WRIGLEYVILLE — Sorry, suburban Rosemont. The Cubs are not about to land near O'Hare Airport.
Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens told CSNChicago.com on Monday that he was willing to give the Cubs 25 acres to build a Wrigley Field replica free of city restrictions if they'll move to the northwest suburb.
Wrigleyville, Stephens told CSNChicago.com, is holding the Cubs "hostage."
Here's the pitch: Rosemont has just a 3 percent amusement tax compared to Chicago's 12 percent; and there would be no restrictions on signage, night games or street festivals like there are at Wrigley, Stephens said
Stephens' offer addressed several of the roadblocks the Cubs have faced in making a deal for Wrigley Field renovations.
"Bring the bricks and the ivy and we can get a deal done," Stephens said.
"Since day one, the Ricketts family has been working tirelessly to develop a championship organization and to come up with a plan to preserve Wrigley Field and invest in the neighborhood," said Cubs spokesman Julian Green in a statement.
"They appreciate the expressions of interest from Rosemont and others, however the current focus is to see if an agreement can be reached with the City of Chicago."
Tunney's office, via chief of staff Bennett Lawson, had no comment on the Stephens' invite or his dig that the alderman is "losing sight" of what matters.
The alderman has said he does not want to change existing contracts limiting night games, signage or other restrictions unless the Cubs present more detailed parking and security plans. The Cubs, meanwhile, want fewer restrictions to help fund a $300 million renovation of the field.
Wrigley's proximity to dense residential areas have made parking and security key quality of life points for the neighborhood. Lakeview has more than 22,500 residents per square mile while Rosemont only has more than 2,400 residents per square mile.
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.