respect wrigleyWhile we await the next Cubs/rooftops update – at last check, the Cubs and rooftops were still trying to hammer out a deal, but some inside the Cubs’ organization are reportedly finally starting to think about the possibility of playing elsewhere – let’s check in on how the City is feeling about all of this. Recall, Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped push the revised Wrigley Field renovation and development plan through City Council back in December, and then basically said: get to work.

Obviously the work hasn’t started, thanks primarily to the current dispute between the Cubs and the rooftops. Any change from the Mayor? Not really.

Writing for the Tribune on a variety of Chicago sports topics, David Haugh spoke with the Mayor, who said that the ongoing battle – and attending renovation delay – is testing everyone’s patience. Without taking an obvious side or providing any details, Emanuel told Haugh that he’s pushed the sides for a resolution as recently as last week.

As for whether Emanuel’s push means anything in the wake of resurgent move-the-Cubs whispers, the Mayor remains unconvinced that such a threat would carry any weight, given the value of playing in a unique neighborhood setting, as well as the Ricketts Family’s investments around Wrigley Field. Emanuel seems to believe, again without any details, there will be a deal in place by Opening Day. I guess that’s mildly encouraging.

But, remember: the $500 million private investment the Ricketts Family plans to make in the City of Chicago is an enormous feather in Emanuel’s cap. He has a strong incentive to see this thing get underway … and probably also an incentive to appear optimistic. In other words, I’m not really sure how much any of this means. (You could probably say that regarding just about everything that’s happened on this story – if we’ve learned anything through his four-year process, it’s that no signs or signals or statements can truly provide any confidence whatsoever – there are always disappointing twists and turns.)

And now we resume our usual waiting, hoping, sighing, and nail-biting.

  • Edwin

    So the mayor said something. And it might mean something. But it might not. Either way, it’s tough to tell.

    • Brett

      I should have used that as the teaser.

  • Spoda17

    I think the Cubs should require the fans that sit in the left field bleachers to wear white shirts. Then, they can project all of the scoreboard information directly onto the fans; kinda like a human screen. Then, they can avoid the law suit, and also include actual fans into the enjoyment of the game… it could happen…

    • jrayn

      Now that’s thinking outside the rectangle.

    • JCubs79

      I laughed pretty hard at this for some reason.

    • Funn Dave

      Awesome. I’m sending a letter to Ricketts.

  • CubSTH60625

    I’ve always wondered: How much is all of this tied into the potential sale of 1050 W. Waveland and the potential asking price of this property?

    It’s interesting to note that a lot of these “newish” issues arose around the time that the property was listed. I don’t want to speculate beyond this, but it is interesting to note.

    • Brett

      I have no idea, but that is, indeed, interesting.

      • CubSTH60625

        I think Aidan Dunican announced a few weeks back that he was keeping the bidding open until March 14?

        I’m trying to pull out of the Cub and Rooftop spin on this whole thing. There’s going to be a deal set. It seems like a lot of folks are playing their parts well.

  • itzscott

    Time is money.

    Factoring inflation and maybe rising interest rates, I wonder how much more than $500 million the renovations will cost as the time/value of money becomes a factor and how much pain Ricketts’ is willing to take before they start asking for city/state assistance.

    I never could understand why the Ricketts’ never (to our knowledge) put a time limit on their offer. Maybe that would’ve pushed the city a little harder to lean on the rooftop owners.

  • AP

    Maybe, if there is anyplace to do so, the Cubs should consider playing their games somewhere else for a season. That’s really as far as the “move away from Wrigley” option could go, but maybe it would be enough to get the other parties to actually do something. Having said that, even it seems kind of like an unrealistic option.

  • cutshot

    I’m curious about something that was said by, I think it was one of the Rickett’s family, when they said something along the lines of “it isn’t as simple as just writing a check”. This was in reference to buying out the roof tops. To me, buying them out seems to make the most sense.

    • Kyle

      There seems to be one owner in particular who is being cantankerous and possibly won’t accept a buyout.

      • itzscott

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Reinsdorf made a deal with this guy which will double whatever the Cubs are offering to just say “no”.

      • JCubs79

        Cantankerous. Now that’s a fun word. It does sound like there is one guy causing trouble with this issue just because he can.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      You can’t buy what won’t be sold.

  • ViennaCubs

    I am not a fan of either sides behavior in the negotiations. It is shameful that it has gone on this long. The rooftop owners did sign an agreement with the Cubs handled by Crane. It is not their fault to extract compensation to amend the agreement. Although, I wish they would not be so difficult. The Ricketts could have A) Paid them lost revenue for the duration of contract, B) Bought the buildings from the owners, which the rooftop legal team has recently suggested, or C) Shrink the sign and move it slightly to allow for rooftop views. The Ricketts have designed a unique vehicle to purchase the Cubs. The Ricketts had to buy the Cubs on a debt transaction deal that actually is really clever. A Ricketts vehicle loans 400 million towards the Cubs purchase to mask how much debt is created to buy the team. It is technically legal and quite complex. Therefore, part of the Cubs debt and interest payments do, in fact, go into the Ricketts pockets. I do not buy the Cubs are poor posturing. I know they have invested lots of money in redeveloping the Cubs. Although, if they could have come to an agreement sooner, it could have allowed them to start construction sooner and have the additional revenues they seek. The long-term acquisition of real estate would later allow for further expansion and revenue streams. I feel that their tenure of ownership is far too gaffe prone and I hope this is not a trend under their leadership.

  • clark addison

    This would have been the season to play away from home, what with the low expectations and attendant low attendance. Next year the waves and waves of talent begin to come in, and ticket demand starts to rebound, it behooves them to play again at Wrigley.

  • Jon

    I don’t get why Rham can’t play the role of “tough guy” and just push this through. He’s got the power and clout. Very frustrating.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Rham: spend your $500 million OR ELSE!!!

      Ricketts: no.

      • Jon

        Rham(to the Rooftop owners):

        Let this deal happen or else. Don’t fuck with me

        Is more what I was thinking.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          That might just have some legs.

          • Jon

            We could call it the “Ron Santo” plan

    • Funn Dave

      Maybe because the city of Chicago is not a dictatorship?

      • DarthHater

        Say WHAT???

        • Diehardthefirst

          Cubs could build in Rosemont while still playing in Wrigley – with Rosemonts incentives Cubs could take time and have a state of the art stadium ready as late as 2017 which gives Rooftoppers 3 more years- then Chicago will try to annex the land which will take 5 yrs of litigation all the while Cubs are making millions at Wrigley having not spent a dime to renovate at Wrigley and using creative financing thru Rosemont to build a fantastic new stadium – a plan worth considering which ends dispute with Rooftoppers and Cubs have new home for next 50 yrs- they will lease old Wrigley and write off losses- it’s doable

  • Spoda17

    This reminds me of the homeowner who wouldn’t sell their house to the industrial park developer in Allentown, PA. There is a huge industrial park in Allentown; Coke is there, Kraft, etc… well, this one homeowner just wouldn’t sell, so guess what, the industrial park went up anyway. And now there is this house, looks like it was built in the 70s, nice size, nice yard… pretty much worthless now… nothing but big plants around it with truck traffic 27-7. No one will buy it now…

    The roof tops need to realize at some point they will have no product… they need to “sell” now when their worth is at it’s greatest point… only goes down from here.

    • Oregon Cubs Fan

      Do they have three hour longer days in Allentown? :-)

    • juice

      problem is, the Cubs are not seriously threatening to move and have too much tied up in assests around wrigley. rooftop owners know this. If it were easy for the Cubs to say “we are out of here”, then possibly they could leave the rooftop owners as the single house in your example.

    • BenRoethig

      That is the question. What exactly is the rooftop owners endgame here? Do they want to continue the status quo? Are they trying to leverage themselves for the best deal they can get to sell?

      As it stands, the situation has to change. Its different than it was 10 years with the new ownership group. The Cubs need either a new ballpark or a full modernized Wrigley. If they want to keep everything the way it is until 2024, that won’t be happening. If they continue to push, the Cubs will move and the property won’t be worth anything more than similar property in other areas of Chicago. If they’re playing a brinksmanship game and funding out how much the Cubs will give before breaking in order to get the best deal, its a smart move. Ricketts got rid of his own leverage by not talking to other sites.

      • J Bounds

        It seems pretty clear what the rooftops want. They want the Cubs to extend their existing contract. They’ve stated this on multiple occasions. The Cubs, by all appearances, want no part of that. That is the impasse, IMO.

  • Danny

    I am going to run for mayor of Chicago. My two main platforms: Plow sidestreets and resolve the rooftop issue…

    • DarthHater

      Congratulations on being a one-term, unsuccessful mayor. 😛

  • Diehardthefirst

    If da mayor loses da Cubs then da ghost of Mayor Daley will make da goat curse look tame

  • baldtaxguy

    I’m sure the Mayor does not want to appear to be assisting the Rickett’s family for political purposes to any degree, which is why everything is couched as “getting the two sides to agree.” I’m sure that if the Ricketts were dems, Tunney would have been shut down from the start and this project would be half way completed by now.

    • brainiac

      i think the owners are a bunch of business bozos, but rahm is systematically working to make the poor poorer and the city more segregated. two unsavory figures “negotiating” over political clout. dreary times in chicago.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Another scenario pitting City vs Cubs- Can annex Rosemont land to prevent any development arguing interference with OHare

  • Pingback: Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: Cubs Working Out the Number of Plaza Events | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • Pingback: Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: Rooftop Negotiations Ongoing? | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()