Tuesday, July 23, 2013

EXTRA: Wrigley up for Wed. vote

Wrigley looking less and less like Wrigley should

The City Council is likely to give its approval to a renovation plan that supposedly would bring Wrigley Field into the 21st Century – structurally and technologically, ensuring that the Chicago Cubs will remain in the Lake View neighborhood for decades to come.

The aldermen meet Wednesday, and negotiations literally kept going through Tuesday.

FOR WHAT IT’S worth, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney is now a supporter of the project – although I suspect the council would have voted for the ballpark project even if he had maintained his objections.

For the record, Tunney can claim to have persuaded the Cubs to back away from one feature of the renovation – construction of a pedestrian bridge over Clark Street. He seems to think the structure would have been garish-looking.

Although personally, I think it might have been practical – similar to that bridge that takes people over 35th Street and directly into U.S. Cellular Field. It keeps all those Chicago White Sox fans from clogging up 35th Street traffic while trying to cross the streets to get to the parking lots.

Including the “sacred” lot upon which people park their cars on what was once the playing field of Comiskey Park.

A BRIDGE PROBABLY would have made some sense. But it isn’t going to happen. For the Cubs, I’m sure they think this is a minor concession – since they’re getting so much else of what they want.

Most sacred of parking lots
Those video boards (the tackily-named “jumbotrons”) and advertising signs that will block the views of some of the rooftops across the street from which some people pay about $150 per person to watch a ballgame from outside the stadium.

Which means they’re getting a crummier view of baseball than you get from the uppermost seats of the upper deck at U.S. Cellular – but then again, some people have money to burn, I guess.

At least we can stop wondering if a suburb is going to get to claim to have Major League Baseball within their boundaries. It was always a long-shot within the Chicago area (even though ball clubs like the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers are suburban-based in their metropolitan areas).

ALTHOUGH THEY MIGHT have another chance in about a decade or so.

Keep in mind that U.S. Cellular is in its 23rd season of baseball, and it seems that modern-day stadiums are expected to last 40 or so seasons before being replaced.

Considering that the White Sox wanted to move to a suburban location back in the 1980s, they may get another chance. Unless our political people maintain their current mindsets – in which case the Sox will play at 35th and Shields and the Cubs will be at Clark and Addison until the day Planet Earth comes to a fiery end.

The real question is will either ball club have made it back to the World Series before then?


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