Still No Deal On Wrigley Field Renovation

CHICAGO (CBS) — There were no face-to-face talks between city officials and the Cubs on Tuesday, and still no deal on Wrigley Field renovations and community development.

The Cubs, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports, are frustrated. It makes no sense for the city or for them not to get this deal done.

Yet the Cubs are beginning to wonder if they’re simply negotiating against themselves; agreeing to demands, making good faith gestures, but getting little in return.

Like giving into what they believed was a demand that they build a $7 million parking garage on an empty lot north of the field, only to be told the neighbors don’t want it.

The Cubs reluctantly conceded there would be no public funds for the $300 million Wrigley renovation, but in return the Cubs demanded 40 night games to increase TV ad revenue. They’re now capped at 30.

Included in the Cubs’ $500 million dollar development package was an offer to build a new $200 million hotel across the street. The community response: it’s 20 feet too high.

The Cubs’ proposal of a new video screen and billboards was met by the rooftop owners’ demand for compensation for signs which block their views, and an extension of their revenue-sharing deal.

The city’s response has included a demand to limit the size of new signs both inside and outside the park, which will be part of planned development discussions.

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts offered an olive branch before Monday’s home opener; all but promising keep the Cubs in Chicago.

He might have thought that was enough to clinch the deal, and rumors flew that the mayor was headed to Wrigley field to make the announcement.

But when the Mayor showed up, he said nothing. Early optimism faded and another day went by without a deal, or a victory.

More from Jay Levine
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