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Tunney Demands Changes To Wrigley Renovation Plan

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 27, 2013 8:30PM

Image courtesy Chicago Cubs

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) drew yet another line in the sand regarding the Chicago Cubs’ renovation plans for Wrigley Field on the eve of hearings on the proposal.

In a letter to Cubs executive vice president Michael Lufrano, Tunney laid out his demands: A reduction in outfield signage; a smaller Jumbotron in left field; the removal of a pedestrian bridge connecting Wrigley Field with a proposed hotel to be built by the Ricketts family across the street; and a smaller right-field advertising sign.

Tunney indicated the one non-negotiable aspect of his demands is the smaller jumbotron, whose size he wants reduced by a third and an indication the owners of the rooftop clubs surrounding Wrigley Field still have his ear, if not the key to his campaign fund. Just don’t call them demands or ultimatums or extortion or Tunney screwing with the Cubs once again. Tunney told the Tribune he spoke with Mayor Emanuel about the changes to the renovation plans and Emanuel “said he thinks he can help, and I think so too.” The Emanuel administration sent out a stock press release saying only that progress was being made on the proposal.

Cubs spokesman Julian Green responded to Tunney’s latest territorial pissing by insisting all the elements of the ballclub’s proposal must be in place, especially since the revenue expected to be generated by added signage and sponsorships will fund the rehab of Wrigley Field. “Anything less significantly hampers our ability to make a $500 million investment,” Green said.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks is expected to grant the Cubs permission to extend Wrigley Field’s left- and right-field outward walls, a new Captain Morgan Club, a new western entrance on Clark Street and remodeled dugouts. The Commission will meet July 11 to discuss the issues Tunney raises.

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