The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Cubs to Cicero? Another Suburb Offers Up Land to Team

By Serena Dai | May 8, 2013 10:45am | Updated on May 8, 2013 1:43pm
 Wrigley Field before the 2013 home opener.
Wrigley Field before the 2013 home opener.
View Full Caption
Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel

WRIGLEYVILLE — Another suburb has offered itself up to the Chicago Cubs — this time with twice as much land on the table.

Larry Dominick, town president of near west suburban Cicero, said he's sent a letter to team chairman Tom Ricketts saying there's more than 50 acres of land with the Cubs' name on it, twice as much as suburban Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens' offer of 25 acres.

In Cicero, the team would also get rights to video screens and more night games.

"The benefits are limitless," Dominick said in a statement.

The Cubs have been trying to gain approval for a $500 million plan to restore Wrigley Field and develop the surrounding community, but details such as the number of night games and signage are restricted by the city. The team has been involved in discussions with the community, rooftop owners, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in hopes of reaching a finalized deal.

Already, Cubs spokesman Julian Green said no to Rosemont's offer. For Cicero, Green reiterated the team's commitment to see the proposal pass through Chicago's planned development process.

"Until we hear or know otherwise, we will continue to proceed with the process to help restore Wrigley Field and keep the Cubs in Chicago," he said in a statement.

Ricketts said last week the team would have to consider moving if plans for a 6,000-square-foot Jumbotron for the stadium are blocked, but the main focus is to work out a plan for Lakeview. He said Tuesday he believes the team has the necessary support to start construction this year.

But lifelong Cubs fan Dominick has an easy out in Cicero: increased seating, 81 night games a year, more parking and more vendors.

The landmarked Wrigley Field could be transformed into a museum — maybe for goats, Dominick suggested. The Cubs haven't won because the team is "playing baseball in a straightjacket," he said. A move to Cicero is a move toward a World Series, he argued.

"We're willing to work with the Ricketts family to give them what they need to build a first class stadium that a World Series Team needs," he said.

Cicero and Dominick have been dogged by controversy. The Sun-Times has linked a close Dominick ally, who heads a local high school board, to a cocaine dealer and a motorcycle gang leader with alleged mob ties. The paper also reported that the town spent $3 million at a Berwyn hardware store as the store's owner contributed tens of thousands of dollars in cash and in-kind support to Dominick's campaign chest.

Dominick, who was re-elected last year, was also a defendant in a series of sexual harassment and whistleblower lawsuits.

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.