Today, the Landmarks Commission will pass upon – and is expected to approve – the Chicago Cubs’ plans to add two outfield signs at Wrigley Field as part of the renovation project. The two signs, a large JumboTron in left field and a static see-through sign in right field, will help generate additional revenue for the organization, including some of the funds that will ultimately pay for the renovation, itself.
But the Cubs aren’t getting all that they wanted, once again. According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs have agreed to compromise (once again), and reduce their requested signage sizes from 6,000 and 1,000 square feet to 4,500 and 650 square feet. Those are, essentially, the sizes Alderman Tom Tunney had wanted all along (if there were going to be signs at all, that is).
As I’ve said before, I doubt the Cubs actually thought they’d get a 6,000 square foot JumboTron in left field, and instead employed an “overask” strategy to ensure they got what they did want. Was 4,500 square feet their target? Who knows. Hopefully they’re satisfied by this compromise and are, indeed, getting signage that will generate significant revenue going forward.
In the end, a negotiated agreement among all sides – with Tunney’s support – is the best thing for the process going forward. The Landmarks Commission will sign off today, and then it’s on to the next steps in the legislative process (which are expected to be less contentious, but, hey, you never know).
UPDATE: A report from Greg Hinz at Crain’s has a very different take on things. Although he says the Commission is expected to approve the outfield signs today, Hinz hears that Tunney refused the 4,500/650 compromise, which was pushed on him by the Mayor. If true, the Cubs clearly have the Mayor solidly on their side (which is good), but do not have Tunney on board with the signage plan – or maybe much else. I now wonder what the rhetoric is going to look like today. In any event, Hinz’s report makes it sound like the Commission is going to approve the Cubs’ original request for 6,000/1,000 square foot signs. I’m not sure who’s right here, because those are obviously two strongly opposing reports.