Ward Room
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No Wrigley Renovation Deal as Second Deadline Passes

Cubs, city and small business owners had hoped for a deal by Monday's home opener

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Twice the Cubs have publicly called for self-imposed deadlines to score a deal with the city and rooftop owners on plans to renovate Wrigley Field. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

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Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts had hoped he'd be able to announce Monday a deal in plans to renovate Wrigley Field.

But on this day -- the team's home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers and a self-imposed deadline to strike an accord with the city and small business owners -- there was no news to report other than that talks were continuing.

"We'll just work through it. I think there's a lot of uncertainty. We'll start to address some of issues of uncertainty and I think that will help go a long way," Ricketts said outside the ballpark.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on-hand at the game but rushed to his seat, declining to offer a pre-game update.

But Beth Murphy, a spokesperson for the Wrigleyville Rooftops Association, said the small business owners welcome a renovation that improves the ballpark while honoring an existing revenue-sharing agreement.

Rooftop owners last week threatened to sue if new signage added to the perimeter of Wrigley Field blocks their rooftop views. They're contractually obligated to share 17 percent of their profits with the Cubs through the 2024 season.

"We want the Cubs to start their renovation and we'd like this not to be a cloud over everybody's head," said Murphy, the owner of Murphy's Bleachers.

But one head trying to maintain a low profile appears to be Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), whose ward includes Wrigley Field. He met with attorneys in his ward office earlier in the day before eventually making his way to the game to join the mayor and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Despite the passage of the second self-imposed deadline to come and go without an agreement, Ricketts remains confident one is there to be made.

"It's a process. We're moving forward. We got a lot of people committed to getting this done, and the Ricketts family is committed to getting this done," he said.

Likely putting a damper on Ricketts' mood was the Cubs' 7-4 loss to the Brewers.

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