophant Stepford wives when it comes to the hypocrisy of their own personal pick and choose politics.”

          There is a difference between pick and choose politics, and discussing what is relevant to the Chicago Cubs. The color of our President’s skin has nothing to do with the Cubs, nor does the the government shutdown. If I wanted to discuss government shutdown, Obamacare, whatever, I would go to CNN, Wall Street Journal, and express my views in the comments over there. Tunney is being attacked by Cubs fans because they see him as the reason for holding the renovations back. If Obama or Congress were the reason Wrigley Field wasn’t getting renovated, it would be a different story. But the truth is discussing Washington politics has not relevance to this site.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Huh, I always thought we just stayed away from politics in general unless it effected the Cubs. Silly me I guess.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          What a bizarre outburst.

          • On The Farm

            “Politics in the White House … have nothing to do with the Cubs. This is a site about the Chicago Cubs.”

            Clearly doublespeak from an ex-lawyer.

        • frank

          Why don’t you just stick to something relevant? Like, oh, I don’t know–how about the Cubs?

        • Brains

          This is far more ludicrous than my facetious Sammy Sosa comment. I still think he was great though.

        • caryatid62

          This post is awesome. It’s 3 different kinds of looney tunes (the trifecta of political paranoia, persecution complex, and conspiracy theory) wrapped into one. Well played.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Think Kurt. Possibly because the President of the United States and the operation of the Cubs have nothing to do with each other.
      Versus a local alderman who is obstructing and harassing the Cubs from operating their team. Relevancy.

      • AB

        Kurt’s too busy and important to waste time on common sense.

    • Myles

      Not sure why you’d come to a Chicago Cubs blog to talk about your views on politics in the White House.

  • macpete22

    Can’t the Cubs start with the clubhouse? It’s not like the rooftop owners will sue because the Cubs renovated the clubhouse

    • Good Captain

      True but it’s a sign to the rooftops that they hold the final trump card, right or wrong.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Macpete,

      If you have been following this blog for any period of time you would probably realize that once the Cubs sink a bunch of money into Wrigley they lose all their leverage (moving becomes less viable). While I would prefer they stay, I don’t really want them to stay if it chokes off a lot of the potential for future team success.

      Less revenue = a poorer product on the field. Every million they spend on Wrigley is a million they can’t spend on a new facility somewhere else. They won’t/shouldn’t spend anything (100% from their money/assets) until they get what they need.

  • Drew

    Can’t the Cubs say, “Look, we need to renovate and the renovations MAY impact the product you are stealing form us. Yes, we know you are paying us 17% of your revenue, but given the potential impact of our renovations, we are waiving that 17% fee for the remainder of the contract”.

    I am not a lawyer, I’m sure there are other aspects of their Rooftop agreement. But wouldn’t this be a good faith move? The revenue from the rooftops cannot be that great?

  • Jon

    Why is Aldernman Tunney so anal about all of this?

    • When the Music’s Over

      Because politicians only truly worry about the next election cycle, and the best way to ensure reelection is campaign dollars, and the best way to ensure campaign dollars is to support the people that give you the most of them. However, he also can’t completely ignore the actual voters, who want a stadium renovation to get done, so he plays both sides, regularly contradicting himself. It’s shady political manuevering 101 at it’s best.

    • John

      I think he is still looking out for the rooftop owners. The rooftops know that once their contract ends the Cubs are never to going to sign another deal with them. They have 9 years to make all of the money they can. The rooftop owners think they can win a lawsuit and collect damages from the Cubs for breaching their contract. In their mind this might be the best way to maximize their revenue. The only problem is that the Cubs haven’t started any construction so they haven’t breached any deal. Seem like Tunney is making noise in an effort to get the Cubs started and essentially trigger the impending lawsuit.

      • Funn Dave

        You’re suggesting Tunney not look out for his constituents?

        • John

          I don’t think it is particularly wise for him to pit one group against the other which is pretty much all he has done throughout this process. His job as an alderman should be to look at the bigger picture and exhibit some semblance of leadership. Instead he has chosen to back up a few parasites who have donated to his campaigns for years.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I would suggest Tunney’s behavior has more to do with corruption (helping out his favorite campaign donor) then helping out his constituents (a 500 million dollar, self-pay project in his ward, from the wards largest employer that will benefit many local businesses, help property values, employ locals and enhance the area in general).

          He occasionally had a point (maybe the hotel entrance shouldn’t be on a residential street), but generally was out for the rooftops at the expense of his constituents. Hope he is voted out on the next go-round.

          • Funn Dave

            You guys are probably right. I’m just saying that technically, it is his job to look out for the rooftop owners. But if he’s doing so at the expense of his larger consituency, or if he’s giving them preferential treatment because they’re campaign donors, then he is in the wrong.

  • B

    Shouldn’t the conversation in principle be fairly simple? The Cubs tell the rooftops they have to agree not to sue, and if you they are unwilling to agree to that, the Cubs will tell them that there is no chance they will renew the contract at its expiration, and will additionally ensure the views are completely blocked at that time.

    I understand that is 9 or 10 years out still, but wouldn’t the rooftops want to ensure they are not guaranteed going out of business then? Again, if that is not enough, then put the pieces together to also condense the construction time-line, and play in Milwaukee / the south side for a season. It would seem crazy to me for the rooftops to not agree to a waiver if that is the alternative.

  • DanChicago

    I know one of the rooftop owners who owns 3 rooftops in left field. He said when Ricketts bought the Cubs they went on a vacation together and are good friends. However, while on that vacation Ricketts told him that he would eventually own all of the rooftops and that his time is numbered as an owner. He said the writing is on the wall, he only has maybe 5 years left and the Cubs will own all of the rooftops.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Hmmm…I heard Rickett’s was very smart (and believe it), but yet he is telling a rooftop owner that he will one day own all the rooftops, which essentially bids up the prices (if you want the rooftops you will have to buy them from me and my price just went up because you say you will have them).

      I DOUBT this conversation happened (or happened this way).

      • Northside Neuman

        In nine years when the Ricketts can block their views without any restrictions from a revenue sharing contract the rooftop overs values will plummet. That is what Ricketts was referring too if that conversation really ever after. He can buy them out at market value of the surrounding housing stock comparable value. The revenues they generate will no longer factor into the future value of the asset once the views can be blocked.

    • Brains

      someday he’ll own all the rooftops, the mcdonalds, half the neighborhood, etc.

      and the payroll will still be 60m. profit profit profit. what’s baseball?

      • Hansman

        Still $60M? I wasn’t aware it was already at $60M

        • Brains

          The old days was the steroid era, this will come to be known as the baseball without the baseball era in Chicago.

  • LEO L

    this is crazy!
    cubs-we want to improve facilities will u help.
    -no its your own place
    cubs-ok we will do this
    Tunney/city-no its our city. you cant do that in our neighborhood
    cubs-ok, what can we do?
    tunney/city-you can do that if you do this for us
    Cubs-ok so if we do this we are ok
    Tunney/city-yeah but but your neighbors might sue
    Cubs-well we don’t want to start unelss we know we wont get sued
    Tunney/city-no. start now.

    I know the cubs get a benefit out of staying in Wrigley but there has to be a breaking point

    • LEO L

      city-oh by the way we are going to increase the tax on your tickets

  • Blackhawks1963

    The Cubs are never leaving Wrigley, but I’ve always thought the right strategy is to build a brand new state-of-the-art ballpark at Arlington Park. The land, infrastructure (parking, roads, commuter rail from the city) and convenience to downtown Chicago is all there.

    I’ve been going to Wrigley for 5 decades. It’s a dump. A hard to get to crumbling dump that has always been more about the ballpark and the Luvable Loser syndrome way more than winning. A vertitable house of horrors and losing for 100 years.

    There are hundreds of thousands of Cub fans who would find Arlington Park highly convenient. And attracting Cub fans from the city would still be a walk in the park. But it will never happen and that is too damned bad.

    • John

      A move out of the city seems unlikely just for demographic reasons. Nearly every new stadium built in the last 25 years was built closer to the city core.

      Just because the Cubs are having problems with Tunney’s ward doesn’t mean they couldn’t find a different alderman to play ball with. Obviously Rahm wants them to stay in the city and at the end of the day does it matter if it’s on the north side?

      What if the Cubs tried to build a new stadium on the West Side and return to their roots? You could probably find cheap land near the UC, use their parking lots, the constant year round activity might actually spur some real development over there. I’m not saying this is what the Ricketts should be doing right now – I think Wrigley is the priority – but if they do need to move there are viable locations within the city.

    • kielovher

      I agree 100% with everything you just said. Arlington would be perfect. Except for the whole “not in Chicago proper” thing. Which I personally view as a positive rather than a negative. Some people get a torque in their jaw over the thought of such a thing. But yeah, it’s never gonna happen. You’re right, that is too damned bad.

      • wilbur

        Ohare isn’t in chicago proper either and people don’t have any trouble using it, refering to it as chicago airport, doling out restaurant and other city contracts, collecting city parking fees, and on and on.

        So a stadium outside of the city boundaries is not really a problem or even a concern for most fans. It is just an archaic administrative boundary in a modern metropolis, with parking and access infrastructure, nice modern amenities like that.

        At some point most large organizations have to move to sites that can support their growing businesses, baseball is no different. The cubs are approaching a two billion dollar business size and in a decade will be over three. So how can you even dream of running a business that size out of a neighborhood storefront operation like wrigley. You can’t. Every step and function is a compromise by definition. It isn’t a question of if the cubs will move but when. Even if they go through the renovations at wrigley they will just be delaying things two or three decades maybe at most. It seems inevitable to me. Put it somewhere with a metra stop, like Arlington, and people will even think it forward thinking and good urban planning.

        • jt

          O’hare is Chicago proper!

  • King Jeff

    “Tunney responded that any dispute between the Cubs and the rooftops is none of his concern”
    This is the exact opposite of what his stance has been for the entire length of these negotiations. If this is the case, why has he been sticking his nose in this issue for years?

  • Curt

    Are you f****** kidding me the rooftop owners are not tnnnys concern thd very same ppl he was wrried about b4 , myb the alderman should stop jacking his jaw to thd press and encourage his constituents to not sue and I’m sure the cubs would get it going. So put up or shut the hell up
    Tunney

  • Funn Dave

    Tunney’s right. Lawsuits from the rooftops *aren’t* his problem. The Cubs made a big stink about getting permission to do construction this year, and they (and the media) publicly antagonized Tunney in the process. Tunney got his name dragged through the mud, and the Cubs finally got their way, and now they’re not even building? I can understand why Tunney’s upset. The onus was on the Cubs to settle the issue with the rooftop owners *before* now, and they didn’t.

    • King Jeff

      The lawsuit from the rooftops *is* his problem, he’s been right in the middle of it since the beginning, and I would go so far as to say he’s been a big part of the problem. Tunney claiming he’s going to “be up the Cubs butt”, and making ridiculous theatrical speeches at council meetings, but he’s the one being antagonized. This guy can’t get his story, facts, or opinions right, and they change from month to month.

    • Blackhawks1963

      No sane businessman is going to invest a dime into a proposed construction project until the threat of lawsuit has been removed. The Ricketts family is complete within their right and SMART not to start construction until agreement is in place with the rooftop owners that they will not sue nor any longer block the 5 year renovation program. The LAST thing Ricketts wants to deal with is for a judge to slap an injunction on the project once construction starts.

      Tunney is playing to his constiuency as always. Apparently the rooftop owners donate handsomely to his re-election fund. Either that or buy a buttload of cinammon rolls at Ann Sathers.

      • Funn Dave

        Yes, it is smart for them to wait until they know they won’t be sued. What I’m saying is, they dug themselves into this hole by making a huge fuss to ensure that they could start construction this offseason without first ensuring that they wouldn’t be sued by doing so.

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