About 200 Wrigleyville residents on Tuesday evening packed into an annual meeting the Chicago Cubs convenes with the community and expressed their concerns with the team's plan to significantly rehab their iconic 99-year-old ballpark.
The team, owned by the powerful Ricketts family, has a self-imposed deadline of Monday, opening day, by which they hope to approve a deal with the city that will pave the way for them to rehab the park, adding a clubhouse, more restrooms and a boutique hotel across from the ballpark -- as well as more night games and street fairs -- in a lofty plan unveiled in January.
Also part of the plan are new video screens that nearby rooftop owners fear will block the views of their patrons. If it's approved, they say they may file a lawsuit.
"As the saying goes, it is hard to fight City Hall, and it is hard to fight billionaires too," Beth Murphy, owner of Murphy's Bleachers, told CBS Chicago of the plan.
Also opposed to the Wrigley plan has been Ald. Tom Tunney, who told ABC Chicago Tuesday the problem with the team's proposal is that there are "so many moving parts." Others are concerned that the added night games and hotel plans in particular could contribute to added congestion and parking problems in the neighborhood, according to WGN.
Tunney added to DNAinfo Chicago that it is unlikely a deal on the Wrigley renovations will be reached by Monday, when the Cubs begin their season in Pittsburgh.
Nevertheless, the Cubs management remains undeterred in their hope that a compromise is near.
"We're hopeful that we can come to a conclusion on some of these issues and put a good deal that's good for the city of Chicago -- $500 million investments, 2100 jobs -- we think that's a great thing to bring to the city of Chicago," Cubs spokesman Julian Green said, according to NBC Chicago.
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