clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mayor Daley Changes His Mind...

... about the city/state owning Wrigley Field through the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.

Or maybe he doesn't -- you can't really tell from what he says in Fran Spielman's article in today's Sun-Times:

"I have an open mind. . . . I always have an open mind on an issue. And why not? You should have it," the mayor said.

Huh? Anyway, Daley goes on to say some things about the CTA/Metra funding crisis, which have nothing to do with the Wrigley Field issue. Spielman goes on to write that since Daley's initial criticism of this potential deal last month,

the mayor and his staff have been fully briefed on a deal that would guarantee Zell a huge up-front payment for Wrigley -- tens of millions higher than he might otherwise receive selling the stadium privately -- by having the ISFA use its power to issue tax-exempt, longer-term bonds at a reduced interest rate.

One unnamed source is quoted as saying:

"You get a 93-year-old landmark restored, the Cubs to agree to play on a long-term basis with terms determined before the sale of the team. The land and the stadium are almost entirely owned by the public. And money to renovate the stadium comes out of revenues generated within the building itself. No restaurant tax. No hotel tax. No property tax being diverted."

I know there have been many here who have been unalterably opposed to the ISFA owning Wrigley Field. But frankly, they have done a good job constructing, maintaining and renovating the Cell -- at no extra cost to Chicago or Illinois taxpayers -- and if what this source says is true, that the bonds would be retired from stadium revenues, then what's the problem here? I'd be all for a plan that could provide revenue for renovations without the sale of naming rights and a commitment for the Cubs to play at Wrigley Field for several decades to come.

Looks like win-win to me.