(CBS) Rosemont mayor Brad Stephens has an idea – a bold one.
In an interview with CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan, Stephens pitched the idea of moving the Cubs out of Chicago and into Rosemont.
Stephens said he is willing to give the Cubs and the Ricketts family a 25-acre parcel of land in Rosemont large enough to fit a ballpark and parking structure – as well as anything else the Cubs wanted to build.
“The Chicago Cubs are being held hostage by the neighborhood as they look to run their business. We are willing to offer them a tremendous opportunity if they are interested. Bring the bricks and the ivy and we can get a deal done, ” Stephens told CSN Chicago.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has wanted to renovate the 99-year-old Wrigley Field since he purchased the Cubs in 2009. He’s even offered to fund the renovations privately, which are an estimated $500 million, if the city will relax some of the field’s landmark signage restrictions and allow for more night games.
Part of the struggle for the Cubs and the city of Chicago to reach an agreement has been resistance from Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, whose ward includes Wrigley Field.
“Tunney is trying to appease everybody, but he is losing sight of what the engine is that drives the economy of the community,” Stephens said. “He says that this is one of the richest families in America, but he has to realize that he has to do business with them. Rosemont is very pro-development and we understand that a good deal for the business is a good deal for the community.”
Rosemont Spokesman Gary Mack says Stephens is fully aware that the Cubs are still negotiating with the city of Chicago.
“The point is, if those don’t work out, here’s Rosemont, ready to go, ready to do business,” he tells WBBM Newsradio.
A spokesman for the Ricketts family says they are focused on reaching an agreement with the city of Chicago.