CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel isn’t openly criticizing the Cubs’ expanded plan for renovating Wrigley Field, but he said the team owners won’t be moving as fast as they seem to desire, WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.
The Cubs’ revamped proposal to erect additional signage to the Wrigley Field outfield and make other sweeping renovations to the park — such as moving the bullpen from foul territory to under the bleachers — isn’t ready to be presented to the city’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks, Emanuel said Wednesday.
The Cubs had hoped to gain approval for a $575-million expansion plan in a June 5 meeting with the commission, but that timeframe now appears in doubt. The crux of the issue is that until the Cubs publicly released the revised proposal last week, city officials hadn’t been informed of some of the renovation ideas.
“The recent submission is not ready for next week, and there won’t be a meeting or hearing on it on Landmarks,” Emanuel said. “Because there are new things that have been submitted, and you know Alderman (Patrick) O’Connor (has been) meeting with both the rooftop industry as well as the owners of Wrigley for months trying to work through the issue.
“So this is not ready for next week, and they have work to do.
“I want to see — what I’ve gone back to is what I think is a model for the city, which is the field in Boston (Fenway Park), a way to take an old field, do the types of things that are expected for fans when they go to a baseball game and see the game and enjoy also the history that Wrigley Field has. I do think there’s a right balance. But there are things like the bullpen that nobody had ever seen before. And so that’s why it’s not ready for next week, and they have their work to do.”
Emanuel didn’t comment on whether the seven proposed signs would be an issue, but he indicated there was more than just bullpen that was a surprise.
“I do hope in all of the times they were here with the rooftops, I wish both parties would get together and resolve the issue because I think it is in their mutual interest, let alone the interest of the city,” Emanuel said.
The Cubs announced their revised and expanded plans last week after talks with surrounding rooftop club owners collapsed.
How much of an effect Emanuel’s words have in the big picture remain to be seen, but 670 The Score’s Dan Bernstein reported that the Cubs’ new plan is still on track to gain approval from city officials, even if it takes longer than originally hoped.[tweet https://twitter.com/dan_bernstein/status/471751228394065920] [tweet https://twitter.com/dan_bernstein/status/471751820382339072]