Cubs home opener draws fans to Wrigley Field | Still no deal for renovations to ballpark

Cubs
July 11, 2013 3:42:10 PM PDT
The Chicago Cubs opened up their home season Monday, but there is still no deal with the city to renovate the ballpark.

Still, the city's biggest powerbrokers could be seen at Wrigley Field during Opening Day festivities. Mayor Rahm Emanuel sat next to Alderman Tom Tunney. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Congressman Mike Quigley and Secretary of State Jesse White were also seated in the same row.

Although their presence left fans very aware of negotiations to make changes to the ballpark, many said they were more focused on the game and the tradition on Monday.

"It's fun. It's like second Christmas every opening day," said Art Hanley Jr., who travels with his family from Peoria every Opening Day.

Joseph Aguirre got a special pass from school.

"It's a very exciting time for us. It's the first time he is at opening day," said father Joe Aguirre.

Other fans -- and some rooftop owners -- said they were anxious to find out more about the $500 million planned to renovate the ballpark.

Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts took the opportunity to provide an update on those talks on Monday.

"The mayor's office has been great, the alderman has been very productive for getting through the issues and the family is committed to moving the process forward," said Ricketts.

He also said he hopes to improve the overall experience for fans. Proposed changes include adding more night games, a hotel across the street and video scoreboards inside the park. Cubs fans also can look forward to more concerts this season and special events like Singles Night at the ballpark.

Talks have been under way between the city of Chicago and nearby rooftop operators-- some of whom are not happy.

"I hope that we could do what we did when they did their bleacher expansion and that is to sit down with the community leaders and come to an agreement that works for everyone," said Beth Murphy, rooftop owner.

Others believe renovations would take away from the charm of the current ballpark.

"I would be crushed ... It's like you're stepping back in time right now," said Christian Taylor, Cubs fan.

Meanwhile, the Cubs took on the Milwaukee Brewers Monday afternoon and lost. It has been 105 years since the Cubs last won the World Series and few expected the drought to end this season.


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