CHICAGO (CBS) — Amid months of fighting between the Chicago Cubs and rooftop club owners over plans to renovate Wrigley Field, residents who live in Wrigleyville have complained their voices are going unheard when it comes to placing new signs in the outfield.
WBBM Newsradio’s Veronica Carter reports many residents of the neighborhood surrounding Wrigley Field don’t like the Cubs’ plan to put a massive video screen in left field and a new advertising board in right field.
Rooftop owners have threatened to sue if the Cubs don’t stick to their original plan for only those two signs, after the Cubs moved forward with an even more ambitious expansion plan that would allow for seven new signs in the outfield.
Terie Kata lives near Wrigley Field, and she said residents’ opinions on the expansion plans are being ignored.
“The mayor refused to acknowledge our request to meet with him, or somebody from his team, or to be included in any negotiations,” she said.
She said any new signs in the outfield would create a traffic hazard, and violate the city’s landmark ordinance.
“They’d most likely all be digital. Some of it’s going to have sound,” she said. “The light pollution, the noise pollution; there’s no restrictions whatsoever on it.”
She said if the Cubs get to put up the seven signs they want, the neighborhood will become downright ugly.
“People come to Wrigley Field because it’s Wrigley Field, and it’s not suddenly. It’s not [U.S.] Cellular Field. It’s the charm of Wrigley, and all they want to do is be ‘Me too, me too. We want to look just like them,’” Kata said.
Neighborhood activists held a meeting Monday night near Wrigley Field. Residents spoke out for and against the project, and a spokesman for the Cubs defended the latest signage plan.
“At the end of the day, we’re going to get sued for two signs,” Julian Green said. “We might as well go forward with our original package for four signs.”
Kata said advice from the community has helped the Cubs in the past.
“It was because of neighborhood input that we actually came up with the cantilevered design; which was much more effective, and much more aesthetically pleasing than the original design by the Cubs,” she said. “We feel that we could help them still achieve their objectives without sacrificing our neighborhood.”
But Aldermanic candidate Scott Davis doesn’t see the reason for the complaints.
“I’m just not sure that’s a quality of life issue. The signs face inside the ballpark, not outside,” said Davis.
Davis believes there’s a silent majority in Wrigleyville that support Ricketts’ Wrigley renovation.
“There’s a lot of us that want Wrigleyville to be Wrigleyville. That’s why we moved here,” said Davis.
Monday night’s community meeting comes just three days before the Cubs plan to present their proposal for seven outfield signs to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.