Wrigley rooftop fight continues as deadline looms - New York News

Wrigley rooftop fight continues as deadline looms

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Community leaders from the 44th Ward and Ald. Tom Tunney will meet to hear more details on the Wrigley Field renovation and proposed hotel plans Wednesday night.

The fight between the Ricketts family and the Wrigley rooftop owners continued at the previous community meeting, which took place Tuesday night.

Wednesday's meeting, where the Cubs will begin to roll out some of the specific plans of their renovations to vet it with the community, is closed to the public. Only community leaders and Ald. Tunney will attend.

At the center of the argument is whether signs should go up at Wrigley Field that would block the view from rooftop bleachers, and they're big business.

Tuesday's meeting was an annually scheduled meeting between the Cubs, city, and residents nearby to talk about issues involving Wrigley Field and how it impacts their neighborhood.

About 200 people packed meeting into the town hall police station - not just Wrigleyville residents, but representatives of the rooftop owners battling with the Cubs over plans to renovate Wrigley Field. Those plans could eventually block their views with signage.

Most of the discussion at this meeting, though, was about parking, garbage, police controls, and usual issues. Alderman Tunney did respond to critics who blamed him for holding up the Cubs plan to spend half of a million dollars of their own money. He said he is not protecting the rooftop owners, but protecting his community.

"I get it. I have been around the council for over 10 years with your support," Alderman Tunney said. "I'm also Chairman of Economic Development. Don't tell me I don't know my job. Don't tell me about construction jobs, permanent jobs, we also have a tremendous amount of small business in this neighborhood. Some contribute to my campaign -- most do, actually. You know why? They know I know their language."

"We are better when we work together," Community Affairs for the Chicago Cubs Mike Lufrand said at the meeting. "We want to, obviously there's talk of restoring Wrigley Field, of investing in a community, of a hotel…things not on the agenda tonight but will be talked about at neighborhood meetings. "

Residents that FOX 32 spoke with had mixed reaction to the proposed changes.

"I want to stay with the old, the tradition of keeping the old scoreboard, and everything the same," Geri Donahue said. "You can't stop progress, but I think they're trying to compromise a little of both. I can understand why the homeowners are upset about losing their views."

"I'm for them," Jacob Klarkowski said. "I know that's probably not a common thing that people want. But it's time for an upgrade, kind of. It needs to move forward, but I'm also a Sox fan. So, whatever."

The Cubs say they want an answer from the city by April 1, opening day next week. If they don't get an answer by April 1, they have hinted they may begin listening to competing offers from communities such as Rosemont.

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