Emanuel: City, Cubs Nearing Deal On Wrigley Field Renovation Plan

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the city is nearing a deal with the Cubs to renovate Wrigley Field.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Mayor Emanuel points out that Wrigley Field is a private entity, and his job is to represent the taxpayers in talks with Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and his team.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

He says anything the city does to enhance the value of the Friendly Confines should be along with what the owners undertake themselves.

“I will not put my money in their field so they can take their money, and invest around the field, and get a greater economic value,” Emanuel said. “If it’s important, they should invest there. We’ve had good conversations on the final stages of that.”

Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn still don’t have a deal to announce regarding renovations to Wrigley, but they appear to be standing firm together.

“I think the mayor and I are on the same wave length,” Quinn said at a forum with Emanuel to discuss the city’s and state’s financial issues. “We don’t think that the team should have the public paying for fixing up their stadium. They bought it. They paid for it.”

Emanuel said the Ricketts family did so long after the bottom dropped out of the stock market.

“It’s an important institution. It’s the fourth most-visited tourist attraction in the city of Chicago,” he said. “That said, it’s a private company. They bought it. They bought it in 2009, eyes open, well aware.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Aside from that, from Emanuel’s standpoint, it’s the less said, the better, until or unless agreement is reached.

“Their money has to go into the stadium,” he said. “It has to be in front of any public help.”

Emanuel said he speaks regularly on the Wrigley Field issue with Quinn, their staffs speak regularly and that “people get briefed.”

The Cubs want to use $200 million in public funds to construct the long-planned Triangle Building along Clark Street in front of the ballpark. The Triangle Building would house team offices, a restaurant and parking, and would feature a Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame, a Cubs Pro Shop, and new ticket windows.

The only structure on the “triangle” site, the former Yum-Yum Donuts building, was torn down two years ago. Part of the site is now used as an ice rink during the winter months.

The Ricketts family also wants to use amusement tax revenue to fund the renovation, but Mayor Emanuel has not said whether he supports that plan.

Since-retired Mayor Richard M. Daley blocked a plan that would have used amusement taxes collected through ticket sales, but published reports last year indicated that said Mayor Emanuel was interested in a plan that would still have called for up to $200 million in public funds to aid a $400 million reconstruction of the ballpark.

The Ricketts family has also begun purchasing property on the blocks surrounding Wrigley Field, including the lot across Clark Street from the ballpark where a McDonald’s now stands.

Wrigley Field will celebrate its centennial anniversary in two years.

More from The Boers and Bernstein Show
  • zatso

    Patti-poop is selling bracelets inscribed with “WHAT WOULD BLAGO DO”

    Praise the Lord


  • joe college

    This is a done deal already folks,breaking news, no baseball at wrigley 2013 season, cubs play home games at us cellular or brewers.
    Wrigley will be gutted from foul pole to foul pole. The bleachers, scoreboard and baseball diamond itself will remain. Heard it here first

    Oh ya, and the taxpayers will pick up the tab also, new taxes, user fees etc,

  • Well................

    Don’t use any of MY public funds for it. If the city is so broke we have to fine and surcharge everybody to death, we DON’T have the money to waste on this. The Cubs stink every year anyway.

    • Sickened

      They said they’ll need approval from the State. So does that mean all Illinois residents will be paying for the Cubs so the ball players can make millions of dollars? Blag wanted to buy the Cubs so he could be a defacto ball team owner. Daley squandered 20 million trying to get the Olympics so his cronies could sell certain parcels of land they bought hoping it would go towards it.

      When will this fleecing end? And don’t say we voted these sleezbags into office. We didn’t vote them in, Chicago/Illinois electioneering did it.

      • Actually

        The funds that would be used aren’t from the general pool of taxes, but rather the city and state would not charge them $200mil in amusement taxes that the Cubs owners would owe on Wrigley Field.

        The money to be used is directly generated by Wrigley itself

  • Wolf

    More ridiculous subsidies and bank rolling of private industry by the taxpayers…when will the fraud stop…

  • Larry Horse's Arse Horse's Arse

    I’ve been saying what Joe College said above for at least five years. They need to raze the entire grandstand and upper deck and rebuild it all. Keep the new bleachers, the scoreboard and the field. It’s desperately needed. And if the City is involved, expect some sort of scam. Rahm’s word is never to be taken at face value. Ever.

    • joecollege

      Ahem Larry, always someones back getting scratched or one hand washing the other here in S*itcago

  • Zatso

    You can’t say cub fans are idiots, we have a president who is a SOX fan.


  • leondean

    Mayor Ra-cist family got chase out of germany for hate and schemes,and corrupt people,now he over here doing the same with his illegals,and get rich schemes,with other peoples money what a fraud and devil pawn.going aganist GOD not good ideal,,

  • Moderate Spaulding!

    I want to go to walk in to a bank, ask for five hundred million dollars and buy the Royals.
    Then, I want to ask the mayor of Kansas City to give me tax funds to rebuild Kaufmann Park.
    Why not? I have as much qualifications as Jethro with the Cubs.
    Oh, man! We are so lucky we lost the Olympic bid.
    Door County should be sending everyone in Illinois some kind of gift basket.

  • miguel rivera

    Mark Cuban should have been allowed to buy the Cubs. This taxpayer backed funding would not have been necessary.

  • zatso

    Boy, it seems like people don’t like der minor RAHM.


  • North side

    Who voted for this mayor.the city dwellers.there goes my tax money.the only one that will benefits the mayor and his croonies.see you at next election.

    • Actually

      The funds that would be used aren’t from the general pool of taxes, but rather the city and state would not charge them $200mil in amusement taxes that the Cubs owners would owe on Wrigley Field.

      The money to be used is directly generated by Wrigley itself

      • North side

        Still it’s our tax money.in another word” tax free”.it will cost more money to rehab wrigley field.must will put it a new one along with parking like the white sox has.maybe everyone will be happy.go cubs.

  • http://ble17.denverpersonalinjurylawfirm.org/?p=536 Cubs Store, patio among Wrigley changes – Bloomington Pantagraph | BLE

    […] CBS Local […]

  • Out Rage

    The last i heard is that the Rickert family is well off. Since you own the team just use your own money. We pay enough in taxes already.

  • righttrack

    This would only benefit the Cubs. Let them use their own money – not ours !!! you can bet numerous politicians will get a bunch of money poured into their re-election campaign coffers if this happens. Politics as usual !!!

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/04/04/emanuel-quinn-call-for-major-pension-reform/ Emanuel, Quinn Call For Major Pension Reform « CBS Chicago

    […] Aides to the mayor stressed that a deal is in the works — but not finalized — that could… […]

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/04/05/cubs-fans-gear-up-for-opening-day/ Cubs Fans Gear Up For Opening Day « CBS Chicago

    […] the Cubs are planning ahead for some more sweeping upgrades to the 98-year-old ballpark. Aides to Mayor Rahm Emanuel said earlier in this week that a deal is in the works — but not fi… var videoCanvas = new WNVideoWidget("WNVideoCanvas", […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live