Wrigley talks in ‘bottom of the 9th,’ deal could extend ballpark’s walls

The mayor’s optimistic outlook about a deal that appeared to be sealed a week ago comes amid word that the right- and left-field walls of 99-year-old Wrigley would be extended as much as ten feet outward — taking out the sidewalk on Sheffield and a lane of traffic on Waveland — to give the Cubs more concession space and mitigate the impact of a giant video scoreboard in left and a see-through sign in right on rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley.

The Cubs plan also includes a proposed ornamental bridge across Clark Street that would allow guests staying at the hotel the Cubs plan to easily access a new office building expected to include conference rooms. Those air rights over Clark may trigger compensation to Chicago taxpayers.

In 2006, the Cubs agreed to extend the outfield walls eight feet onto the sidewalks along Waveland and Sheffield to eliminate the need for sidewalk columns to support a 1,790-seat bleacher expansion. Chicago taxpayers got $900,000 in compensation for the air rights. But, the city was left with a narrower sidewalk.
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