It's starting to look the owners of the Chicago Cubs are literally trying to take over Wrigleyville. Last week, a report surfaced that the Ricketts family (who own the club) purchased three rooftop buildings adjacent to Wrigley Field, giving them ownership of nine of the 16 rooftop locations surrounding the stadium. The club is also getting ready for some major renovations to the stadium this year as a part of its ongoing 1060 Project, which will include a new exterior façade on the western wall of the park, a new ticket office, a much-needed expansion of the restrooms and improvements to the center field bleachers. Construction has also commenced on a new Cubs-owned hotel, plaza and office building along Clark Street adjacent to Wrigley Field.
But the team isn't stopping there. At the Cubs Convention over the weekend, president of business operations Crane Kenney posited the notion of closing down sections of Clark and Addison Streets adjacent to the stadium to vehicle traffic during home games at Wrigley Field, according to the Chicago Tribune. The stretches of Waveland and Sheffield Avenues along Wrigley are already closed on game days, and this move would make driving through Lakeview this summer an even more miserable experience than in years past.
The Ricketts family already has a pretty tense relationship with the neighborhood after last year's installation of a massive left field video board that now blocks the views from some stadium-adjacent rooftops.
But it doesn't look like the team will get the green light on the new street closures. According to the Tribune's report, both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney have no interest in shutting down two of Lakeview's most trafficked streets for the team's home games.
The Cubs might be favorites to win the World Series this year, but that's apparently not enough clout to take over a neighborhood. That could change, though, if the North Siders win their long-awaited championship this year.