It was no surprise to most of us (especially Doc, who called this one a mile away), to find out that the Ricketts have already sauntered pretty far down the road to getting renovations to Wrigley Field approved. Now that the Ricketts have given up the idea that the State of Illinois and City of Chicago (which can’t pay people’s pensions or keep heat in their public schools, respectively) should pay hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate property that they purchased, own, and make money from, everyone seems a lot more willing to negotiate. Funny how that works:
Wrigleyville’s alderman says a recent proposal by Chicago Cubs owners to pay for renovations at Wrigley Field by relaxing advertising restrictions and other rules at the landmark ballpark is just one of many ideas being floated to pay for the work.
But Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, did not rule out easing city landmark rules that make it difficult for the team to erect lucrative billboards, a key component in the proposal by team CEO Tom Ricketts to foot the bill for the entire $300 million rehab without going to taxpayers. The previous plan to tap public amusement tax revenue was greeted coolly by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“I think a lot of balloons are being floated,” Tunney said Monday. “A lot of what they said has not been presented to the community.”
He said Cubs officials would need to negotiate with the owners of rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley, who gave an icy reception Monday to the idea of new signs that could block their views.
You know who else gives a frosty reception to signs that could block the views of the rooftops? Me.
I’ll admit it. Over the course of the last few seasons, I’ve become particularly fond of taking in the game from the off rooftop. The seats are more comfortable, the garbage cans aren’t swarming with bees, the food and drinks are plentiful and easy to obtain, and I don’t have miss two innings standing in line for the ladies room. Because there are no lines! Anywhere!
Did I mention that, for $75 to $100, I not only get admission (including heat/air conditioning as the weather requires), but all my food and drinks? And a bunch of flat screens? That sometimes show OTHER games that I’m interested in? Like the Blackhawks? Did I mention there are no lines for the bathrooms?
Duuuude. Don’t block the rooftops. Please.
“The rooftops are a fabric of the experience at Wrigley Field,” Beth Murphy, a member of the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association and owner of the bar Murphy’s Bleachers, said in a statement. “Any relaxation of the landmark ordinance that blocks our views violates our current 20-year contract with the Cubs and would jeopardize the tremendous economic contribution rooftops make to Chicago as businesses, taxpayers and members of the community.”
Yeah . . what that chick said.
What do you guys think? If Wrigley is more comfortable, do you care about the rooftops?