Ricketts: It's time to move forward with Wrigley renovations - FOX 32 News Chicago

Ricketts: It's time to move forward with Wrigley renovations

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts announced plans to move forward with the Wrigley Field restoration and expansion. The plans have been delayed for years as the family tried to negotiate with rooftop owners.

Ricketts wants to add more seats, new lighting, upgrades to facilities inside the park, and new signs. There are even talks of replacing some of the famous ivy to make room for new bullpens. The problem is, the new signs would impact the view from the rooftops.

Late Tuesday night, Ricketts posted a six minute video on the team's website that makes it very clear he thinks the time for negotiating is over.

Ricketts has been working to renovate Wrigley Field for years. That renovation could include outfield signs and displays which could block the view from the rooftops across the street.

The Chicago Cubs have a deal with rooftop owners that runs through 2023 and prohibits them from blocking the view without their OK. However, negotiations to resolve the issue were going nowhere and now it seems the time for talk is over.

"We've spent endless hours negotiating with the rooftop business and we've gotten nowhere in our talks with them to settle this dispute. it has to end. It is time to move forward and I have to put the team and the fans first," Ricketts said in the video.

The Wrigleyville Rooftop Association has wasted no time responding to the announcement. Wednesday morning they issued a statement saying, "unfortunately, this decision by the Ricketts family will now result in this matter being resolved in a court of law."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office is sounding a note of support for plans by the Chicago Cubs owners to forge ahead with the renovation of Wrigley Field.

A statement from spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton says "the mayor doesn't want to wait for next year" and the Cubs proposal is worth looking at.

The statement says Emanuel, who is up for re-election next year, would like to see the work begin this fall and start creating jobs and neighborhood investment.

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