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Emanuel Wants Cubs, Rooftop Owners To Keep Talking

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 8, 2014 10:00PM

Photo credit: Joseph Dennis

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is urging the Cubs and the owners of the rooftop clubs surrounding Wrigley Field to continue talking to each other in order to avoid litigation and allow the Cubs to move forward with their plans to renovate the Friendly Confines, as other neighbors of the ballpark express their dissatisfaction with the Cubs amended plan.

Emanuel made his latest statement on the impasse between the Cubs and rooftop clubs a day after a public meeting on the revised renovation plan drew scores of residents to the Town Hall District police station, days before the plan is set to be voted on by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. Many residents objected to the revised number of signs the Cubs want in the plan.

The city already approved two video screens in the original plan last year. Now they want to add five more signs in the outfield among their new wrinkles in the plan. Jim Spencer, president of the community group East Lake View Neighbors, called the changes greedy.

“The Cubs keep going to the well … the buffet table catered by Rahm Emanuel and he keeps bringing out more food and they just keep eating it,” said Spencer.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) who promised last year to be “up (the Cubs’) butt” about the renovations, kept to his word and said the amended proposal “fly in the face of what I believe is being a good neighbor.”

The Cubs have consistently said they need the signs to bankroll their now $575 million renovation plan, which will not include taxpayer funds. Kam Buckner, the Cubs’ manager of government and neighborhood relations, said the signs and scoreboards would remain in place even after the renovations have been paid for.