Wrigley Field deadline arrives with no deal
CHICAGO -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he believes the "fog will lift" in the negotiations surrounding a $300 million renovation of Wrigley Field as an April 1 deadline came and went.
The mayor offered little insight Monday into talks between the Ricketts family, which owns the Cubs and Wrigley, and city officials.
"I believe there will be a time in which the fog will lift in the negotiations and people will see what's in front of them as a victory," Emanuel said. "I believe when all the parties have something to say, they'll say it."
The Ricketts family set Monday's deadline, but there was no word on an agreement by early afternoon. The Associated Press left a message with a family spokesman as well as 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, whose district includes Wrigley Field.
Earlier this year, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said his family was willing to foot the bill for the five-year project, but only if long-standing restrictions on night games and advertising were lifted. Because of its location in a residential neighborhood, the Cubs are limited to 30 home night games a season and the team can't play night games on Friday or Saturday.
They're also the only major league team that faces advertising limitations, because of the 99-year-old stadium's status as a historic landmark. It's the oldest ballpark in the majors behind Fenway in Boston.
The Ricketts want to remove the restrictions to bring in more revenue to help offset the renovation costs and said an April 1 deal was needed so work could begin by the end of the 2013 season.
The stadium overhaul includes a large increase in restrooms and an expanded concourse. More than 50 million pounds of concrete and steel will be removed.
All of the historical aspects of the field will be retained, including the ivy, center field scoreboard and marquee.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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