Thursday, May 02, 2013

Alderman lets it slip about Cubs owner on the Chicago Way, "He hasn't worked with the city of Chicago before"

Marathon Pundit in front of Wrigley Field
Tom Rickets, the owner of the Chicago Cubs, wants to improve Wrigley Field and reap in some of the investment-- which consists of $900 million that he and his family used to buy the team four years ago. He wants to add a Jumbotron scoreboard that would sit about the left field bleachers as well as a hotel next to the ballpark, which turns 100 next year. And Ricketts wants more night games played there.

These are reasonable requests. But the alderman in the Wrigley Field area, Tom Tunney, appears to care more about the rooftop club owners--their patrons watch the games from from the right and left field sides if the park. The previous owners of the Cubs, the Tribune Company, signed an agreement allowing rooftop operators to do this in exchange for some of their revenue--a colossally stupid decision.

Ricketts' renovation plans, which he will pay for out of his own pocket, will cost $500 million.

And now over to the Chicago Way. Many of the Wrigleyville rooftop owners are contributors to Tunney's campaign fund. Aldermen in the city traditionally hold substantial power over zoning decisions in their individual wards fiefdoms.

Ricketts, a Republican from Chicago's northern suburbs, is naive, according to Tunney, who told the Chicago Sun-Times' Fran Spielman today, "Sometimes, things get said out of context…He made a mistake. There's a lot of frustration over the whole process. He hasn't worked with the city of Chicago before [emphasis mine] and I know he's frustrated. We're all frustrated,"

The Chicago Way is one of the reasons the city's population is the lowest it has been in 100 years.

Ricketts should tell Tunney and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to shove a baseball bat where the sun doesn't shine and move the team where there will be plenty of parking, post-free views of the field, and modern bathrooms.

And a Jumbotron.

Disclosure: I am a White Sox fan.

Thanks to Roe Conn who brought this quote to my attention on his WLS-AM show this afternoon.

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