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respect wrigleyYou get an approval, and YOU get an approval, and YOU GET AN APPROVAL!

Yesterday, the Zoning Committed of the Chicago City Council signed off on the much-discussed changes to the Wrigley Field renovation and development plan. Those changes include the additional outfield wall bump-out, design changes to the hotel, and the “branding arch” that will span Clark Street. You can see details on the Zoning Committee’s approval here, here, or here.

The Committee on Transportation and Public Way comes next on December 10, and then a full City Council vote should come on the 11th. Assuming the plan clears those hurdles – and there’s no reason to believe it won’t – the Cubs will have received the same level of approval for the modified plan that they received earlier this year from City Council on the overall development. In other words, there will be no more major approvals to be received – unless the plan changes significantly again. And who knows, right?

As for actual construction, the Cubs continue to say publicly that they will not begin the real meat of the work until they know that the rooftops around Wrigley Field will not sue to stop construction. That will likely push major construction back to next year (though I hear persistent chatter that more will happen this offseason than people think, but that could just be wishful thinking), assuming some kind of agreement can be reached (if one hasn’t already been reached quietly behind the scenes, and all sides are simply waiting for the final approval from the City before announcing anything).

  • Edwin

    Progress! Progress? progress.

  • Featherstone

    Hey Ace,

    First sentence of the 2nd paragraph, I assume you me Zoning Committee not Zoning Committed.

    • Featherstone

      and of course I make a spelling mistake correcting yours.

      *mean, not me.

    • D.G.Lang

      I thought he meant that they should be or were committed to someplace special.

  • MightyBear

    I still don’t see why they can’t start the dugout renovation and get the batting cages, weight room and the video room up to speed while waiting on the rest of this bullshit. I think those three things would help the major league club more than any FA they could sign. The rooftops aren’t going to sue on a renovation that has no bearing on them whatsoever.

    • Rich

      exactly what I was going to say…
      the players facilities are NEEDED right now..

      that should be going on ASAP…

      I am grabbing my shovel and tools…who’s with me?

      • JB88

        It’s a fair argument—why aren’t the Cubs starting that part of the renovation—until you step back and remember that without public funding this is all being paid for through ad dollars. And until they are assured that they will have those dollars through the right field banner and jumbotron, it doesn’t make sense to invest millions in making other renovations.

        • Jeff

          Ricketts is taking all the money coming in to pay off the debt, sorry players….

          • JB88

            Really? All the money? So the players aren’t getting paid their salaries? Wow, that’s pretty awful of Ricketts to do that …

            • Jeff

              well, what’s the over/under at Samardzija will be gone in a trade?

              it’s about money my friend

        • Eternal Pessimist

          …because the Cubs need something to hold over the city/rooftops…if you don’t take away your lawsuit threat we won’t start building [unspoken threat - if you dont promise not to sue we will reconsider the moving out of Wrigley option]

          Putting money into the building now essentially eliminates that unspoken threat.

          • Scott

            Agreed, but what is going to force the rooftops to agree not to sue? Anything stopping them from sitting back with the current situation as-is and waiting for the Cubs to do something that they can file a lawsuit over?

        • Tom A.

          Agree. But, given weather like today and likely to come the next three months — with the start of the season about 120 days away — what real building / construction can they do ?

          When they were not ready to begin October 1, it sent the message of wait until next year. We can thank many people for the delay — including the greedy rooftop owners — but they are not entire reason !

      • itzscott

        I’m heading out there right now with my pick axe….. we’ll all reconnoiter at Murphy’s and start digging

      • YourResidentJag

        Wondering that myself?

    • Jason P

      I think the stock answer is that the money from the “signage” part of the renovation helps fund the “infrastructure” part of it.

      That and the fact that once they actually start building, they lose whatever marginal leverage they had with the “were gonna move” threat.

      • itzscott

        Yeah well the thing is that Crane Kenney had better have his ass in gear with signing up all those sponsors who’s ads will be funding this.

        I kinda woulda thought that those would’ve been lined up and announced as soon as the approval was granted along with commencement of the clubhouse/batting cages/weight room/etc construction.

  • itzscott

    The other thing that puzzles me….

    You’d have to think that Ricketts offered to buy the rooftop buildings, which would have opened up even more advertising revenue generating opportunities that could have paid for buying those buildings at market prices which would’ve avoided all this, but the rooftop owners may have declined….

    In which case the rooftop owners don’t want the cash yet they don’t want to agree not to sue and would rather engage in a costly legal battle that would end up costing them more money than agreeing to either.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      He did offer to buy them…I think Murphy’s answer was “That’ll cost you a billion-trillion dollars”. Rickett’s said no thank you (cheap ass!!)

    • Hee Seop Chode

      I know for a fact Ricketts hasn’t offered to buy the buildings. Most of the ownership groups expect an offer once the current agreement expires.

  • Dan Rivera

    Reinsdorf would have had this deal approved in year one. Jerry would have placed a call to his ol’ buddy former Gov Jim Thompson. Not only do you get all the necessary approvals but it prob would have been 100% funded by the taxpayers w/ no strings attached. The Chicago way.

    • JB88

      It is nice that you believe this, but you are wrong. It took quite a few years and a legitimate threat of moving the team to Tampa before the state ponied up money to build Comisky.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        …and the south side is a virtual wasteland (though improving) so they really needed the sox a lot more than the sox needed the neighborhood. The same isn’t true on the North side where the neighborhood provides some real value to the team and visa-versa.

  • http://BN Sacko

    put up a screen that faces the rooftops to watch also..ha, better then nothing…dorkies stifling
    progress..they have that much power to shut this down?

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    does it ever profit anybody to anger the mayor of chicago?

  • cavemencubbie

    I thought Jim Thompson was in jail.

    • Jim L

      No but he should be.

  • Elephanthole

    I would think the rooftop owners would be worried about when this current deal with the Cubs expires that the Cubs will say no thanks to any type of a new deal because of their actions right now. The Cubs ARE NOT going to negotiate a new deal at all and the Cubs will then block their views with signage if they choose. Just doesn’t seem like a good tactic from the Roofies.

  • Charles

    Whenever they start to bump out the walls it will be interesting to see the engineering design of the footings. If they are big enough I bet you can plan on an upper deck going in once the rooftop deal expires.

  • Lapdawg

    The renovations have started.

    I went to the season ticket holders’ relocation event yesterday. My appointment was at 330pm and as I was entering I passed at least 40 construction workers leaving the park and carrying their lunch boxes-it must have been quitting time.

    Inside the park there were braces under the upper deck on the home plate side. I talked with one of the ticket guys who said they were beginning some of the infrastructure reinforcements to the upper deck and beginning some of the work on the facilities under the stadium.

    At the intro to the relocation to event, the head ticket guy, Brian Garza, said that it was going to be the last relocation event held at the stadium for at least 4-5 years because of upcoming off season renovations.

    I suppose they got started on the infrastructure stuff because it doesn’t effect the RTO’S.

  • Aaron

    Idea: Keep the brick outfield but install a NEW outfield fence where the warning track now begins. This means the outfield fence would be 18 feet shorter all the way around. New outfield dimensions would be left to right: 327, 350, 382, 350 and 335. The area that is now the warning track would be the bullpen area for each team. The dangerous pitching mounds on both sides of the playing field would now be flat.

    Home field advantage: A team with power hitters. And yes we will have some in a few years, including Rizzo, Bryant, Baez, Soler, etc.

    During the rebuilding of the stadium, this would be a perfect time to make Wrigley Field a home field advantage for the Cubs! Truly then can it live up to its name as the Friendly Confines!

    • Spriggs

      Well then, Barney could hit 15 Homers! Over the next 2 years that is.

    • wilbur

      right idea, wrong techniques. To reduce the effect of windblowing in days on the team hittting and scoring runs why not restrict the flow of wind down the wind tunnel that is waveland avenue, narrow the street. To reduce the flow of the wind over the left field wall move the bleachers back and up making an inner bowl around the outfiield. Then wall off the wind from the scoreboard in center around past the power alleys in left with a large jumbotron, signs etc. In right field do the same with a long see through sign above the heightened bleachers across the right field power alley. Reduce the wind tunnel off the lake effect of addison by building up the right field side of the stadium and extending it toward sheffield, making the right field corner a dead air zone not affected by the wind. that reduces the impact of the wind blowing in, now what todo about those wild wind blowing out days? stay tuned…

  • Aaron

    Boston’s Fenway Park is 310 down the left field line and 302 down the right field line. Their right field fence, with their bullpen behind it, is only 5 foot high.

    Fenway has a different HR factor for right-handed batters than for left-handed batters, as most of you know. The perfect player for Fenway has been David Ortiz. This past season he carried the team to another World Series victory.

    At Wrigley Field, we need to create a home field advantage. Then have players on the team that can take advantage of those things. Right now, Wrigley Field does NOT offer the Cubs any advantages. In fact, due to all of their day games and wind blowing in or out issues, it is often a disadvantage to the team. Time to change all that.

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