Today, an association of the rooftops that line the outfield of Wrigley Field unveiled their proposal with respect to advertising that would help fund the renovation of the ballpark.
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.
On its face, it seems like a pretty strong offer – one that reflects the reality that the political pressure from City Hall was probably going to topple the rooftops if they took too aggressive of a stance.
On the other hand, the devil is in the details. The revenue is going to the Cubs and the City … in what proportions? Is it just the added tax revenue going to the City? Or do they take some of the direct revenue? And it’s going to those entities for the purposes of the renovation … but what about after the renovation is complete?
We’ll have to wait for those answers, I think.
Danny Ecker was in attendance at the rooftops’ presentation today, and tweeted this photo of what a portion of the ads might look like:
Not really much of an eyesore, all things considered.
We’ll see how the Cubs respond to the proposal, and, the truth is, there will always be details we’ll never know. All, in all, though, I will say this: if the money the Cubs could make via this plan (for the purposes of the renovation and then beyond) is relatively close to the money they could make via their own signage in Wrigley, I’d much rather the ads were on the rooftop buildings than on Wrigley, itself.
But the money question … well, that’s always the question. (Speaking of money, here’s where I say that some of the rooftops advertise on BN. That doesn’t affect the way I’m covering this story, however.)
I remain hopeful that all sides can work out something that makes everyone happy. The truth is, I still like the idea of the rooftops, and, if it’s possible, I’d rather they weren’t stamped out by the Cubs’ legitimate need to generate revenue to fund the Wrigley renovation.
The rooftops also sent out a video presentation of their proposals.