Sources: Fight Over Video Screen Size Holding Up Wrigley Renovation Talks
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CHICAGO (CBS) – With the Cubs’ self-imposed Monday deadline quickly approaching for a deal on $300 million in renovations for Wrigley Field, the major sticking point appears to be the size of a Jumbotron-style video screen the team wants for the stadium.
WBBM Newsradio’s George Ofman reports, according to sources, the Cubs want a 6,000-square-foot video scoreboard in left field. But the owners of the rooftop clubs across the street are worried such a large video screen would obstruct their views of the stadium, and sources said the city wants to limit the screen to no more than 3,000 square feet.
Sources said there’s little or no chance of a deal by the Cubs’ April 1 deadline for a deal on signage and other renovation issues that would require city approval. Sources also said the Cubs have never offered a detailed proposal of what they want to do when the stadium is renovated.
However, Mayor Rahm Emanuel sounded optimistic Thursday that an agreement could be reached for fixing up and modernizing Wrigley Field.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, in addition to the concerns from rooftop owners about how new signage would affect their views, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and local residents have expressed concerns about the impact on traffic and parking from any renovations, as well as additional night games the team is seeking.
Emanuel said Thursday it can still all work out.
“In every negotiation, there’s always a moment in which the fog lifts and everybody can see the win,” Emanuel said. “And I’ve encouraged the parties to stay talking. I’m encouraged that they stay at the table, that they see the fog lift and see what’s in front of them.”
The mayor admitted they’re not at that point yet.
“But I think there’s enough wins there for everybody to declare a victory, and have enough to go forward,” he said. “We’re actively, in my view, trying to make sure that both parties are – or all parties, rather – see what’s in front of them, and the potential how far they’ve all come to reach what I think is a good agreement across the board.”
In addition to the $300 million in renovations at Wrigley, the Ricketts family owners have proposed a $200 million hotel development near the stadium. The Ricketts family would pay for both projects on its own.