Cubs Tweak Wrigley Renovation Plans Yet Again

Courtesy Chicago Cubs

"It ain't over till it's over," Yogi Berra once said. That seems particularly apt for the Wrigley renovation saga.

Thursday, the Chicago Landmarks Commission will be considering the Cubs' new proposals to restore and renovate Wrigley Field. According to the Tribune, the Cubs have agreed to some changes asked for by Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

The changes requested by the city include reducing the size of the signs along the exterior outfield walls and increase spacing between them, as well as eliminating plans for sliding concession windows for the exterior brick wall at Waveland and Sheffield avenues. The team also agreed to drop enlarged openings in the outfield brick wall for new bullpens, a change the team previously announced.

The source added that the team agreed to make changes to lighting to address concerns and to continue conversations with the rooftop owners to settle their differences in a timely manner. Other changes are expected to be presented Thursday.

A major obstacle for approval could be the team’s proposal for seven signs – not merely a video board in right field and a script sign in left field, which were the approved signs from a year ago – to dot the walls along both Waveland and Sheffield avenues. The seven signs would seemingly block views into the ballparks from nearly all of the three-story rooftop businesses, potentially violating a decade-old contract and thrusting the two sides into a courtroom.

The last sentence in that quote echoes what I've said here a couple of times, in a bit more colorful language, about the intended purpose of the new signs. The Tribune quote above also says, and I'll repeat it for emphasis, in boldface added by me:

The source added that the team agreed to make changes to lighting to address concerns and to continue conversations with the rooftop owners to settle their differences in a timely manner.

So the rooftop owners, apparently, still have a seat at this table and if the multiple proposed new signs would block every rooftop view (which it appears they would -- just look at the photo at the top of this post or click here for a larger version in a new browser window or tab), and if the rooftops still have a say in all of this, then I would not be surprised to see some sort of settlement that goes back to what the rooftop owners proposed a week or so ago: No lawsuit and the Cubs can proceed with the proposal that was approved a year ago.

We'll see what happens tomorrow, and even if the Landmarks Commission does go ahead and approve the Cubs' new proposal (as amended), there still could be legal action ahead.

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