Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: Cubs Met with Rooftop Owners for Over Two Hours Today

1_PROPOSED_MARQUEE_VIEWThe odds of the Chicago Cubs and the owners of the rooftop buildings lining the outfield at Wrigley Field reaching a compromise on outfield advertising signage looked pretty bleak this weekend and into this morning. The Cubs are trying to raise revenue to pay for the renovation of Wrigley Field, and one of the most obvious ways to do the job would be add some advertisements along the outfield wall, which you see at every other ballpark in baseball. The problem, though, is that the signs could block the views of the rooftops, who have a revenue-sharing agreement in place with the Cubs.

It’s a sticky situation – one with so many interested parties that it’s difficult to predict how it will play out, or even what outcome is best for the Cubs – but everyone seems to be incentivized to resolve it quickly. Indeed, Crain’s reports that Cubs management, including Owner and Chairman Tom Ricketts by phone, met today with owners of the rooftops to continue trying to hash something out.

A source tells Crain’s that the mere fact of the meeting is a sign of progress. The sides left the meeting agreeing that time was of the essence, and agreeing to research some issues and get back in touch as soon as later this week.

As I said, because of the layered and intertwined interests involved – the Cubs, the Ricketts, the rooftops, the neighborhood, the politicians, the fans (it’s like a season of ‘The Wire’) – it’s difficult to say, as an outsider, what the best outcome is. On the one hand, it seems like simply putting the rooftops out of business and taking over that operation directly would be best for the Cubs’ bottom line. On other other hand, do we really know that? And do we know how the neighborhood would react? Would it negatively impact the “feel” of Wrigley? It may seem unlikely, but I’m always wary of unintended consequences. It still seems to me that a solution that allows the rooftop businesses to survive, while providing the Cubs advertising opportunities both on the rooftops and in the outfield, and perhaps providing the Cubs a better revenue share from the rooftops (it’s currently 17% of the gross revenue), would be the fairest, most widely palatable solution. And maybe resolving things with the rooftops will help the Cubs get some of the other things they’re looking for (more night games, more concerts, and street fairs, for example).

But who knows if that’s even possible. We’ll have to see what this week’s meetings hold.

UPDATE: The Tribune’s report on this meeting adds, from a source, that the Mayor’s Office pushed for the meeting today. I’m telling you: it’s ‘The Wire.’

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

90 responses to “Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: Cubs Met with Rooftop Owners for Over Two Hours Today”

  1. DarthHater

    Uh oh, Brett. You omitted the rooftops-advertise-here disclaimer. I think your objectivity is now in serious doubt. ;-)

    1. MichiganGoat

      ***Calling lawyers now***

    2. justinjabs

      Rooftops advertise here? WHAAAT

  2. MichiganGoat

    I get the sense that the rooftops are willing to give a ton to stay in business and Cubs will use that leverage get a dramatic increase in all revenue sharing streams.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Um is this an opinion… Today really confused me on definitions of words.

      1. DarthHater

        Okay, but you forgot to add that nothing anybody else says can EVER change your opinion.

        1. MichiganGoat

          Science be damned, facts are for witches, and my mind is set damn it!

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            And robots!

            1. DarthHater

              The robot just admitted to being a witch! Fire up the stake!

              1. MichiganGoat
                1. MichiganGoat

                  Shite WEIGH my iPhone has been possessed by the witch

                2. DarthHater

                  Not if it’s a really industrious duck.

                  1. TWC

                    Like Darkwing Duck?

                    1. MichiganGoat

                      Or a European duck

                    2. DarthHater

                      That’s it! This message board has become entirely too silly! I’m calling a stop to it immediately.

                    3. MichiganGoat

                      BN tis a silly place

          2. DarthHater

            I’ve yet to see a witch who’s a decent driver, either.

            1. MichiganGoat

              FOR THE WIN

            2. JoeyCollins

              ALL THE WITCHES…. cant drive

        2. cub2014

          blah blah blah; you 2 are so self righteous it gets old.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Um okay thanks

          2. MichiganGoat

            Wait so jokes are self-righteous? Hmmm I’m learning every day.

    2. Internet Random

      Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

    3. robert w pfauth cedar spring / grand rapids michigan

      I think the cubs should find a nither open land and get it build a new indoor park half wriegly / half miller park all in one then have thier own tv chanale and get all paid veiwers frome mich. ind ill, min. wis, ohio .then lit thrv rooftop owner have a miner luge team thier lits see hpow much money that make on that see ya : ) hahah

      1. MichiganGoat

        Well this poorly written junk does not represent Grand Rapids, MI – I’m guessing it will soon be deleted but this really makes my city look bad

        1. Stinky Pete

          Since I’ve seen one guy from GR with lots of Type – Os, I’m pretty sure everyone from GR has lots of Type- Os.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Fact I’m Type AB so your opinion is proven false

  3. ETS

    I never watched “The Wire” :(

    1. MichiganGoat

      shhh just don’t tell Brett that Lost was poorly ended and kinda of stupid the last few season… Oops

      1. ETS

        I watched thru season 4 of lost and have to agree. Once they island started floating and was a time machine I gave up on that show.

        season 2 with jock locke and his hatch… that was pretty enteraining.

        1. ETS

          entertaining* (edit button)

      2. Whiteflag

        Agreed. The finale of Lost made me think of all those high school English papers, I ended with: then i woke up or it all turned out be a dream. Pretty unimaginative.

        1. MichiganGoat

          Brett will ban us all then we can go back in time and become very confused and uninterested in the story line

          1. Whiteflag


    2. Jeremy

      You should. The Wire is the best show television has ever produced.

      1. ETS

        Ive heard this multiple times.

        1. Jim L

          It’s true.

          1. SweetJamesJones

            Season 4 of The Wire is one of the best seasons of any other television show EVER.

  4. MichiganGoat

    Update 2: The rooftop owners are stuck on an island and a black smoke thing scare them. Now we’re are stuck in Lost story line.

  5. Internet Random

    One of my many incredibly insightful and totally original comments isn’t showing up… despite getting the double-post message.

    It’s no problem for me, really, but I don’t like the thought of everyone else being deprived of the rollicking joy of reading my musings.

    1. TWC

      *oh, heavens be praised*, Ace unlocked your comment. We bask in your grooviness.

      1. Internet Random

        Imagine being me. I get to bask in myself around the clock.

        1. DarthHater

          Careful, you’ll go blind.

          1. Internet Random

            Revved up like a deuce.

            1. TWC


  6. Dave

    “On the other had”? Brett, your proof-reading skillz are slipping.

  7. Die hard

    Any compromise should include Cubs building a right field and left field walkway over the streets so roof toppers can access a free zone behind the higher wall similar to what they have in San Fran

    1. TWC

      Uh, Gramps, you ever BEEN to AT&T Park? There aren’t any rooftops beyond right or left fields. There *IS* a bay. Filled with water.

      Or, perhaps, you mean the cool view window that folks walking around the ballpark can pop into and see a few minutes of the game through a couple of chain-link fences in right field? Yeah, the Cubs already have that, and have since the bleacher expansion a few years back.

      1. Drew7

        Still chuckling, 5 min later.

        Castro to CF!

    2. MichiganGoat

      If you build it Dick Tidrow will come

  8. 1060Ivy

    Regarding Wrigley renovation, hopefully the City and Ricketts, incorporate direct connection from el to Wrigley. Addison el stop is only 1/4 block from bleacher entrance and about a block from main Cub entrance on Clark & Addison so some bright urban planner should plan an access.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Um how close do you need to be? The red line stop is closer than most MLB stadium parking lots get you to your seat. A little walk is part of the joy of Wrigley and this is coming from a guy that uses a cane sometimes.

  9. CubFan Paul

    My drinking game grows. Now, everytime a white person mentions ‘The Wire’ I take a shot.

    1. hansman1982

      wait, wait, wait…now you’re stereotyping white people???


    2. TWC

      The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire. The Wire.

      That oughta put an end to THAT game.

      1. hansman1982

        Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Big Bang Theory, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Lost, The Wire, Doctor Who

        1. Jimmy james

          This is definitely not penny’s boat

        2. CubFan Paul

          I’ve been recording Doctor Who (2005-current) and I now have 73 episodes that I can’t find the time to watch.

          1. desertrat

            I just started watching them on Netflix a couple of months ago. Now I think I’m down to about 50.

      2. Drew7

        Probably won’t be seeing much of Pauly for a few days…

      3. Hardtop

        Are you white? Otherwise it doesn’t count.

        I’ve never seen nor heard of the wire.. It’s obviously not on MLB network.

  10. curt

    theres got to be a reality show somewhere in this renovation , putem all on an island and last 1 standing wins lol.

  11. Mac

    Joe Mather signs minor league contract with Phillies

  12. Spencer

    This comment thread reminds me of the way the comments on BN used to be. I miss it. Sad panda.

    1. MichiganGoat

      We got hold of Peabody and The Way Back Machine tonight

      1. hansman1982

        I’m glad I’m not the only one who was thinking “BN Night Crew”.

        1. MichiganGoat

          Oh wait we haven’t discussed beer yet, Founders KBS will be here soon!

          1. MichiganGoat

            Here are the details anyone up for a road trip?


  13. Kansas Cubs Fan

    This is the first time I’ve read all the way through the comment in a while. Reminds me of the good times.

  14. Katie

    Been missing these comments too.

    And you’re all a bunch of pigs.

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