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Hope opener comes and goes with no Wrigley deal

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Artist rendering of proposed sign in right field Artist rendering of proposed sign in right field
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Cubs lost to the Brewers in the first game of the season at Wrigley Field, while plans to renovate Wrigley Field hit another snag Monday.

The Cubs owners are still trying to hammer out details of a deal with City Hall and Alderman Tom Tunney's office. One of the sticking points is over what type of signs would be allowed inside the ball park and how big those signs would be.

Fans who flock to the rooftops to catch the game enjoy a pretty good view. It generates a lot of money for the rooftop owners who have a revenue sharing deal with the Cubs that runs for the next 11 years. Now, there's talk that the Ricketts family wants to put a 1,000 square foot sign in right field.

A Toyota sign that big, for example, would change the view completely, according to renderings made for the rooftop owners who are deeply concerned about the impact on their business.

"We just feel like a sign that's three times as big as the current Toyota sign, or two and a half times as big, will obscure our views," says Beth Murphy.

Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Tom Tunny, who took in the game Monday, are still in talks with the Cubs owners about signage and other issues tied to the renovation plans.

Tom Ricketts appeared optimistic about a deal.

"Everyone' working really hard," Ricketts said. "The Mayor's office has been terrific, the Alderman been very productive, we are ironing out a lot of things and working through a lot of what's out there and you know we're committed to seeing the process through."

For the fans, there's mixed emotions about adding signs which would change the game for those on the rooftops.

"I come to just as many rooftop games as I do in the stadium games so, I would miss it a lot, it's a great experience," Sean Cleary says. "It's a great opportunity to be up here and be a part of it."

"I would love nothing better to see them win a World Series, so whatever it takes to get that done, if that means putting up signs or billboards, or whatever it is," says Mike Tonies.

Part of this renovation negotiation process will allow the public to offer input, and on Tuesday, Alderman Tunney will be at the Lakeview Citizen's Council meeting to share details. The meeting, though, will be closed to the media.

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