Now that the baseball season is fully underway, much of the buzz surrounding the impending Wrigley Field renovations have died down. News that the proposed renovations had reached a final draft made major waves in early May across all major and local news outlets.
Many Cubs fans, particularly the Lakeview neighborhood residents, have been skeptical as to whether or not the proposed changes are necessary. Their concerns are with parking, public safety, and tax increases as a result of city involvement in the renovation process.
Joel Kessler, an attorney who resides a mile west of Wrigley, is affected by the Cubs in various ways, and does not support the proposed changes to the field or the team’s schedule.
“We have a level 2 permit zone here, and we get tons of spill over during day games and night games alike from fans who drive in to see the Cubs play. They come this far west because they don’t want to pay the home owners who live closer to the field the $20 they charge to rent out their garages…. The stumble around drunk looking for their cars, loud and obnoxious, sometimes vandalizing people’s property. The team needs to buy a lot, build a massive parking garage, and keep these fans closer to the field instead of letting them spill out into the residential areas,” remarked Kessler in an interview.
Moving forward, comments from 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney (alderman for Wrigleyville/Lakeview area) will be sought after. Other angles will include how the additions of a hotel, restaurant, parking garage, and other small additions to the Wrigley Field site will affect the local economy in the area.