Chicago landmarks board okays most of Wrigley remodel, holds off on jumbotron

The Chicago Landmarks Commission yesterday signed off on plans by Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts to move back the outer walls of Wrigley Field to make more room for concessions areas and ad signage, and also for advertising ribbon boards inside Wrigley, but held off on voting on a 6,000 square foot scoreboard in left field and a 1,000 square foot ad board in right field. Those signs will now be voted on on July 11.

Reading between the lines, this looks like “Mayor Emanual told us to vote for this stuff, but 6,000 square feet of jumbotron is freaking some people out, so negotiate that down in the next two weeks and then we can say it’s a compromise.” If that’s the way things play out, the Wrigley makeover plans would then go to the city Plan Commission, then the city council. Meaning we’re still in the same place we always were: If Ricketts can make the local alderman, Tom Tunney, happy, then this project almost certainly happens. And since Tunney is mostly concerned about not blocking the views of rooftop owners beyond the Wrigley bleachers, a somewhat downsized jumbotron sounds like the easy resolution.

As for who speaks for the actual experience of attending games at the historic (and until now relatively ad-free) ballpark, now that the landmarks commission has decided not to address that issue, it looks like the answer is no one. Unless…

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