Tunney Will Discuss Easing Landmark Restrictions if Cubs Agree to Demands
WRIGLEYVILLE — The Cubs may finally get a little support from Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) on their desire to have landmark restrictions loosened on Wrigley Field — if they follow a laundry list of demands from the North Side alderman.
Tunney has long opposed lifting the park's landmark status, partly because of strong opposition from owners of the rooftops outside Wrigley Field, who fear blocked views if the Cubs alter the park.
Tunney said if the Cubs agreed to the list of demands he released Tuesday, he'd be open to discussing their request to be treated more like a private business if they're going to pay for the entire cost of the proposed $300 million renovation of Wrigley Field.
Tunney reiterated that one of his priorities in working with the Cubs is a 10-year extension of an ordinance that limits the number of night games and concerts. That means street fairs, concerts or Friday afternoon games might be a pipe dream for the Cubs.
The alderman also wants the Cubs to build enough parking for at least 20 percent of Wrigley Field capacity — or about 8,000 parking spots — and wants a say in how often streets close for fairs.
Tunney said he might be open to more advertisements at the park, but said any agreement would need to happen after a discussion with rooftop owners.
Tunney's priorities include "a long-term agreement between the Chicago Cubs and its rooftop partners concerning advertising inside and outside of Wrigley Field," he said in the statement.
"The positions I have taken in my discussions with the Cubs closely mirror those of my constituents," he said. "All of us involved in the negotiations should be concentrating our efforts on a plan that takes all of Wrigley Field's and Lakeview's unique qualities into perspective."
Cubs spokesman Julian Green didn't address Tunney's specific demands, but said the team would work with him and city officials, both on the stadium renovations and a $200 million plan for development outside the park.
"We believe this remarkable $500 million project to ensure the viability of this extraordinary ballpark for future generations will not only protect local businesses in the ward, but will enhance the quality of life of the neighborhood," Green said in a statement. "We look forward to working with the Alderman, Mayor and the City of Chicago to preserve the state’s third largest tourist attraction, create jobs and economic development."
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the team's day-to-day operations.