The endless Wrigley Field renovation talks are -- yet again -- said to be nearing a close, this time with an added proposal to expand the ballpark's footprint by creating more bleacher space.
Thursday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel trotted out the oft-repeated promise that negotiations on the $300 million deal were nearly finished telling reporters the talks were "kind of in the bottom of the ninth," the Sun-Times reports.
According to Fox Chicago, the latest proposal calls for the right and left field stadium walls to be extended out about 10 feet, which would take over the sidewalk and a portion of the street at Waveland and Sheffield.
The bleacher expansion would add interior space to the park and minimize the impact on rooftop club views posed by the new outfield signs.
"I think the talks are moving along," Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts said, according to NBC Chicago. "Tom [Ricketts] is working very, very hard as are all the other people that are involved in the negotiations, and I think everyone is doing all they can to make sure we get there."
With the Cubs owners, the Ricketts family, on one side and 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunny and the Wrigley Rooftop Association (mostly) on the other, negotiations have stalled over Jumbotron placement, parking, the number of night games and other issues.
“We’re closer than ever before," Emanuel said according to the Sun-Times. "I want to thank Mr. [Tom] Ricketts for his commitment to staying in Chicago...The broad outlines of a framework are there. We’re just working on the details."
No specific date has been given for when the deal might be finalized.