A City Council meeting that lasted nearly eight hours ended early Tuesday with votes to introduce ordinances that would approve plans to build a new Ryan Field and hold concerts at the stadium.

Mayor Daniel Biss broke a tie to advance the concert proposal after council members tied 4-4 on it.

Clare Kelly.

Council members Clare Kelly (1st), Melissa Wynne (3rd), Tom Suffredin (6th) and Eleanor Revelle (7th) voted against permitting concerts at the stadium.

The planned development ordinance authorizing stadium construction was approved for introduction after several amendments on a 5-3 vote. Wynne switched to the yes column on that measure.

Ald. Juan Geracaris (9th) was absent from the meeting and had indicated he would not be participating in the discussion or votes because he’s a university employee.

The meeting opened with a public comment session that lasted more than three hours and saw more than 100 people speak. Concerts drew most of the negative comments, by Evanston Now’s tally.

Favors ConcertsOpposes concertsFavors stadiumOpposes stadium
A breakdown of views expressed by speakers in public comment

Among the smaller number of people who specifically mentioned a preference about building the stadium, supporters had a substantial lead.

A few speakers didn’t address either issue, and instead focused their remarks on demanding substantial financial payments from the university to the city for whatever the council might approve.

The stadium proposals now are scheduled for possible adoption at a City Council meeting on Nov. 13.

In the meantime, Ald. Devon Reid (8th) and some other council members indicate they plan to try to extract more financial contributions to the city from the university than the $100 million, 10-year community benefit agreement it proposed Monday afternoon.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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