Wrigley Night Games Static As Tunney, Cubs Negotiate 'Comprehensive' Plan

By Serena Dai and Ted Cox  on February 13, 2013 4:19pm

CITY HALL — The number of Wrigley Field night games will be static at 30 for now. 

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) did not introduce an ordinance to amend the Neighborhood Protection Plan at Wednesday's City Council despite the Cubs' request. 

"I represent the residents and the small businesses," Tunney said. "The sense of urgency is not on my part."

The current ordinance expires in 2015 and limits the Cubs to 27 night games, with the rights to three more to allow national TV broadcasters to move day games to the evening.

But future changes may still come when full negotiations are complete. Night game flexibility will be packaged with all the other changes the Cubs want to help finance the $300 million renovation of Wrigley Field, including landmark easing, details on the planned hotel on the Clark Street McDonald's site and money for community projects.

"All of it has to be together," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "There is an agreement to be had. It's right there. ...Seize it."

Though Tunney expressed little urgency, the Cubs have said they want the overall negotiation completed before Opening Day — and they still do, said Ricketts family spokesman Dennis Culloton.

"They're eager to see the thousands of jobs that would be created," Culloton said. "If we don't have a good solution in place or close to being in place by the season, it jeopardizes construction."

Emanuel and Tunney both emphasized the need for a comprehensive plan that tackled all the issues at once. Right now, no agreement has been made regarding night games, Tunney said. 

"We're not there yet," he said. "Everyone's going to have to give a little."

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.

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