It appears Ald. Tom Tunney’s fight over Wrigley Field renovations is far from over.
The alderman has reportedly made new demands on the eve of a Chicago Plan Commission’s meeting on the $500 million development.
Tunney previously demanded that the Cubs drop plans to build a pedestrian bridge over Clark Street that would connect a Cubs-built hotel to the team’s new office building, scrap the hotel’s outdoor patio deck over Patterson Street and move hotel “lobby activity” from Patterson to either Clark or Addison, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
On Wednesday, Tunney reportedly added one more demand to that list. He wants a 10-year moratorium on stadium signage beyond the recently approved signs, the Sun-Times reported.
Last week, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks signed off on a proposal for two large video scoreboards in Wrigley Field, handing the Ricketts family a key win in their plan to renovate the Friendly Confines and a big setback to nearby rooftop business owners.
"We want to make sure this ballpark stays around for the next 100 years, and given today's approval we believe we'll be on track," Cubs spokesman Julian Green told NBC Chicago following the day's marathon meeting.
But the video signage was also a sore spot for Tunney. Tunney said he couldn’t back the plan unless certain last-minute demands were met, including reducing the sizes of the Jumbotron and the advertisement in right field. A compromise the Cubs were willing to make.
Tunney said if his recent list of demands is met, he will support the development, the Sun-Times reported.
And Tunney wasn’t the only one vying for changes before the crucial Thursday vote.
Lakeview residents gathered Wednesday to rally against parts of the development and demand similar alterations to the plan.
Residents argued that the developments will decrease their property value, pose a security danger, and cause disruptions with bright lights, loud noise, and signage.
“There are still issues that need to be heard and discussed with the city before it approves the development,” said William DeMille, president of the Lake View Citizens’ Council. “This can be a win for the city, a win for the cubs and a win and a win for the community but for this to happen the city must listen."
The Cubs maintain the proposed changes to the park are necessary to keep the organization financially viable.
Last week Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been assisting with negotiations between the Cubs and Tunney, said the group had a “very good meeting” and were “literally feet away from a win-win situation.”
Ald. Tunney was not present for the Wednesday demonstrations, but is reportedly lobbying for his colleagues to uphold the tradition of deferring zoning and development issues to the local alderman.
If it comes down to it, he said he's prepared for a city council fight.