As the Chicago Cubs' quest for a fair stadium refinancing deal continues to drag on with the Wrigleyville community throwing up roadblocks to slow down the settlement process, a new and potentially viable option to Wrigley Field has emerged. Rosemont mayor Brad Stephens told me this morning in a CSN Chicago exclusive that he is willing to give the Cubs and the Ricketts family a 25-acre parcel of land in the village that is a prime piece of real estate large enough to accommodate a new ballpark as well as parking and anything else the Ricketts family would desire to have as a part of the new complex. “The Chicago Cubs are being held hostage by the neighborhood as they look to run their business. We are willing to offer them a tremendous opportunity if they are interested. Bring the bricks and the ivy and we can get a deal done, ” Stephens told me this morning. The Cubs have looked to renovate 99-year-old Wrigley Field since the Ricketts family purchased the team from the Tribune Company in October 2009. The ballpark is in major need of a complete overhaul and after going through a number of possibilities for financing the renovation project, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts announced at the Cubs Convention in January that he is willing to fund the project estimated at $500 million. However, in return for no public monies, Ricketts is asking that the city agree to relax some of the restrictions on the stadium that limit signage as well as the number of night games that can be played. Currently, the Cubs are capped at 30 night games while the major league average is 57. Increased signage and more night games will increase revenue dramatically, which would help to pay for the costly rehab of a ballpark that is Illinois’ third-largest tourist attraction.
Rosemont Cubs? Suburban mayor makes his pitch
CSN Chicago | Mar 20