Wrigley Field Jumbotron Compromise on the Horizon, Rahm Says

By Ted Cox on July 9, 2013 1:02pm 

 Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, "We're just a few feet away ... from a win-win situation" on the Wrigley Field renovation project.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, "We're just a few feet away ... from a win-win situation" on the Wrigley Field renovation project.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

BACK OF THE YARDS — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said a compromise was coming on Wrigley Field renovations, especially where the proposed Jumbotron was concerned.

"We're just a few feet away — I mean, literally, a few feet away — from a win-win situation," Emanuel said Tuesday.

That would appear to be a direct reference to the proposed video screen in left field and a large advertising sign in right field — the only two items in the Cubs' Wrigley rehabilitation project not approved during the last meeting of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.

The Cubs have insisted they need a 6,000-square-foot Jumbotron and a 1,000-square-foot strip sign to generate the ad revenue to pay for the $500 million Wrigley rehab project. But Ald. Tom Tunney has called the advertising on such signs "a quality-of-life issue" for Wrigleyville residents and has suggested shrinking them.

Emanuel said Tuesday the sides recently had "a very good meeting," but took no sides on the issue.

"The alderman has been a tireless advocate for a better traffic system, a better safety system, a better investment for the community from the Cubs" and better parking, Emanuel said.

At the same time, he praised the Cubs' efforts to "upgrade a Wrigley Field for the 21st century" in a way "complementary to the entire field and stadium."

With another Landmarks meeting set for the issue on Thursday, Emanuel said he expected it to "make progress in advance of both of those goals."

Emanuel made the remarks during a Back of the Yards news conference trumpeting a new deal to manufacture so-called smart meters to be installed citywide by ComEd over the next few years.

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 management of the iconic team.

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