WRIGLEYVILLE — The Chicago Cubs are crying foul at Mayor Rahm Emanuel's announcement early Sunday that the city struck a deal on the proposed Wrigley Field plaza.
"We were unaware of an announcement of a deal or a news release being issued," spokesman Julian Green said. On Saturday, Green told The Sun-Times that they remained "miles from a deal" over use of the triangle plaza.
It's the latest twist in five months of negotiations over the Wrigley Field plaza ordinance proposed in January. While the Cubs prefer the 2013 draft modeled after Navy Pier, Tunney brought forward an even-stricter version in May.
Emanuel called the fourth draft of the ordinance Sunday a "win for the Chicago Cubs and their fans, and a win for the neighbors who live near Wrigley Field."
The half-finished Wrigley Field plaza on Opening Day 2016. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
His agreement permits the Cubs to operate the plaza with different hours on game days and for special events. The new proposal would still require fans to have tickets to get on the plaza, but it would sell beer and wine until one hour after the game ends.
Previously, alcohol sales were to be cut off at the same time as inside the ballpark — after the seventh inning.
Requiring tickets on game days for the plaza was "important," Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said.
"Our community will not absorb an increase in occupancy along with the many other changes to the Wrigley campus," Tunney said. "It allows the Cubs and their partners to activate the plaza on game days and with events year-round while addressing the concerns raised by neighbors."
The new plaza ordinance would also allow 12 special events each year, an increase from the initial eight proposed. Still, it's a far cry from what the Cubs organization has called for as it awaits a decision on its outdoor patio liquor license.
The Wrigley Field facade was slowly replaced during the Cubs offseason. Pictured, construction crews hammer away in March 2016. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
Last week, the Cubs specifically opposed limiting the number of special events and only allowing ticket holders on the plaza during games or concerts.
The club said it was still trying to clarify how the special event permits can be used. While a single special event can last up to 10 days, the Cubs said it was unclear whether each special event — like a movie night with amplified sound and alcohol — would require its own permit.
Notably, Emanuel lumped the farmers markets, skating rink and movie nights into the 12 allowed special events. Cubs officials have said including such lower-impact events in that grouping would devastate their ability to offer community-friendly events along with concerts and other events where alcohol is sold.
"The fact is, it's our property," Ricketts said during a June 1 presentation to the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. "The right answer is to let us continue to do what we've already discussed."
Maximum occupancy of the area will be determined by the Department of Buildings once the final plans are submitted.
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts speaks to members of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce in the Wrigley Field Audi Club June 1. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
"This compromise plan is the product of long negotiations," Emanuel said, "and it reflects my long-held goals of allowing the Cubs to improve Wrigley, but only in a way that protects the neighborhood and the residents' quality of life."
The City Council will consider the latest version of the plaza ordinance June 22.
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