SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- The Cubs had set April 1 as their deadline for getting a comprehensive deal in place for Wrigley Field renovations.
It wasn't an April Fool joke, but that date came and passed without an agreement. It's no surprise to me, and probably not to you, either, but talks are going to continue Tuesday:
“The talks on Monday were positive enough that it was worth honoring the mayor’s request to stay at the table . . . Beyond [Tuesday], I don’t know,” a source close to the negotiations said late Monday.
There's too much at stake for all parties for these talks not to continue until they get an agreement that satisfies all parties. The Sun-Times article linked also mentions the ludicrous proposal to move the Cubs to Rosemont. Particularly ridiculous, I think, is this quote from Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens:
“The perimeter of the field would front 294 with 25O,OOO cars of traffic every day. That provides an extra asset to market to potential sponsors,” he said.
Imagine that. A "replica" of Wrigley Field with six lanes of cars and trucks moving by every day. Yeah, that screams "Cubs baseball" to me. So add traffic noise to the constant barrage of airplanes taking off and landing. You wouldn't be able to hear yourself think. Seriously, scratch that idea; I think they'll come to an agreement soon.
One thing that has been agreed on is the first hotel planned for the Cubs' "Wrigleyville West" development in Mesa, Arizona:
Mesa-based Sunridge Properties Inc. has agreed to build a 1OO-room Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel on the edge of a city park that will serve as the eastern gateway to the $99 million baseball complex.
The article goes on to say that Sunridge has an exclusive deal to open further properties until six months after this SpringHill Suites opens, and the Mesa City Council would like to keep its options open if other hotel chains make inquiries.
If you are not familiar with the area, the land on which the Cubs' new complex sits is literally across the street (Dobson Road) from Mesa Riverview, a large retail mall with a number of big-box chains, smaller retailers and restaurants and bars, the latter of which will likely be packed when the Cubs start playing there.
The Cubs, however, will still buy and develop land for restaurants and retail operations. The hope is those operations will have a strong Chicago flavor. [Mesa economic-development officer Scot] Rigby said representatives of several Chicago-area firms have toured the site. “People can kind of picture where things are going,” he said.
Soon, we hope, the Cubs will have a renovated and upgraded Wrigley Field to go along with their state-of-the-art complex under construction in Mesa. Incidentally, you'll note the dateline on this post. Yes, I'm still in Arizona, stayed an extra day. There's a very good reason for that. You'll all find out why, soon.