1_PROPOSED_MARQUEE_VIEWNow *this* is an Obsessive Watch.

Expectedly, the Chicago Cubs – or, more precisely, the Ricketts Family – had a response ready and waiting for today’s proposal by the rooftop owners outlining Wrigley Field. For those who missed that proposal, I wrote about it earlier today:

Essentially, their offer is this: if the Cubs agree not to block their views, so that they can keep operating on a revenue-sharing basis with the Cubs (under the current agreement, 17% of the revenue goes to the Cubs, the rooftops keeps the rest), the rooftops will pass on all revenue from new ad signage to the Cubs and the City. The new ads will largely be digital signage, and the rooftops estimate it could generate from $10 to $20 million annually, based on a study from the Platt Retail Institute.

My initial take was: it seems fair on its face, so long as some questions are answered, and so long as the money the Cubs could net by way of the rooftops ads is comparable to what they could net within Wrigley Field.

That last one was a big “if,” and it sounds like the Cubs don’t see comparable value.

“A deadline is fast approaching for the team and the city of Chicago to move forward,” Ricketts Family spokesperson Dennis Culloton said today, per the Tribune, before turning to the advertising proposal.Β “Inside the ballpark is going to be infinitely more valuable than advertising outside the ballpark.”

And that may very well be that. If it is true that there is no advertising cooperation that generates nearly as much money as the Cubs could, themselves, generate within the ballpark (in a way that doesn’t destroy the character of Wrigley Field, and thus negate some of that value), it’s going to be difficult to proceed in tandem with the rooftops short of an alteration of their current revenue sharing agreement (which presently pays the Cubs 17% of the rooftops’ revenues).

Unfortunately, this fight feels like it is on the precipice of getting ugly. Not only do the Cubs not seem receptive to the rooftops’ proposal, but the rooftops ejected a Cubs employee from their presentation this morning, according to the Tribune’s report.

A protracted dispute – particularly one that involves the courts – is in nobody’s best interests. Time is critical to the Cubs’ efforts, and litigation is both slow and expensive. Speaking from experience, it is also wildly unpredictable. The Cubs obviously need to protect their right to generate as much revenue as they possibly can, but I’m hopeful that everyone proceeds cautiously from here.

  • Rob

    Considering I was actively following several journalists on Twitter, who were live tweeting the entire meeting, why kick a Cubs employee out of the presentation? As if they would find out some secret that no one else knew? I do not see how that speaks to the rooftop owners’ willingness to work with the Cubs, and not against them…

    • itzscott

      Divide and Conquer….

      The rooftop owners are likely all united right now.

      Why risk a Cub employee pulling one or two on the side to potentially erode that solidarity?

      Not to say a couple of phone calls wouldn’t do the same, but you tend to control the things you can control when you can still control them.

      • Crazyhorse

        Was this an invite only for press coverage ? or Did the Cubs representative crash the party. i see no harm , i doubt the rooftop people were invited to share a forum at the convention when this thing came out.

  • Beer Baron

    The Tribune’s article on the press conference said that the Cubs sent a Marketing Rep to attend and he was asked to leave. That doesn’t sound like a group that is honestly trying to negotiate in good faith. Instead it sounds like someone seeking to win in the court of public opinion, which solidifies that the Cubs really hold the upper hand here and all the rooftop owners/alderman can do is prolong the inevitable.

    • Crazyhorse

      The Tribune owns a 5 percent stake in the Cubs so …..

      • CubFan Paul


        • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

          Sooooo they’re 95% F’d.

          • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

            I actually have no idea what that means. It sounded better in my head.

            • ETS

              3 martini lunch? tis friday.

  • Stevie B

    Damnit I wish it was 1984 again. This world is one great big shit sandwich.

    • itzscott

      Wasn’t much better in 1984.

      Now, if you want to go back another decade or two…. different story!

      • David

        You think the world was better in the 60’s, eh?

    • Carne Harris

      Amen. Even worse when people who don’t want advertising in the park still get behind it because they make themselves believe it’s inevitable or that not having on-field advertising is suddenly unrealistic despite all these years of not having it.

  • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

    ”Inside the ballpark is going to be infinitely more valuable than advertising outside the ballpark.”

    Yeah, I don’t know about infinitely…I’d say substantially. If it were infinite then I hope the Cubs seriously sign all the free agents.

    • DarthHater

      Yea, but with infinite revenue, you’d also be on the hook for infinite revenue sharing payments, which would suck. πŸ˜›

  • Mike

    ”Inside the ballpark is going to be infinitely more valuable than advertising outside the ballpark.”

    Sweet. Who do you think the Cubs are going to sign with their $Infinity dollars?

    • OregonCubFan

      To infinity and beyond..,….

  • Rcleven

    β€œThe Ricketts family and the Chicago Cubs want the right to run their business so they can continue to be good stewards of Wrigley Field and save the beloved ballpark for future generations. They also want to invest $500 million dollars and create nearly 2,000 construction and permanent jobs in Wrigley Field and the neighborhood. None of this is possible with continued restrictions and outside business interests blocking the Cubs from generating revenue being realized by every other team in pro sports.”

    • Rcleven

      This is the Ricketts family reply the rooftop oweners offer.

      • DarthHater

        You left this out:


    • Carne Harris

      They want to be good stewards by destroying one of the main things about Wrigley that people love.

  • Bigg J

    I am not sure what the CUbs want here. They have this extra money coming in as long as they dnt block the views. That is basically free money when Wrigley is sold out they still get money for people sitting across the street. Also putting the advertisments outside the park looks a lot better then in the park. Unless the Cubs plan on buiding an upper deck in the outfield I am not sure why they wouldn’t take all revenue if the advertisements are outside the park and still get 17% from sales that arn’t even in the ball park. People just get greedy and it usually gets them in trouble. That’s an extra (projected) 10-20 million, I mean come on, just take it.

    • XZ

      The Cubs want to maximize profits, which is something that their current arrangement has made it difficult to do. They have many disadvantages relative to other teams, and I have zero issue with them taking every bit they can where they can, and as a fan, neither should you.

      • Crazyhorse

        “They have many disadvantages relative to other teams”, Yet they have many more advantages than other teams because of location , location, location. day games , family atmosphere (cept in the bleachers at times) rooftops immediate commercial area – heck in reality when this team sucks on the field – they still pull crowds like a contending team – –

        • XZ

          Their financial disadvantages outweigh their advantages. And they sure weren’t pulling huge crowds last year.

          • Bigg J

            That’s because there wasn’t a team to watch. Why pay money to go see a 2nd to last place team instead of watching it at home? Doesn’t make sense

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

            The advantages outweigh the disadvantages by so much that it’s not even close. Forbes had the Cubs No. 3 in revenue the last two years (before last year, for which there are no numbers).

            Cubs have nearly the highest ticket prices in the league, a huge season-ticket base, a very good cable deal (although that’s starting to slip as the mega-deals come online). They scalp their own tickets and draw revenue in from outside the stadium.

            The Cubs could and should always try to find more way to get revenue, but they do not have a revenue problem.

    • bbmoney

      There is such a concept as opportunity costs.

      Why should they settle for 10-20M, if putting up signage on the park that they own can make them 45M. They’d be passing up on 25-35M a year. That’s a big thing to just gloss over.

      I’ve never understood why legally maximzing revenues and profits of a corporation or any kind of for profit business is considered greedy. Key word legally there, you obviously have to stay within the confines of the law.

    • Bigg J

      I am just saying they are getting greedy. Take 10-20 million and not have it ruin the look of Wrigley by keeping the advertisments outside. If they block the view of the the rooftops then it will cost more to do that then just take the free money. The rooftops don’t have to do this for them, I think it is a nice gesture

      • bbmoney

        Agree to disagree about it being greedy then I guess.

        I don’t generally consider trying to increase revenues of a for profit business greed. Especially in this case, when it’s really just to get in line with how the other teams in the league can advertise and pull in dollars.

        Now it is entirely possible that enough people feel like you do on the matter, than additional advertising could turn fans off and could hurt them in the long term. But that’s just something they have to factor into any decision.

      • XZ

        They have to be greedy, when team like they don’t have a sweet TV deal like the other big market teams and the city has placed so many restrictions on how they can advertise and bring in revenue.

        And I have zero sympathy for the rooftops, who should feel fortunate that the Cubs didn’t shut them out from the beginning, since they were stealing product for years. The Cubs owe them nothing. The reverse is not true. Make no mistake, throwing a jumbotron up would open a stream of revenue that would easily eclipse what the rooftops are offering.

        • ETS

          “Greed” gets thrown around too much. It’s the cubs responsibility to generate as much revenue as possible. It’s the roof top owners responsibility to do the same. That’s not being greedy, that’s common sense.

    • Jim L.

      Having the advertisements may look better on the outside of the park but from the Cubs perspective, the impact is greater inside. The Cubs will have control over the advertising and the advertisers want their ads make the most impact, inside where they can be seen by the whole park and most importantly on TV.

  • XZ

    With Rahm seemingly on the Cubs’ side, I don’t see a protracted dispute happening. If the rooftops don’t concede a lot more, they’re not going to fare well.

    • Asad

      The thing that gets me though is in the rooftops offer, they said the revenue from the adveritsments would be shared between the City and the Cubs…The City is what gets me and maybe they just put them in to get some extra political backing or leverage…you never know. Also I dont think Rahm is on the Cubs side but i could be wrong.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The problem is there is an agreement in place between the rooftops and the Cubs. We don’t know the details – other than the 17% revenue share – but I’m sure it has provisions about the Cubs not blocking the views. That’s why I worry that the courts get involved, and things could get ugly.

      • hansman1982

        Do you know if most contracts on this scale have a buyout clause?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Totally depends. It’s not so much about the size of the deal as it is about various risk factors that each side perceives at the time they contracted. The Cubs absolutely would have asked for a buyout clause, the rooftops would have resisted. No idea where they landed. Haven’t heard anyone mention a buyout, though.

          • ETS

            Seems to me as though the cubs still have the upperhand. The contract has to expire at sometime. So if roof tops don’t meet the cubs’ demand they could just say, tough, you’ll cease to exist whenever this expires and our advertisements will blot out the sun (or something like that).

            • Ron

              It looks like there are 11 years left on the current roof top agreement.


              Here is an interesting line from the agreement according to Tunney
              “Tunney told The Tribune that if the Wrigley bleacher expansion is completed in the next eight years, according to the agreement, the Cubs would have to compensate those rooftop owners whose views were obstructed.”
              According to this, I think there is already and agreement in place for the compensation to an obstucted view for the roof tops. On the surface this looks like a terrible deal for the Cubs, they have to pay someone to stop stealing their product.

          • Blublud

            Brett, could they not do what I stated and pay the remaining balance on those contracts. I mean, what could the profit really be on the rooftop bleachers. I’m thinking max, a couple hundred thousand. Definitely no more then a million a year.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Their profits are many, many millions a year. Again, we don’t know the terms of the contract, so we’d only be speculating.

              Damages for breach of a contract like this are, essentially, the profits the rooftops would have received if the Cubs hadn’t breached. It is possible that it is still the cost-effective move to breach, and then pay damages if you’re the Cubs (the “efficient breach”), but we’re really in no position to know for sure one way or the other.

              • John

                Jesse Rogers has reported that it isn’t such a black and white issue regarding the blocked views. Essentially the contract language says that if the community benefits from the new configuration then the Cubs can indeed block views.

                The rooftop owners seemed to mildly concede this point today as well saying that they didn’t feel that their position was strong enough to stop a $500 million project that creates hundreds of jobs within the community.

                This all sounds like a desperate last minute hail mary on the part of the rooftops owners.

            • Can’t think of a cool name

              I calculate total revenues at almost 12 million per year for roof top owners. One article said the Cubs get $2 millin a year from the roof top owners. 12 million * 17% puts it in the $2 million ballpark.

        • aCubsFan

          The other night on sports radio they were talking about the possibility of the Cubs buying out the nonsensical revenue sharing contract with nets the Cubs all of $3.5 million a year.

  • The Brian Roberts Trade

    Rahm has so much to gain in this he is not going to let the rooftop owners stand in the way.

    • Asad

      what exactly does he have to gain? He Already gained the political leverage when the Cubs decided to pay for the renovations on their own and yeah…Its just confusing.

      • fearbobafett

        he has more to lose than gain. If they don’t let the cubs do what they want and still try to cripple them eventually, wether the Rickett’s like it or not they are going to have to start considering Leaving Wrigley for some other place. At that point pretty much EVERYONE loses.

        • Smitty

          That is what I am worrying about. At some point, the Rickett’s can go back to their disclaimer from today and say
          A. We were going to pay for it ourselves.
          B. We do not get any sort of aid from the government unlike our little brother team to the south/Bears/Bulls or pretty much all major league teams
          C. We want to be able to use our stadium in the way we see fit, like all other teams in professional sports.

          You guys are not playing along so we are going to move the team. Like you said, EVERYONE LOSES.

  • dash

    The rooftop folk keep talking of preserving tradition, yet the rooftop bleachers themselves have only been around for, what, 30 years or something?

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      20 or 30, yeah. It was cute when it was random people BBQing on their roof. Once they put up bleachers, it turned into an ugly eyesore.

      That’s what I hate about Wrigley Field. Anything stupid done within three blocks of the ballpark gets turned into a “tradition” almost immediately and then you are stuck with it as yokels from Iowa call in to sports radio to rant about how important it is to sing “The Cubs are gonna win today” after they’ve already won.

      • Mick

        Eh! Oh! What’s with the Iowa shot? You think you’re better than me?

        • XZ

          It could be far worse, you could be from North Dakota or something.

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

            I’m from Illinois.

            • XZ

              Anywhere in Illinois that’s not in the Chicagoland area might as well be Iowa. Or worse.

              • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                That’s probably fair.

            • DarthHater

              It’s a great place to be from!

              • Mick

                Yea, I’ve upgraded since then, I’m now in tropical Minneapolis.

                • hansman1982

                  Those of us in Iowa look down our noses upon you.

                  BEGONE VILE SCUM!!!

                  • Mick

                    I left Iowa with only a pair of overalls and $5 in my pocket and I haven’t changed either since.

            • Mick

              But do you pronounce the “s” on the end because I hear that’s what the cool kids are doing nowadays?

            • D.G.Lang

              That’ss a great place to be from. I moved from there to Florida 20 years ago.

          • JoeyCollins

            What’s wrong with north Dakota. Well… a lot i guess…. man I’m glad I’m not from this state.

      • Patrick W.

        Like throwing back an opponent’s home run ball or something meant to disguise itself as an opponent’s home run ball. Stupidest tradition in sports.

  • XZ

    There was a Sun-Times article in which quotes from people within the city administration clearly implied that now that the Ricketts had agreed to foot the bill, it was the neighborhood/rooftops that would have to fall in line, and that if the city had to intercede, the Wrigleyville set “wouldn’t like the alternative” to making concessions on their own.

    The clear implication is that Rahm and the city will side with the Cubs should a dispute ensue.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I know it’s Chicago and all that, but, in theory, none of that matters if the Cubs and rooftops have to take their fight to the courts.

      I don’t think there’s any doubt – and hasn’t been since the funding plan changed – that the Mayor is firmly on the Cubs’ side now. It is very much in his interests to be.

  • Frank

    I believe that this is the last proposal to renovate the old park. The Cubs are handcuffed by not only the residents, but the rooftop owners (who are making money by stealing a product, sorry just my opinion) and the alderman. Ricketts hasn’t pulled out the ultimate trump card and I think he will have to get pushed hard to put that on the table but, if financially he can not afford to stay in Wrigley (either revenue or facilities, which are bad) then he will have to make the tough decision and find a different location in the Chicago area for the Cubs.

    • Frank

      (forgot to add this)
      If that happens, where will the adlerman, rooftop owners, local businesses and residents who make money in the summer by parking cars in their garages or selling items on the street.

      Don’t kill the golden goose. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a hundred times, if the Dodgers can leave Brooklyn and the Yankees can tear down Yankee Stadium then the Cubs can leave Wrigley.

      • Blublud

        Amen Amen Amen. I would hate for the Cubs to leave and by no means am I suggesting it, but it just might be time to play those cards.

      • Crazyhorse

        I agree ,hopefully a compromise can be settled, but if one side wants the other side to ceased to exist then conflict arises. I think this was the point of the rooftops . They are clearly the sacrificial lamb in these negotiations and are willing to give xxx amount of dollars to keep operating. it all comes down to Big Business VS Small business and i honestly feel once the dust settles- The Roof tops might cease to exist- and maybe rightfully so.

      • rhino70

        I really do think it’s getting to the point where leaving Wrigley is a viable option.

        If the Rickett’s family is willing to put HALF A BILLION dollars into renovating the old park and surrounding area, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that they would use that funding to develop a new baseball entertainment complex outside the city limits. Probably outside of Cook County as well.

        A new TV deal could provide the additional revenues necessary to make the new facility entirely privately funded.

        The Cubs would have to have a winning product to draw the fans that only go to Wrigley for the “experience” to a new facility.

    • Crazyhorse

      When the Cubs signed a contract with the rooftop people . I dont think its correct to state they roofers are stealing the product but it could feel that way i suppose.

      • DarthHater

        You’re right. With a contract in place, they’re not thieves. Just parasites that – up until now – it has been cheaper to live with than to eradicate. But the time to cleanse the host body of its parasites has now come.

        • Asad

          I completely agree but a contract is a contract no? One would assume there is a buyout clause in there somewhere hopefully.

  • Blublud

    I don’t like calling names but these rooftop idiots need to F— off. This is Ricketts Stadium. Not the city’s, not the people’s and not the rooftop owners. They should have no say so in what goes on inside or on the property that is own by Ricketts. Just as adamant as I have been about Ricketts paying for this by himself, I’m just as adamant that nobody should be able to tell him how to do it. If they have a contract about obstructing views or whatever, Rickett’s should just pay them the remaining balance on that contract upfront and tell them to kiss his ass and don’t worry about negotiating the next contract. He can probably make his money back in the first year and then some. The people have some nerve to try to tell someone how to run their own business. This is not Green Bay and the Cubs are not owned by the people.

    • DarthHater

      “This is not Green Bay and the Cubs are not owned by the people.”

      Yea! Green Bay obviously knows nothing about how to run a successful professional sports franchise!

      • Blublud

        That not the point I’m making. If the city and rooftop idiots wanted to call the shots, then they should have placed a bid when the team was for sale. It’s not that Green Bay does or does not know how to run a team, it’s that the people of Green Bay own that team, so they can have some say so. The people of Chicago do not own the Cubs, so the have no rights expect those granted them by whoever sign that stupid revenue shari g deal with them.

        • DarthHater

          Actually, the people who own Packers stock have zero say in how the team is run. So I get your point, but it’s not really a helpful example. Anyway, was just having a little fun at the expense of Chicago’s anti-Green-Bay-ism. πŸ˜‰

          • Blublud

            Oh, ok. My bust.

    • Crazyhorse

      yet the Stadium is located in a residential district a mere 1000 feet from actual residents . Ricketts knew this when he bought the team and the headache that come with it. being the only stadium surrounded by people that actually dwell in the neighborhood .No one can blame the Cubs to make a sexier stadium – its not like signing sexy player . but to dismiss the citizens of that ward cause Ricketts want too change the rules =

      I live in an area that only allows 2 story homes – I cant build a third floor – my options are fight the zoning law-or move. I like the area and is invested in the community i live in. I should have bought a three story to begin with but i did not. anyway the details dont matter.

      • Blublud

        Right. I have no problem with Zoning law and government restrictions that every business have to follow. My problem is the people who wants to stop Ricketts because they’re not benefitting from this. Well, it’s not Rickett’s job to be concern with your benefit. He has every right to only worry about what benefits him and his business only, as long as what he is doing is legal.

        • Blublud

          I should reall start proof reading before I hit submit.

      • Beer Baron

        You’re also not the largest employer in the neighborhood, the highest tax payer in your neighborhood, or the 3rd largest tourist destination in the state. Besides, the residents aren’t the ones complaining – it is other business owners who want the rules to benefit themselves. I can see if the residents really don’t want more night games or concerts, but I’m sure few care at all about the presence of signs inside the stadium. Nothing the rooftop owners are fighting for benefits any of the residents of the area in any way.

      • hansman1982

        So when those residents bought their houses, did the previous owners not disclose that an MLB team played down the block?

  • Derrek

    They can still keep the rooftop bleachers if they want. It would be like sitting behind a support beam 500 feet away from home plate.

    But in all seriousness, the rooftops are a bust. They were lucky to be around for this long. I would rather watch a successful organization attempt to put winning teams on the field rather than grumpy small business owners charging people to watch a game on their roof.

  • mudge

    Hard to conceive of a stadium relocation because of a dispute with rooftop owners across the street. Settle down, folks.

  • DarthHater

    Put up a giant, double-sided jumbotron above the left field wall. The front side shows advertising and whatever else ordinarily is on a jumbotron. The back side shows a live feed of the game, so the rooftop people can watch it. Problem solved. πŸ˜‰

  • matt

    From ESPN Chicago.com

    “Rooftop owners believe they are a part of the Wrigleyville experience as much as the ballpark.

    When asked how much the Cubs have meant to business for the rooftops, George Loukas, an owner of three, said: “The Cubs might not have been here if it wasn’t for Murphy’s Bleachers building a new facility and the Cubby Bear creating an entertainment theme in Wrigleyville that people, not only go to the ballpark for the baseball, but post-baseball and pre-baseball, they get to be entertained by restaurants and bars in the community that have reputations.”

    Murphy added: “There is a reason the Cubs (draw) when they have losing seasons, and we’ve had quite a few now. There’s a reason.”

    BLOCK THEM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • DarthHater

      I can think of a few other things to do to them, but Brett would kick me off the site if I posted them. πŸ˜‰

    • Blublud

      I’m thinking Murphey’s bleachers wouldn’t have new facilities and most people would probably care less about the the Cubby Bear entertainment theme if the Cubs weren’t in the nieghborhood.

      • Crazyhorse

        yes but the appeal is in the landscape and the Ball park as well – I have family in Wisconsin and every once in a while i will travel to Miller Park – awesome place to watch a game . but i don’t travel to Milwaukee to experience the stadium i go cause i have to go. after the game its such a let down- i mean we go to our cars in that big parking lot that generates needed dollars for the brewers . honestly if the Cubs are out of contention the drive up north is not worth the experience of Miller Park even if the ticket are free. I have not been to every park but in park experience Miller park is pretty damn good. With The St lLouis being a close second.

        Wrigley is home – and although i have boycotted THE team – this year i plan on going to few games and one or two rooftops for people that are coming into town so they can enjoy that experience.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Am I spelling “delusional” right? I think that is that Bagdad Bob guy from back in the Gulf War days resurfacing.

    • aCubsFan

      What are these people smoking? They all must be on crack because to say the Cubs wouldn’t be at Wrigley or in the neighborhood if it weren’t for the efforts of Murphy’s or Cubby Bear is absolutely insane.

  • The Dude

    After reading both articles here’s what I hope happens:
    -The rooftop owners’ proposed advertising gets used (*if* the money is right for the Cubs).
    -In order to recoup the money lost from in-stadium advertising, the Cubs and the rooftops renogotiate a new deal, giving the Cubs a much larger share of the rooftop revenue.
    -As part of the negotiation, the Cubs get much more flexibility on night game scheduling.
    -The Cubs need complete control of negotiating rights for the advertising (essentially the LED signs belong to the Cubs).

    I really liked the look of the rooftop owners’ advertising proposal. Hopefully, they can work it out.

  • FastBall

    Here is what I would do. Hire a really good architect to render some drawings of Wrigley Field with an upper deck going all the way around the outfield. Foul Pole to Foul Pole. Make it so good that it looks like it has been there as long as Wrigley Field. I would the Mayor. You get on board with this or we are leaving. I would then turn around and tell the rooftop owners if they don’t want the upperdeck addition then they have to give me 85% of the revenue from those rooftops. You let people watch my team play then you gotta pay. The good ole days are over. If I was Ricketts I would be so pissed right now. These people are hamstringing the guy at every turn. Ricketts doesn’t know anybody in Chicago who can influence the rooftop owners? It’s time to play hard ball. I would have another drawing that shows Wrigley with a Dome and retractable roof. Those people have been getting over on the Cubs for forever. If I were Ricketts and any of those people tried to put up a sign that someone in my stadium could see it would cost them $10MM a year. That would put an end to the sign polution outside the stadium. These people don’t care about Wrigleyville. They only care about their wallets. Screw those people. Where is Al Kapone when you need him. This could be solved before sunset.

    • Crazyhorse

      OR the City can force the sale of Wrigley Field because…….. Hey if the City can influence homeowner in other Suburbs to sell even if they do not want too for an O”hare Expansion . I guess the City can gain leverage if everybody don’t want to play nice and force the issue – the above statement is not to be taken rationally it an irrational argument that i guess that could happen but should not.

    • DarthHater

      Those rooftop buildings are an eyesore and a blight on the community. Condemn them and replace them with a nice urban renewal project that includes new buildings with luxury skyboxes and a ritzy restaurant overlooking the outfield.

      • Beer Baron

        And I hear the dilapidated rooftop buildings are housing wild, rabid coyotes who are out to eat our children. And our roadrunners.

        • DarthHater

          So THAT’S where them critters are comin’ from…

  • matt

    Not me. After the arrogance of the rooftop owners, I’d just block their view entirely. It was also stated in the article regarding their 20 year contract “Rooftop owners are worried that provision won’t be upheld if challenged by the Cubs under the idea that the Cubs are doing a civic good for the neighborhood with their rehab project which would bring jobs — both temporary and permanent — to the area”

    I’d build a moat around Wrigley, and jumbotrons that you could see from space to block their views. This is three sepearate entities: The cubs, the neighborhood, and the owners of the rooftops. The cubs should be loyal to the residents of the neighborhood, and to themselves. The bars and the surrounding businesses make enough money from the crowds at Wrigley as it is.

    • The Dude

      Did you notice in the rooftop owners’ proposal that they had a jumbotron where the toyota sign is? I think if Ricketts does this right, he needs to stand firm, look like a dick publicly, and then give into the rooftops at such and adventagous renegotiation that he would basically be able to buy the buildings outright in 30 years. He has the position, he just needs to put this axe to the grindstone.

    • Crazyhorse

      And what happen when he Rickettts wants too expand,, there comes a time and a place when enough is enough. but heck lets say in 10 years he forces the land owners to sell their properties at discounted prices on Waveland and Sheffield because during the summer months those place have no residential value nor commercial value because of the carnival atmosphere right outside its front door. But in order to that that the whole block would need to be purchased . yeah today argument might affect future decisions.

    • The Dude

      I’m just saying that I like the look of their advertising proposal, and they had a lot of signs out there – there stands to be a lot of generated revenue. The only questions are how much of that revenue is going into the Cubs’ pockets and for how long? As it stands, Ricketts has these guys under his thumb a bit and with some “Pawn Stars” negotiating it could really be a huge win for the Cubs. I wouldn’t expect their current position to be anything less than their initial response, but if they do get into deeper talks with the rooftops the Cubs could probably get all the revenue and gameday restrictions their seeking while simaltaneously (sp?) lowering their initial overhead because the rooftop owners are backed into a corner here.

      • aCubsFan

        The signage on the buildings will not generate the same revenue because the line of site is such the only time they will be seen on a TV is when someone hits a long home run. The same holds true for the fans in the park. They will not look at them as often as they would if they were just above the outfield wall.

        Why do you think that all the ballparks put the rotating signage just to the right-field side of home page? Because it’s in the line of sight of the TV camera.

    • The Dude

      Gameday concessions, not restrictions.

  • tony

    LMAO only the cubs .. seriously how pathetic is it that they have to negotiate with apartment / building owners in order to reconstruct and add signage etc. to their stadium.

    i want to build a birdhouse in my yard but first i need to ask my neighbor if he ok with it.

    F%^& the roof top owners.. If they want to take him to court and hold everything up, the ricketts should hold onto their 300 mil and say ok..
    we will then consider leaving WF and relocate, if a suburb makes us an offer we cant refuse..
    watch how fast these knuckleheads change their tune when not only are they about to lose their rooftop income but also all the buisness they get because of the cubs between april and october.

    • Crazyhorse

      damn! how big is your bird house gonna be ? I guess if I owned a rooftop and The cubs and I came into an agreement by contract and the Cubs wanted to throw that contract out the window, cause they changed their minds and by doing so – depreciated my property value not to mention destroyed my small business and they did this by extorting ,,,,,,,,

      Wait ..Am i being transported back in time – IS that the U.Calvary telling Crazyhorse that treaties need to be broken – but the great white chief promises.- land to the southside of Chicago in the rotten decaying neighborhoods surrounding Comiskey Park

      no that just insanejackass having some fun.

  • FastBall

    I agree. Screw the rooftop owners. Chicago residents should impose a ban on the rooftops. Just an unwritten rule that the rooftops are off limits. It ain’t cool to support some bar owner but it is cool to support the Cubs. Take your pick.

    Tell the rooftop owners that if they want to show the Cubs games on the rooftops it has to be on CubsTv.com close circuit and they can only get live feeds from Ricketts. And it will be Expensive.

  • Jason

    The should have just built a new stadium somewhere else that is state of the art. Get a retractable roof on it so I know when I drive there it won’t get rained out. Get a parking lot so I don’t have to pay more to park my car than it is for the ticket and get a clubhouse and weight room that is built for guys in the year 2013 not 1913.

    Historical is nice, and Wrigley Field is an icon – but the Model T is an icon too, but who in the world would like to drive that these days?

    Yankee Stadium was built a new, just build a new-updated Wrigley Field and you would save yourself the headache of these leaches.

  • http://www.sportsdanny.com Dan

    Rooftop owners will lose this fight because the mayor doesn’t care about them.

    • ETS

      I think it’s up to the courts, not the mayor.

    • Asad

      Also, the stuff they proposed was a revenue sharing offer between the city and the cubs which would be up for them to decide. Like someone mentioned earlier if you get city hall and your local alderman thats 2/3 so they would have some leverage. Also, they signed a contract with the previous ownership too share revenue if the cubs dont block their views, so Cubs would be breaking a contract. I dont know, If i were the cubs i would just say screw everything and move too the suburbs where none of this bs goes on.

  • Tom A.

    I too agree with most of you.

    Rooftop owners — don’t care about them ! Cubs being competitive and winning games — do care about them ! Happy owners willing to invest in the Cubs — do care about them ! Mayor Emanuel and other civic leaders for the City of Chicago being proud of Wrigley Field — do care about them ! Wrigleyville bars and restaurants making money — do care about them ! Rooftop owners — still don’t care about them !

  • Die hard

    Part of deal should be that uniforms have names of players in bold large blue letters on back so roof toppers can see with binocs

  • Martin

    The amount of overemotional reaction on here is really crazy. This is negotiation, people. They wouldn’t be talking in these types of specifics if they weren’t close to a deal. The rooftop owners are trying to get the best deal they can, and the Cubs have zero reason to negotiate anything with them (which is why they’re not bothering to even counter their proposal).

    Nobody’s evil here–they’re all trying to maximize their profits or sustain their business. It’s just the way it is. It’s likely that the Cubs will win this one, but there’s no reason to take it all so personally.

  • Rmoody100

    I wonder why all the people who oppose ads for generating revenue don’t get mad that Wrigley chewing gum has a giant ad on the front of the field. Tear it down!

  • 5412


    Time to cut through the crap. Ricketts paid $900 million for the team. He has already laid out close to $100 million by the time you get the Dominican Acadeby finished. Now Cub fans pay 12% amusement tax and get nada for it other than to pay for faciiities for other teams. Now he is willing to lay out another $300 million. Greedy my ass, he is laying out a ton of money and as a business owner has a right to expect a reasonable return.

    Landmark status is pure BS. That was the only way the paid off alderman could protect their income stream was to “landmark status” Wrigley Field to give the city architectual control. Why did they want it? So the rooftop owners could make a fortune and grease the alderman; Chicago politics at it’s finest.

    So let me see if I have it straight. Rickets has laid out $1.2-$1.4 billion, he has a lot of skin in the game. Rahm is broke and is pleased to skim millions in amusement tax dollars and soak Cub fans without giving them anything in return.

    Now the rooftop owners but together this stupid plan calling it a win-win. Tell me, how much is it going to cost them? How about this proposal? The Cubs will get bids on in field advertising. Then they will get bids on doing it the way the rooftop owners want. Then the difference is made up in givng the Cubs a higher percentage of rooftop revenue. Now that is fair. If that does not work the difference comes from the City of Chicago.

    Personally, I have gone to Wrigley since 1944. I am a season ticket holder. It is a dump and a lousy neighborhood. It is nostalgic if you go to one or two games a year. Try doing 30+ a few years in a row and you will quickly see where Milwaukee is a jewel from a fan perspective.

    Ricketts is giving a corrupt city a chance to keep the team. If I were him, I would be communicating to the mayor, “Please don’t let the rooftop owners force me into doing something both you and I would prefer not to do.”

    I say to Tom Ricketts. Stand your ground. If they are stupid enought to kill the golden goose they are doing you a favor, it was going to happen anyway. Buy Arlington Park and put the stadium there, or go our by the Schaumburg Flyers.


    • Tom A.

      Awesome post ! I wish I would have written it !!

      Rooftop owners — still don’t care about them !!!

    • insanejackass

      Well 5412 maybe someone should forward your rant to the people in that district: No one should be sorry if Ricketts bought a staduim in need of repair and now has to pay to keep it up to code.
      No one should feel sorry for Ricketts because his team has a contract with the rooftop people and just because he promised to finance his own staduim, he thinks he can simply bankrupt those small business owners.

      Landmark status happened when the Tribune Company tried to back door the roof top owners and hold them ransom with that stupid green tarp. We should not be sorry if Ricketts was too dumb to understand what he bought

      Chicago provides the security, transportation, roads and most importantly the community that fans can trash after games and concerts.

      Lets be very clear, Mr Ricketts has A responsibilty to keep Wrigley Field Safe.The City had no part in the sale of the Cubs to Mr Ricketts and if he could not negotiate a fair price to offset all those costs, it’s not the communities fault.

      Mr Ricketts has no leverage.The only thing he has is his good will – he is tied down by contracts and landmark status unless your implying because he can throw his daddy’s money around don’t make him above the law. If anything this only prove that maybe the landmark status should not be lifted. Because it has occured that Mr Rickets does not bellieve in contractural obligations.

      Then maybe you are correct maybe it’s time for Mr Rickets to leave and take the Cubs with him and hopefully the state of Illinois nor any other town will not allow him to build a stadium in the state.

      But thank god Ricketts is not you. I am sure Mr Ricketts will find a way to find a compromise,

    • Pat

      The Ricketts have laid out about $200 million go their own money so far. Not sure where you we getting your figures.

  • Tom A.

    A poll for BN Cubs fans related to rooftop seating across from Wrigley Field:

    (a) Hope the Cubs buy those homes and tear them down for future Wrigley expansion
    (b) Don’t care about rooftop seating and not important to the Wrigley experience
    (c) Kind of cool to see fans sitting on top of rooftops all around Wrigley
    (d) It just wouldn’t be good old Wrigley without rooftop seating

    Personally, I am torn beween (a) and (b).

    • 5412

      Hi Tom

      This was my 68th year at Wrigley. For at least 38 of them there were no rooftops for us to “experience”. The entertainment is on the field.

      Screw the rooftop owners.

      Here should be our concern. I am 72 years old. If you had asked me when I was 32 if the Cubs would win the world series in my lifetime I would have said absolutely. Now, who knows? Our concern as fans is simple. What alternative gives the best owner we could possibly imagine, the best chance to build and field a consistent winner? Screw the nostalgia of the greedy rooftop owners, I want a winner.

      We quickly forget that Ricketts is not sucking money out of the team, he is putting tons back into everything he can do to improve the product on the field and generate revenue to afford a consistent winner.

      Comeon, how luck are we? Name one owner of any Chicago team in your lifetime who has done that???