City may be willing to help with Wrigley facelift

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After his family purchased the team in 2009 for $845 million _ then a record for a major league franchise _ team chairman Tom Ricketts proposed using $200 million in state bonds to help renovate the park, with the team repaying that money with the amusement tax collected from fans coming through the turnstiles.

That idea went nowhere, as both Gov. Pat Quinn and then-Mayor Richard Daley said they could not back a plan that calls for the state to issue bonds at a time when the state and city were in such dire economic straits.

The idea has been revived. Emanuel is insisting that he would only agree to such a deal if the Cubs guarantee a minimum payment regardless of how much money the tax brings in, according to the person who was not authorized to publicly discuss the negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The mayor wants them (the Ricketts family) to put some skin in the game,” the person said. “He wants a guaranteed level of payment made to the city regardless of the performance of that (amusement tax).”

One fan is optimistic that a deal can happen because Emanuel is something that his predecessor was not: A North Sider and a Cubs fan.

“Mayor Daley would never have gone for this,” said Rich Kaempfer, who created, justonebadcentury.com, the logo of which is a Cub with a big tear on its cheek.

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