Chicago council to vote on issue

CHICAGO -- Wrigley Field is closer to landmark status after a Chicago City Council committee unanimously approved a plan that would declare the ballpark a landmark but still allow some changes.

The stadium opened in April 1914.

The Committee on Historical Landmarks and Preservation recommended Tuesday that the council approve the ordinance, but with provisions that would allow the Chicago Cubs to build about 200 new box seats and make other possible alterations.

The council is expected to take up the issue on Feb. 11.

Cubs spokeswoman Sharon Pannozzo said the team would not comment.

Alderman Thomas Tunney, whose ward includes Wrigley, said the team doesn't plan to block the proposal.

The Cubs are not wholeheartedly in support of the ordinance, but "they are not opposing it," Tunney said.

Preservation groups said they were happy with the committee's compromise recommendation.

"We have found that what the Cubs were proposing in terms of expansion was reasonable and did not necessarily affect the historic fabric and structure" of the ballpark, said David Bahlman, president of the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois.

The Cubs and the city have been negotiating for nearly three years on the landmark designation.