Cubs agree to shrink jumbotron slightly, Tunney still not appeased

Early reports are coming in of what the Chicago Landmarks Commission is likely to vote on today regarding Wrigley Field, and it looks like they will indeed shrink the size of Cubs owner Tom Ricketts’ requested jumbotron slightly, as was reported yesterday. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Instead of building a 6,000-square-foot video score­board in left field, the Cubs have settled for 4,500 square feet. The Jumbotron will be 95 feet wide, down from 100 feet, meaning five feet less of rooftop blockage. The back will be tailor-made to blend in with the 99-year-old stadium’s restored exterior.

Instead of putting up a 1,000-square-foot see-through sign in right field that might move or rotate, the team will get a static 650-square-foot see-through sign.

And while the team has held out the possibility of setting off fireworks to celebrate home runs — just as they do at U.S. Cellular Field — sources said City Hall will not authorize pyrotechnics at Wrigley.

This has not, though, apparently been enough to cut a deal with local alderman Tom Tunney, who remains opposed to the deal. From Crain’s Chicago Business:

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) remains opposed to the latest version of the plan, despite receiving a call from Mr. Emanuel yesterday offering a few tweaks, sources close to him say.

Mr. Tunney wants the size of the signs slashed nearly in half and is pressing for other concessions. He is expected to charge that the Cubs are not paying what they should to acquire the city-owned sidewalks…

Mr. Emanuel reportedly offered to reduce the size of the jumbotron from 100 feet by 60 feet to 95-by-60, to add a guarantee that no additional signage would be approved for at least 10 years, and to ban the shooting of home run fireworks from the giant sign.

Mr. Tunney said no, telling the mayor the two would have to “go our different ways on this one,” one source said.

That’s an awful lot of anonymously sourced reporting, granted, but it does look like Emanuel has won the day with the landmarks board, but not with Tunney. And with the city council still needing to approve the Wrigley plans, and that body traditionally not eager to override the wishes of the local representative for an effected district, this could be setting up yet another Emanuel-v.-Tunney bout in the runup to a council vote. The Wrigley renovations are inching closer to approval, and it looks like they’ll get most of what they asked for, but what the final compromise will look like isn’t over by a long shot.

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4 comments on “Cubs agree to shrink jumbotron slightly, Tunney still not appeased

  1. Chicago – a special place where 95 x 60 does not equal 5700 sq ft of billboards. Ricketts have been working on that “appear smaller on the outside” technology so they can say it’s only 4,500 sq ft.

  2. This will get done, because Rahm is the “Rahmfather,” and Tom Tunney can go back to his ward and state “I went to bat for you…I did everything I could possibly do to give voice to your concerns, the Cubs made some concessions, but going against The Rahmfather is tilting at windmills.”
    He will likely get reelected, because this is Chicago, and incumbents never lose, and again, he can state to those that contribute to his campaign, “Remember, I stood up to the big bad Cubs and the Rahmfather, and DID get some concessions!”

  3. So… surely someone in the inner sanctum/rectum of power in Chicago has realized by now that a sign that is the same height but five feet narrower still blocks 95% of the rooftop view it did before the “shrinking”… While a sign that is just as wide but 2-3′ shorter in height blocks much less.

    Anyone else find it weird that Ricketts attempts to block rooftop views are ongoing, even though he is actually a partner in some of the rooftop businesses???

    I wonder where that five foot gap will be….

  4. Apparently the new jumbotron size actually is 5,700 square feet. The Sun-Times must have fired all its mathematicians along with its photographers.

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