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Daley Threatens to Close Wrigley

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jul 22, 2004 3:28PM

When Chicagoist first covered this story, we had no idea how juicy it might get. What could be better than a story that involves a heated sports rivalry, a populist politician, a conservative media conglomerate, cute kids, little old ladies from Iowa and allegations of a cover-up?

In the latest chapter of the crumbling Wrigley saga, Chicago mayor and #1 Sox fan Richard Daley blasted the Tribune Company -- owners of the Chicago Cubs -- for covering up the first falling concrete incident:

That [June 9] incident should have been fully disclosed to everyone. .. . If something fell off a building and the owner knew about it and no one said anything, you would write editorials about it. . . . But, when it comes to this building, it's kind of quiet. . . . Hide the news.

"You're the media. You have a strong voice in this city. But you also have a responsibility as well as anyone else. We're going to treat you the same way we treat ... someone with a back porch, someone with [falling] terra cotta. We want you to protect your building."

Having earlier given the Cubs 30 days to check the stadium, the deadline has now been moved up to July 30th, when the Cubs return home for the first time following a road trip.

So what will the Cubs do if Daley follows through on his threat to close an unsafe park? Don't look for any sympathy from the South Side, it seems. According to Sox spokesman Scott Riefert, scheduling would probably prevent the Cubs from playing at U.S. Cellular Field. Chicagoist suggests they find a nice little league field to play on, which would be fitting given their recent play.