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CHICAGO-It’s wait until next year again for the Chicago Cubs, and not just on the baseball field. Another disappointing season between the white lines has been shaping up since April, but the team’s parent company recently learned it had been shot down in an attempt to add 2,000 bleacher seats as well as retail space just west of Wrigley Field.

The team also will not be allowed to increase the number of night games it plays at the venerable ballpark from 18 to30 despite a public lobbying effort from superstar Sammy Sosa.

The decision by the city, delivered to team officials in meetings last week with Mayor Richard M Daley, had Cubs president and chief executive officer Andrew MacPhail suggesting in a meeting with reporters Saturday that a double standard was at play.

The number of rooftop seats atop multifamily buildings along Waveland and Sheffield avenues have proliferated in recent years, MacPhail notes, with building owners collecting $100 per person per game from fans viewing the game more than a Sosa home run away from the action. Meanwhile, the parent Tribune Co.’s proposal to add seats is nixed, in part because it would add steel support beams along the sidewalks behind 88-year-old Wrigley Field’s two outfield walls.

In addition, the city now plans to charge the team rent for a lot west of the ballpark that it has used for parking. The Tribune Co. had claimed it had acquired the land from a railroad company when it bought the ball club in 1981; the city disputes the land transfer.

Meanwhile, MacPhail laments the Tribune Co. is planning to pay for the renovations to Wrigley Field itself, while the Bears are getting a $500-million makeover of Soldier Field and the crosstown rival White Sox are getting $20 million in improvements to Comiskey Park, which was financed by the state.

A local referendum resulted in 80% of the surrounding Lakeview neighborhood opposed to the Tribune Co.’s expansion plan. Complaints have mounted over rowdy fan behavior, especially after night games.

A suddenly tight city budget played a role in the decision against extra night games, as officials pointed to increased police overtime costs for a reason to nix the request.

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