Rahm Dodges Details on Wrigley Renovation

By Ted Cox on April 16, 2013 3:47pm 

 Mayor Rahm Emanuel says it's up to the Cubs to make the next moves on the Wrigley Field renovation, then "we're going to work with them."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel says it's up to the Cubs to make the next moves on the Wrigley Field renovation, then "we're going to work with them."
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

AVALON PARK — Mayor Rahm Emanuel studiously avoided making any final decisions on the Wrigley Field renovation Tuesday.

"We have a framework, an understanding, that in my view follows very much what was done in Boston with Fenway [Park]," Emanuel said. But he dodged any commitment on issues still in play, such as whether the Cubs will pay compensation for added space on Waveland and Sheffield avenues and whether he'll support tax breaks for the landmark ballpark.

"The Cubs now will submit something that goes through the planning process," he said. "We're going to work with them so that both Wrigley Field and Wrigleyville succeed in this effort and good jobs and economic growth come from it," he added. "All the parties will go forward."

Yet he tiptoed around any final word on the details, saying, "There will be a time to comment on each of these individually."

Asked specifically about whether he would support Class L status for Wrigley, which would grant the park a 12-year tax break during renovation, Emanuel dodged the issue.

Asked whether rooftop owners would have a say over a potentially 6,000-square-foot jumbotron video screen, Emanuel said, "Rooftops are part of the community. But there are a lot of other interests." He did say it was settled that the video screen would be "in the park, not outside the park."

The Cubs, the Emanuel administration and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) proclaimed a done deal this week, but some details remained to be ironed out. Emanuel Tuesday made it clear it's the Cubs' move now to make proposals and get them through the planning process to completion.

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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