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Rahm urges Cubs and rooftops to get back to the table and nail down Wrigley deal

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday urged the Cubs and the owners of rooftop clubs to get back to the table and stay there until they nail down a compromise that would generate the $300 million needed to renovate Wrigley Field.

The two sides had a somewhat productive negotiating session on Monday, but they haven't held a face-to-face meeting since.

That's apparently not fast enough for Emanuel, who urged the parties a week ago to "finish this up" in time for an ordinance paving the way for more night games to be introduced at the Feb. 13 City Council meeting.

"I expect the parties to work hard in finishing this up. It's in their interest to do that because they rely on each other and they work together--both for their businesses and for the community and the area," the mayor said.

"Taxpayer support is off the table. Now, I expect the parties to stay at the table, finish this up and finish it up quickly and promptly for all interested because it's to their advantage."

Emanuel has been trying to broker a deal that would allow the rooftops to survive and thrive--without putting up signs inside the stadium that would block their birds-eye views--and still give the Cubs the sign revenue they need to renovate 99-year-old Wrigley.

Last week, the rooftops pitched their plan to generate $17.9 million-a-year to bankroll the stadium renovation--by putting seven digital signs on top of their buildings instead of inside the ballpark blocking their views--but they struck out with the Cubs.

Team officials said they don't believe the rooftop's "numbers are real," nor do they believe rooftop signs would generate anywhere near as much revenue as signs inside the stadium visible during most television shots during Cubs games.

The rooftops countered that any attempt by the Cubs to block their views would violate the 2004 ordinance that landmarked historic elements of Wrigley Field as well as their 20-year agreement that calls for the clubs to share 17 percent of their revenues with the team.

On Wednesday, Emanuel was asked whether he believes the rooftops made a fair offer that should have been acceptable to the Cubs.

"You would like me to kind of hold the negotiation right here," the mayor joked.

"I'm not negotiating in public."


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