Cubs, city continue Wrigley Field talks past deadline - New York News

Cubs, city continue Wrigley Field talks past deadline

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Negotiations are continuing over plans to renovate 99-year-old Wrigley Field.

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts had set a hard deadline of April 1 to get a deal done. Though they haven't yet reached an agreement, enough progress is being made that the Cubs are willing to continue talking past the deadline.

At the same time the Cubs were winning their season opener in Pittsburgh, another game of hardball was playing out in the mayor's fifth floor office at City Hall.

"When the parties have something to announce, they're gonna announce it," Emanuel told the anxious public.

Mayor Emanuel wouldn't talk about negotiations over renovating Wrigley Field, but FOX 32 has learned Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has agreed to the mayor's request to extend the Cubs' self-imposed deadline by at least another day.

The Cubs want to spend $300 million of their own money to overhaul the historic ballpark and another $200 million to build a new hotel across the street. But, the Cubs say they can't afford the renovation unless the city eases landmark restrictions on Wrigley and allows the Cubs to put up more advertising signs and a giant video screen.

The mayor says just be patient.

"There will be a time in which the fog will lift on the negotiations and people will see what's in front of them as a victory," Emanuel said.

A source close to the Cubs says the major stumbling block remains: 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, who they believe is acting as a de facto representative of the rooftop businesses opposed to new signage at Wrigley that might block their views. Tunney has said he is simply trying to represent all the voices of his community.

In Pittsburgh, Cubs President Theo Epstein talked about the importance of getting a Wrigley deal done, saying the club needs to maximize its revenues to compete.

"And if we don't get a Wrigley renovation done in a timely manner and done the right way, then we can't accomplish our business objectives," Epstein says. "And that will ultimately get in the way of us accomplishing our baseball objectives. So it's very important."

Negotiations will continue at City Hall Tuesday, which is also the day Rosemont Mayor brad Stephens promised to call the Cubs and offer up 25 acres of free land to build a new ballpark.

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