Emanuel gives tentative thumbs-up to Ricketts’ bleacher deck demand

Turns out Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts’ after-the-fact demand for a right-field spectator deck wasn’t quite as after-the-fact as all that, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

“It was brought up toward the end,” the mayor said at a news conference on CTA absenteeism. “It was too soon to have shoehorned it in to the planned development that City Council passed. The alderman’s going to run a community process. What I do note, which I thought was interesting given the usual rift that exists between the rooftops and the Ricketts, here’s the one idea that the two of them agreed on, which stood out.”

So basically, Ricketts wants to build out part of Wrigley Field over Sheffield Avenue, and it would make the local rooftop owners happy because their patrons could still see in, and the local alderman (who is buddies with the rooftop owners) will solicit community input before the city council votes on this plan, and community members were totally listened to the last time, right? So it would just be churlish, really, to ask for Ricketts to provide anything in exchange for extending his ballpark over a public street.

Any complaints about Ricketts getting everything he asks for (so long as it’s not actual public money, just public ad space and street space) aside, if this goes through Wrigley is going to look even weirder than under the plan approved last week, with a big spectator deck jutting out from the historic ballpark footprint. The new addition hasn’t yet been incorporated into the tour of creepy computer-generated Wrigley on the Cubs’ pro-renovation website; hey, Photoshop users of the interweb, anyone feel like giving it a shot?


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