As the full Chicago City Council approved the Wrigley renovation tweaks that had been OKd by Council committees earlier, Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a few words to say about the project:
"They need to get started — and I was clear and unambiguous with the ownership about that even prior to [Wednesday’s] City Council actions," the mayor said. "The city has lived up to everything they said they were going to do in a timely fashion….We’re holding up our side and I expect them and the other invested interests — meaning also the rooftops — to resolve their issues so the whole city can benefit."
Even Tom Tunney, who has been an antagonist at times to the Cubs' proposals, wants the team to get going:
Local Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) agreed that the "ideas every month" that have come from the billionaire family that owns the Cubs "exhausted the patience" of the City Council. "I would emphasize that the Cubs need to start the work as soon as possible…They need to do the renovation to be at Wrigley Field, to be in Chicago and to be in a LakeView, which has been phenomenally supportive," Tunney said.
As you know, the holdup is:
The dispute has come down to two rooftop owners whose Sheffield views would be impaired by the right field sign. The Cubs have explored the possibility of reducing the team’s 17 percent share or buying the rooftops out, to no avail, sources said.
Two rooftop owners. Two. And we're not even talking about the proposed Jumbotron, which would be in left field, not right field. They wouldn't respond to buyout offers? Why not? Their business is eventually going to go away, worthless, when the deal between the rooftops and the Cubs expires, because the Cubs have pretty much made it clear that they have no interest in extending the agreement.
It's time for the rooftops to stop being intransigent and let construction begin. Realistically, given that we're already in mid-December, no real construction could start until next offseason.
But it's time.