Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) on Thursday blamed the Wrigley Field security stalemate on the Cubs’ all-or-nothing demand to close Addison and Clark on game days and the team’s refusal to pay for anything less.
Tunney said street closings are a non-starter because they would turn a stadium area bustling with new development into a “four-square-block bubble” where nobody could get in or out.
Tunney spoke after the Chicago Plan Commission voted to open the mixed use project across the street from Wrigley, known as Addison Park on Clark, to a host of new entertainment and business uses that would draw even more traffic to the congested area.
“We’re adding 15 to 20 new businesses, 140 hotel rooms. We’ve got 150 apartments. If you look at everything we’ve approved . . . and you want to build a bubble around it? No one is gonna be able to get in. Not just the residents, but the businesses, the service trucks,” Tunney said.
Pointing to the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, Tunney said, “I’m afraid they’re being a little bit shortsighted and reactive to what’s going on around the world. . . . I’m being longer-visioned about everything that we’ve approved and saying, `Folks, we’ve got to figure out how to let our arteries flow properly for everybody. . . . If you look at these projects and say, `Let’s just close the streets for 7 or 8 hours,’ what happens to all the customers and the businesses?”
Tunney said the city’s big “frustration” — and the reason Mayor Rahm Emanuel summoned the team to a meeting to discuss six security demands — is that the Cubs are holding out for street closures and refusing to move forward with or pay for anything short.
“There’s a frustration of saying, `We can’t close the streets the way you would like to see,’ but we have agreed to . . . narrowing Addison. Let’s start going. We’d like to get that done rather than create a four-square block bubble,” Tunney said.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green refused to comment, nor would he say what happened at the team’s meeting with Alicia-Tate Nadeau, executive director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.