Chicago council approves $500M Wrigley renovations

July 24, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Aldermen voted Wednesday to support the work for the home of the Cubs, one day after it got crucial approval from a City Council zoning committee and the alderman whose ward includes the ballpark.

The Jumbotron will be a first for the 99-year-old ballpark on the city's north side. The team is also adding another sign in right field. But they agreed not to build any other signs that could block the views of rooftop businesses across the street. They also shelved a planned pedestrian bridge just west of the park.

The Cubs have been trying to put together the plan since new ownership took over in 2009.

"I can support this plan development with the protections from my neighborhood moving forward, and a respectful relationship with the Cubs and the community, and the city and our mayor," said 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney. "

Supporters are not only looking forward to the estimated thousands of jobs the plan will bring to the neighborhood, fans are hoping it helps the team on the field, too.

"If you vote yes for Wrigley Field, we will have a World Series at Wrigley Field as soon as this is done to break the Billy Goat curse," said fan Trudy Acheatel.

The club will move the entrance of the proposed hotel to Clark Street.

In a statement ahead of Wednesday morning's council meeting, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, "While there is work to do, we are continuing to move forward on this plan to bring valuable jobs and economic impact to the Lakeview community without using taxpayer dollars."

But despite the changes, some people who live near the aging ballpark still don't like it.

"I never signed up to live right behind a 100-foot hotel," said area resident Jim Williams. "There hasn't been one built in a 100 years. I don't see why I should have anticipated that."

Renovations and construction would start in the fall after baseball season. It would take about five years to complete.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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