As you’ve known since the Ricketts Family proposed all the changes shortly after they bought the Chicago Cubs, there have been plans for an outdoor entertainment plaza right next to Wrigley Field to boost revenue and make Wrigleyville a bit more fun than it is. In fact, if you go to Cubs games these days, you can see the construction in progress to the west of the old ball park even as you are inside watching the ball game.
You can check out all the stuff we’ve written about in the links within this more recent blog, but the idea I got from the Cubs’ side is that they don’t feel like taking what they consider to be a raw deal from the city, while the city of Chicago has decided not to negotiate further with the Cubs at this time. So when Anno suggested that a deal was in place this morning, I was skeptical based on what I had read earlier, but then he showed me this, in which the Mayor and Alderman Tunney pretty much said that a compromise had been made:
The deal includes restrictions that the Cubs had previously opposed.
Under the proposed deal announced by Emanuel and the 44th Ward alderman, for day games the Cubs will be allowed to sell beer and wine until one hour after the game ends. For night games, the Cubs will be allowed to sell only until the end of the game, officials said.
“I am pleased with the compromise that we reached on this ordinance. It allows the Cubs and their partners to activate the plaza on game days and with events year-round while addressing the concerns raised by neighbors,” Tunney said in the release.
Now I’m just like, “Hey wait a minute, the last thing I heard, the Cubs didn’t want to take your deal!” And it would appear that the Cubs are as surprised as I am:
Cubs spokesman Julian Green declined to comment Saturday, saying the team was unaware of the city’s news release.
But Green had previously told the Chicago Sun-Times the Cubs were “miles from a deal that includes these terms.”
I am perceiving that the city of Chicago is setting up a power play, in a manner similar to when the Cubs decided to just apply for a liquor license and deal with the ramifications later. It does appear that the Cubs thought they would keep on negotiating, but the city has decided to just out and say that the deal is done even if it wasn’t. The Cubs at this time declined comment because they either have no deal in place and are trying to figure out WTF just happened, or they realize that their position has weakened because the city is strong-arming them into another unfavorable deal that, honestly, no other MLB team has to contend with. It certainly doesn’t help that the Mayor appears to be putting his weight behind this…
In the city’s statement Saturday, Emanuel hailed the agreement as “a win for the Chicago Cubs and their fans, and a win for the neighbors who live near Wrigley Field.”
“By taking a balanced approach to this outdoor space, the Cubs can continue to invest in a historic neighborhood ballpark while protecting neighborhood quality of life,” Emanuel said.
So now this goes before the City Council, where we find out whether the Cubs did give in to a compromise, or if they’re about to get ready for some legal tussling. Makes you wonder if the Cubs should’ve just picked up and moved, eh?