Wrigley Field improvements, Cubs issues discussed at community meeting

March 26, 2013 8:49:27 PM PDT
A community meeting was held Tuesday to discuss requests by the Chicago Cubs to make improvements in and around Wrigley Field.

The team's plans for renovations at the ballpark have drawn opposition from some nearby residents and Alderman Tom Tunney.

Questions came up at the meeting about the Cub's interest in putting advertising above the bleachers which could impact the view from the rooftops surrounding Wrigley Field.

There was not an extra inch of space to be found in the meeting room. To this point the Cubs plans for the ballpark and the neighborhood are as much rumor as fact. Alderman Tom Tunney is part of the negotiations between the Cubs and the city.

"The issue is there are so many moving parts to this development," Tunney said.

Beth Murphy has owned Murphy's Beachers bar and the rooftop overlooking the ballpark for 33 years. She and other rooftop owners are concerned the Cubs want to put up advertising over the bleachers that will block their view.

Since the Ricketts family bought the team they have been trying to finance ballpark renovations. Their current plan is to do it with their own funding and they want to increase revenue by adding advertising dollars.

The Cubs say the Ricketts family is willing to invest $500 million in improvements in the park and the neighborhood. In exchange they want the city to ease restrictions on Wrigley Field's landmark status which could allow more advertising, night games and street fairs on Sheffield Avenue.

That's one of a number of issues on the table as the Cubs negotiate with the City of Chicago.

The team and city officials meet annually with area residents to update issues like safety, parking and other neighborhood concerns.