Neighbors balk at Cubs’ revised plans for Wrigley Field renovations
BY ART GOLAB Staff Reporter July 7, 2014 10:25PM
A member of the landmarks commission says the seven outfield signs — including two video boards — proposed in the latest Wrigley Field renovation plan is simply too much. | Provided
Updated: July 8, 2014 2:18AM
More than 100 Lake View residents packed a meeting Monday night to discuss the latest plans by the Chicago Cubs to add signs and make other changes to Wrigley Field.
The proposal, which includes seven outfield signs — two of them video scoreboards — will be presented to Commission on Chicago Landmarks on Thursday.
Some residents expressed concern about increased light from the signs. Carl Rice, Cubs vice president of ballpark operations, said an initial study has shown “there will be 0 percent net gain [of light] to the exterior of the field.”
The Cubs have said they needed the signs to help pay for renovations of the ballpark, but when one resident asked if the signs would be retired when the renovations were paid off, Kam Buckner, the manager of government and neighborhood relations, had a one-word answer: “No.”
Buckner said the proposed changes would make little or no difference outside the ballpark.
“The plan that we are submitting Thursday complies with the standards identified and implemented by the landmark commission during the 2013 hearings,” Buckner said.
Residents said Monday night that they were weary of repeated requests by the Cubs seeking changes to the ballpark.
“I think the community is tired of being asked to give more and more and more with nothing in return. But it’s not enough; we want even more,” resident Terie Kata said.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who sponsored the meeting, said he thinks “there will always be further asks from the Cubs.”
Tunney said that he did not plan to support the proposed changes at Thursday’s commission meeting.
“That being said, there’s always compromises,” he said.
Late last month, the Cubs said Monday they expected to win approval for their revised plan to renovate Wrigley Field.
“We’re not prepared to lose another year and jeopardize delivering on the promises we made to our players, our fans and our [advertising] partners,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said then.
“We believe the revised expansion plan fits within the guidelines of the Landmarks Commission. We’re confident we’ve addressed all of the outstanding issues and should be going through with our revised plan on July 10,” Green said then. “We took the widening of the bullpen doors off the table. The only material change was those doors.”