Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: The Rooftops Just Launched a Hail Mary

respect wrigleyAfter a couple weeks of “leaks” and “anonymous sources” telling the story of the Wrigley Field renovation negotiations, the owners of the rooftop buildings – large stakeholders in the outcome of the renovation talks, as they are trying to preserve their views into Wrigley Field in the face of the Cubs’ desire to add advertising along the outfield wall – decided to hang it all out there. And it doesn’t sound like any kind of agreement, at least with respect to them, is even remotely close.

For your benefit, I’ll just show you the entire press release the rooftops just sent around:

Wrigleyville Rooftops Association Setting the Record Straight
Rooftop owners exasperated by inaccurate statements by Ricketts family

CHICAGO – The Wrigleyville Rooftops Association wants five facts to be known as the Cubs’ self-imposed April 1 Wrigley Field renovation deadline approaches:

1. The Ricketts family does not need to renegotiate their 2004 landmark ordinance agreement with the City of Chicago by April 1 to move forward with renovation plans. The landmark ordinance protects the “uninterrupted sweep of the bleachers” – not updating the clubhouses, public restrooms and various guest amenities. Nothing has prevented the Cubs from making these improvements except to use the renovation debate as an excuse to drive away the Rooftops.

2. The Ricketts family was well-aware of the 20-year contract signed in 2004 with the Rooftop owners when they purchased the team. Two of the top people in the Cubs’ current organization, Cubs President Crane Kenney and Mike Lufrano, Executive Vice President, Community Affairs/General Counsel, negotiated the contract and profit sharing agreement with the Rooftop owners.

3. As reported by media outlets this week, the Ricketts family attempted to purchase five Rooftops in 2011 and place signage-including a jumbotron-on the properties. The Ricketts family’s idea back then was nearly identical to the compromise solution being offered to them today.

4. The Ricketts family requested public financing for the renovation even knowing they are about to receive an enormous financial windfall. The Cubs have publicly stated they intend to sell broadcast rights for their product next year, possibly even saying goodbye to their partner of many decades, WGN television. Here’s what the Ricketts know: a similar deal negotiated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a like-sized media market was recently signed for $7 BILLION.

5. Many of the Rooftop owners have lived and invested in the Wrigleyville community for more than 30 years when the neighborhood was much different. Upon engaging in a partnership with the Cubs in 2004, they proceeded to collectively invest $50 million to upgrade and enhance their facilities. The Rooftop owners have collectively paid the Cubs approximately $25 million in royalties and are scheduled to pay another $45 million over the next decade. Unilaterally changing a contract without one party’s consent is unfair to any business let alone your neighbors of 30 years.

Beth Murphy, longtime owner of Murphy’s Bleachers, adds, “Our win-win advertising plan would dedicate 100% of all revenues from signs on rooftops to the Cubs to renovate Wrigley Field and help improve community needs. Signs on rooftops were proposed by the Ricketts family two years ago when they tried to buy a rooftop, so we’re confused why it isn’t good enough for them now. The Ricketts family should honor the contract we signed in 2004 that was negotiated by current Cubs’ top executives. There is no reason to block our views.”

The Rooftops are a tremendous economic engine creating significant revenue for city, county and state government.

There are so many reactions …

  • This release doesn’t come out if the sides are feeling good about a deal. The April 1 deadline to have a broad renovation deal in place (which includes funding mechanisms like outfield signage) is coming quickly, and I suddenly feel less than optimistic. Unless …
  • Maybe this is a sign that the rooftops are about to be abandoned by the political entities that had been aiding them to this point? The talk about honoring the contract – which is in place between the Cubs and the rooftops through 2024 – and the discussion of the previous rooftop plan to place advertising on the rooftop buildings makes me wonder if the rooftops are afraid that they’re going to simply be ignored when the final deal is struck, and this is their desperation play. (To whom, exactly, I’m not sure. Residents in the area? Politicians? Cubs fans?)
  • The first point in the release may technically be correct, but, as I’ve said many times before, I can’t blame the Ricketts Family for refusing to start signing renovation checks when they don’t know what funding mechanisms are going to be available to them.
  • That the Ricketts Family planned to place advertisements on buildings they would have purchased in 2011 doesn’t necessarily settle things today. For example, maybe they’ve since realized that ads on the rooftop buildings won’t pay as well as in-stadium ads. Or perhaps the only reason they were willing to accept ads on the rooftops back then was because they were going to own a portion of those rooftops. I really don’t know. I don’t think any of us outside of the negotiations do.
  • The TV deal thing seems like a red herring. The fact that the Cubs are going to ink a new TV deal in the coming years really doesn’t relate directly to the funding of a renovation of Wrigley Field in quite the same way that revenue-adding activities at Wrigley Field does. Further, a new TV deal is not certain to approach the level of the Dodgers’ deal for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that only the WGN portion of the Cubs’ TV deal is up in 2014, and that’s fewer than half of the games. That said, could the Ricketts Family start renovations by paying out of their own pocket in anticipation of the TV deal? Sure. Should they have to? I’m not sure they should.
  • Maybe it’s the former lawyer in me, but I don’t have a problem with the rooftops resting on the contract that the Cubs signed with them in 2004. The question, though, is to what extent the Cubs can unilaterally block rooftop views without breaching the contract (or, to what extent they can negotiate a change of that agreement, or can breach the agreement in a way that still generates more revenue than they would lose by way of the breach)? Once again, only those who’ve extensively reviewed the contract can say for sure. The language in this release doesn’t indicate to me that the Cubs would necessarily be breaching the contract by erecting blocking signage, as it feels like more of a plea for fairness.
  • I’m not sure anything in the rooftops’ current arguments are going to persuade anyone who is ardently against them, nor turn anyone who supports them away. To me, it’s the same as it’s always been: if there’s a compromise that keeps the rooftops in business without unnecessarily or unreasonably sapping Cubs resources, then great, let’s get that compromise done. If it increases the revenue coming into the Cubs organization, all the better.
  • The timing of the release is interesting, given that the community meeting about Wrigley renovations is taking place tonight in about two hours.

The Cubs aren’t going to be happy about this release, but it seems to me that, if it’s come to this, they’ve already cut off negotiations anyway. Perhaps the Cubs will now simply wait for the April 1 deadline to come and pass, and then they’ll start exploring non-Wrigley options. Perhaps the rooftops have already been cut out of the loop, and an unfavorable deal for them is already coming down the pipeline.

It’s unbelievable that things have gotten to this point, but there are a lot of dollars at stake, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that every side is fighting tooth and nail.

[Disclosure: Some of the rooftops advertise on BN, but that has not impacted the way I've covered this ongoing story.]

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

179 responses to “Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: The Rooftops Just Launched a Hail Mary”

  1. ETS

    Can I make the argument that to have a tv reach anything near the 7b mark the cubs would need more control of in-stadium advertising? or is that a stretch?

  2. Brian

    I’m a fan living in Canada and I’m sure there are many other Cubs fans around the US and Canada that don’t care one lick about the rooftop owners. I only care about the cubs success and it sounds like a bunch of snobby home owners in the area, not that I actually know anything about Chicago. (Ottawa just went through the same sort of thing with the glebe community. Research Landsdown Live of you care to know…)

    I just want to see a winning organization, so I expect them as a supporter to do what is best for them and their fans. Other business owners will most likely prosper from the Cubs success as well.

    1. gblan014

      Are you from (or live in) Ottawa, Brian?

      1. Brian

        I’m from and in Ottawa.

        1. gblan014

          Cool, so am I. I have to say I’m surprised to see another Cubs fan from Ottawa on here. I’d guess that there’s not too many of us.

  3. David

    In the same 10 year period that the Cubs make $45 Million the Rooftop owners make about $215 Million in revenue.

    1. Pat

      Yes, but the $45 million is profit as opposed to revenue.

      1. gutshot5820

        The $45 million is not pure profit for the Cubs. In fact, a case can be made that the Cubs are actually losing money on the deal with the rooftops. $45 million plus $215 million is potentially $260 million that is not being spent on the Cubs in Wrigley. Especially with the Cubs now unable to even sell-out their home opener, the rooftops are killing their supply and demand model.

        On top of that, any revenue the Cubs are unable to take advantage of because of the rooftops is revenue lost.

  4. aCubsFan

    Is April 1st really a self-imposed deadline to have a deal in place? I don’t think so. There is a lot of work that has to happen during the baseball season beyond getting construction crews hired and building materials ordered.

    For one the WGN broadcasting rights negotiations starts soon per an article in TimeOut Chicago. With that in mind the Cubs need to have in place what type of product they are going to be able to sell to WGN or any other broadcaster. You’re not going to do that overnight especially if there is no deal to renovate Wrigley. The Cubs are going to need some time to identify what Plan B is.

  5. Kevin

    I go back to the days when the rooftops were just roofs. (Rooves?) And the neighborhood was bad. Some people went up there to get sun and watch some baseball. The gentrification of the area and the mystique that blew up with coverage of the ’84 team heightened the unexplainable magic that is the rooftop. I said back in the mid 80s that it was just a matter of time before either the Trib or the landlords saw the earning potential of rooftop seating. I’m still surprised the Trib, a mighty corporation at the time, was second to that finish line. I probably overestimated their small business acumen.

  6. DONNIE621

    Reading the release has caused laughter for me… This is like the guy who is stealing cable TV complaining that the cable company want to block him and take their revenue back. Didn’t this whole roof top thing start way back when a few people decided to grab a few beers and watch the Cub game from the roof top across the street from Wrigley. Next thing you know they are reinforcing the roofs and building bleachers to sit on and sell some tickets. Bottom line is the roof top people are poaching the Cubs product. To me it does not matter what was tolerated by a former owner…Or the agreements forged by them. I believe the Cubs have a right to exclusive use of their product and can and should sell it to anyone who want’s to buy it without being hindered by people that are trying to get rich by basically stealing.

    I am a long time Cub fan and I think the Cubs should have a world class facility and not be forced to retrofit a crumbling landmark. Moving out of Wrigleyville would afford the Cubs the ability to generate the revenue they want without Politicians and Greedy RTO’s telling them how much money they can or should be allowed to earn…

    1. Crazyhorse

      The guy stealing the cable feed – dont pay anything so your analogy is false . The roof tops pay – saying the rooftops dont pay is just plain wrong and a silly argument. Now the Cubs dont pay any federal taxes due to capital gains loopholes but that a different argument about tax loopholes. yet it is an advantage that the Cubs have over many teams to a tune about a 100 million dollars.

      1. George

        Yes bro that’s stealing!! If I stole something from you that you were selling for a dollar ,& sold it for a dollar & gave you.25 what would you call that??

        1. Crazyhorse

          Then stub hub would out of buisness bro!

          1. Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

            Not quite. Stubhub is selling ticket that somebody else has already purchase. They own the rights of that rpoduct from those seats at that point and can choose to either exercise those rights, or choose to recoup the money they paid for those rights. completely different.

          2. George

            Stub hub is an arranged agreement between the both parties in exchange for a few percentage points off sale, not a stolen one for 75-80% bro!!

            1. Crazyhorse

              Kinda like the 17 percent gross, not net. The rooftops pay the Cubs, IF the gross was at zero and not 17 percent then it is considered stolen.

              1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                If I say bro!! will people listen?

                1. MichiganGoat

                  Only if you say it really loudly

                2. BluBlud

                  No, but if you make a really moronic analogy or use hyperbole, you’ll get a lot of responses.

                3. George

                  If I say your moms a hoe will you listen??

          3. Ryan

            StubHUB is your parallelism? Poppycock Dude! Stubhub charges a brokerage fee like online trading and your 401K! That is where they make their revenue from, while the ticket seller either earns a profit from their ticket by basically scalping or they simply sell their ticket for face or a loss.

            Nothing like what the rooftops do…they sell their own tickets and then send the Cubs basically chump change as a profit share. 17% of the gross sales each year, which beside a few weekends a year, they struggle to earn enough to cover and/or make any money based on that deal. And when I mean make money, I mean really boom in net profit. Plus, they steal, again, advertising that the Cubs should be getting by placing ads on their buildings. It’s ri-donkulous…

            Frankly, the rooftops are a fing joke. Most of those buildings have already been foreclosed on and re-bought several times over. Most went from a tenant model, to sinking millions in remodeling to builds up the “Wrigleyville” experience on the rooftops. They are hurting for cash flow since they can’t really turn true net profits. People only want to do it “once, cuz it’s cool bro”, or because it is all inclusive package deal.

  7. bcshults

    it’s incredible. the rooftops produce precisely nothing of value without the Cubs. this statement is full of really weak arguments.

  8. Mike In Southern Illinois

    As a former Chicago area resident, I have a few things to say:

    1. As a former resident it is none of my business, however, I am going to input my feelings anyway! (See, I was a Chicagoan. :D)

    2. Contract or no, the rooftops shouldn’t even be in business. You want to see the Cubs? Buy a ticket to a game at Wrigley Field.

    3. This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen to have a private business wanting to spend it’s own money on something that would be legal anywhere else, and having the city tell them how they can spend their money…and having neighbors stealing their product (contract or no) whining.

    4. Whoever came up with the idea to allow rooftop clubs (on the Cubs side) saw an opportunity to make some cash, I am sure. Long term thinking was not used in the decision. Now, we are hindered in expansion. Always remember, the easy way is not the best way.

    1. Pat

      Do you know anyone who owns a business. G ask them if they can do “anything they want” as long as they pay for it. Let me know what they say after they stop laughing.

      1. Mike In Southern Illinois

        I can. There are few restrictions on me in my little slice of paradise. :D One of the reasons I am here and not there.

        Here is the deal:

        Regardless of the why, this deal should never have been made. As a business owner, if I owned the club and the stadium, there would never have been a soul allowed on those rooftops. PERIOD. In times past, if the owners would have been full of foresight, the neighborhood could have been bought one place at a time as they became available. I have been there, both recently and in the past. Properties have been bought and sold before. Foresight just wasn’t used. Unfortunately, the new owners have to live with the lack of foresight of their predecessors.

  9. Crazyhorse

    I agree with the principle of your statement but unfortunately the Cubs and Ricketts knew this to be true When contract was signed and agreements made to buy the team.

    If i follow your points the only way to watch a game is in person , so goodbye televison . A Private buisness is not the Cubs ,its a Trust which also gets 100 million dollars federal tax break that most p[rivate buisness do not enjoy or other professional teams that was recently sold/ bought.

    1. aCubsFan

      Was there a contract in place? Sure. But, the new owners of a business…or even the two parties who originated the agreement don’t have to abide by them if one party doesn’t believe the contract is beneficial to them. It happens all the time in business.

      Here’s one classic example. Motorola Mobility agreed to have 2600 – 3000 employees in Illinois to get their tax rebate, however, as we have seen with Google’s announcement of layoffs they want to change the agreement with the State and still get their rebate.

      1. Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

        It’s just that easy. Call “takebacks” on the contract.

        We should have tried it with Soriano. Maybe we still can?

        1. CubbiesOHCubbies

          They can’t call take backs because I read in the tribune that the rooftop owners called “check, check, double check”, thus making the deal iron clad.

    2. Mike In Southern Illinois

      No, I was not saying to go to Wrigley is the only way. TV is certainly ok, in fact we need a better contract. What I am saying, and there could be more, but as far as I know, Wrigley is the only field with seats outside the park. That has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

  10. Headscratchin

    It took a while to find this, but I think the Rosemont site is would never happen for the same reason the Arizona Cardinals football team is in Glendale, Az and not in Tempe. To recap the article, you won’t see any more sports stadiums in the flight path of a major airport.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2001-09-19/sports/0109190216_1_soward-sky-harbor-international-airport-stadium

    1. Die hard

      Planes will be diverted

      1. MichiganGoat

        Yeah the FAA will gladly agree to rerouting planes to one of the largest airports, now if we had Dick Tidrow then sure- his stashe would be an alternate landing field.

  11. Patrick W

    Reading this statement thoroughly I think it’s not only possible but probable that there is nothing in that contract that guarantees the views of from the rooftops. If there was why wouldn’t they reference that as part of the point about the contract? Why would they instead reference the landmark agreement? They were counting on that landmark agreement protecting their views and they aren’t happy with the poor options their contract offers for abatement is my guess.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Exactly, they are in panic mode hoping to cause anger among the public and get more political support. This is desperation. After April 1st maybe the Cubs have a legal move they are planning on playing if the rooftops don’t agree to something and they just hope that this will make the Cubs shake and fold thier hand.

  12. clark addison

    The rooftop agreement took place after the Cubs put up a screen to block their view. Until then, they were poaching the product and gave nothing back. In return for removing the screen, the rooftops agreed to pay 17% of their gross (or is it net?).

    1. Crazyhorse

      But afterwards they signed a contract. What is your point?

      1. Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

        I thought you said goodnite earlier. ;)

      2. Tommy

        I think the point is that if the contract doesn’t have any loopholes to allow the Cubs out of it, they’ll be stuck with it. If there were loopholes written in, then the Cubs are well within their right to use those loopholes.

      3. Can't think of a cool name

        Serious question: Do you have a vested interest in one of the rooftops?

        1. Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

          no, thats Patrick. :)

          1. Can't think of a cool name

            Sorry, I was directing the question to Crazy Horse.

            1. BluBlud

              Yeah, I know. It was a joke from yesterday. Or maybe earlier today. Hell, webeen discuss tthis so much lately, I can’t remember when.

            2. Ryan

              He, Crazyhorse, is doing what other love to, meaning, he will take the other side just to stir the pot; or even worse in my mind, take the side of the “weak” or have no legitimacy just because he think people are being mean or unfair to them.

              Cubs have all the power. Rahm knows that even if it cost him short-term politically, but it will gain Chicago money long-term, thus look favorably on him for years to come.

          2. Patrick W.

            Holy crap I’ll get fired after this….

            Unless it’s a clever ruse.

            This post coming from the bleachers in HoHoKam.

    2. Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

      gross. !7% revenue would = 17% gross income.

  13. Tommy

    That press release does not make me sympathize with the rooftop owners. It really makes them sound like the spoiled rich kid that isn’t getting his way because the richer kid next door won’t share his toys.

    Honestly, I’m a Cubs fan, and I couldn’t care less about whether or not the rooftop owners are making money off of their games. They already can charge inflated rent because of their proximity to Wrigley. Be happy with that and move on, folks – I think you’ve lost this one.

  14. Kevin

    Is it possible for the Cubs to play at the Cell for 2 years rent free while a brand new state of the art stadium is built at current location? The Cubs have never benefited from the 12% amusement tax and this could be a way for the city to help the Cubs stay in Chicago. Additionally, the Cubs would pay fair market value for all the rooftop buildings so nobody loses big money. Think outside the box and this this could be a win/win for all parties involved.

  15. Tommy

    The contract allows that “any expansion of Wrigley Field approved by governmental authorities shall not be a violation” of the deal.

    And the leg they had to stand on was severed.

    1. Crazyhorse

      Correct statement. The Cubs need Tunney and the Mayor.

      1. MichiganGoat

        And today’s statement shows just how worried the rooftops are that they are losing them both.

        1. Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

          It’s possible that the threat to move may be real, even if the parties are laughing it off. Rahm knows that he can’t afford to have the Cubs leave the city.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Maybe but by being silent they keep any leverage a move might have.

        2. Crazyhorse

          Yes by reminding the public that they have negotiated in good faith with facts and not promises,

          1. MichiganGoat

            This is a legal agreement between two private companies the public is not needed until you need to add political pressure.

  16. MichiganGoat

    Okay consider this: Maybe this contract give all the leverage to the Cubs. The contract might not protect the rooftops unobstructed view, outside of landmark status, but instead give the Cubs a percentage of the sales because IF the rooftops have an unobstructed view THE CUBS get a cut, BUT if that unobstructed view is gone the rooftops no longer have to pay the Cubs a percentage of sales. Therefore the Cubs have ALL the leverage they will only lose the cut they get from rooftops if they ever obstruct the view and only the landmark question is holding that from happening. So anyway you look at it the rooftops are going to lose. They either lose the view or they lose the Cubs. The fact that the Cubs haven’t gone public like the rooftops just did tells me they are scared.

    1. Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

      In fact, it’s possible the Cubs could choose to obstruct the view without the landmark status, simply by putting the nets back up. This may not even be a violation. It possible the agreement doesn’t even grant the RTO a view of the field, just that if there is a view, and you sell tickets for that view, and the Cubs want a cut of the money. If this is the case, then maybe the the low revenue sharing makes sense. We’ll take a small cut, but we are not going to promise this view will always be here.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Exactly if an unobstructed view was in the contract then why wasn’t that in the press release. The Cubs have the leverage here and rooftops are desperate for support that believe they are losing. You don’t go public in a private matter until the public is the only you could save yourself.

      2. ChicagoCubsTalk

        The rooftops should be thanking the Cubs for all of the revenue they have received over the years. Either they start agreeing with the Ricketts family or the Cubs should take their view away. It isn’t like they are asking for 100% of the revenue.

  17. Crazyhorse

    Now who is reaching for what ?

    1. MichiganGoat

      That “what if” is more valid than any of the arguements you made tonight.

      1. Crazyhorse

        Yes the Cubs need to apply pressure to get the landmark status changed. because without political backing the Cubs have no leverage. This why the cubs drew a line in the sand , ocean lol, Ivy with April First being a date.

        now that is bold.

        1. BluBlud

          The Cubs have a business to run, so they have to set a deadline so that if there is no compromise, they can start to explore other options. People who have no leverage and nothing to lose tend to stall, or allow things to take longer to play out.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Time to leave the horse alone to beat himself past death.

        2. MichiganGoat

          ??? I’m done even trying to get you to understand the concept of leverage, but for the last time THE CUBS HAVE ALL THE LEVERAGE. Wrigleyville needs the Cubs, Chicago needs the Cubs, the rooftops need the Cubs. If nothing happens to give the Cubs what they need to renovate Wrigley (public funding or increased revenue streams) then Wrigley eventually goes away. The Cubs can make any move they want and still have the product everyone wants but without the Cubs Wrigleyville dies, the rooftops die… So yes the Cubs don’t need to gain leverage they are not the ones making public cries for support.

          1. Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

            It’s common for each side in a negotiation (and their fans) to overestimate their leverage.

            The Cubs lose a lot of money leaving Wrigley. They can’t force the city to raise the restrictions. That’s more than enough leverage for the other sides.

            1. MichiganGoat

              Agreed but the side with the product everyone wants and needs has substantially more leverage and if these renovations never get done that product is going away or at least gone for a couple years if a total rebuild is needed. I just can’t see how this statement benefits the rooftops unless they are really desperate.

          2. Ryan

            Go a step further…

            They build a replica re-track-able roof stadium in the burbs. Guess what? They can do the following to pay for the stadium and/or make a bazillion dollars:

            BCS game
            NCAA regional or final site
            BIG football championship
            BIG bball championship
            BIG softball and baseball tourney
            BIG games of all variety for various sports and championship games
            Host regional football and basketball games for whatever division
            Illinois state championship games for all sports
            Concerts
            Comedy shows
            Tractor trailer events
            Conventions
            Political rallies and events

            And on, and on, and on…

            They can completely re-create the Wrigleyville environment with modern buildings, bar experience, parking lot or garages and an actual Cubs executive office to manage both the Baseball and Business side of the organization.

            No more shitty weather in April, early May or September. They can start games at 705 or 805 pm. They can realistically host an all-star game. Imagine the TV deal with them if they went to this new stadium and played at night 130 times a year? Boom, major dollars!

  18. DONNIE621

    Crazyhorse
    March 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply
    The guy stealing the cable feed – dont pay anything so your analogy is false . The roof tops pay – saying the rooftops dont pay is just plain wrong and a silly argument.

    Duhhhh! You Crazy Horse! You!!!!

  19. DONNIE621

    Everybody… Crazyhorse is on TT’s staff or is an RTO. He probably thinks stealing from his employer is merely a salary adjustment!

  20. Kevin

    I’m all about the Cubs winning, everything else is secondary. The Cubs may, or may not, have the leverage needed to get want they want but, in the end, if they are not careful, Wrigley Field will no longer be called “The Friendly Confines”.

  21. aCubsFan

    It’s interesting that outside of Paul Sullivan’s tweet, not one of the major news outlets have mentioned the press release from the rooftop owners. The only people discussing it are the Cubs-related blogs.

  22. @murdiddlyurdler

    if the rooftops don’t have seats, then it’d also mean less people makin a mess all over lakeview, so more night games right? because it seems like they’re talking out of both sides of their mouth on that one. once the city refused to help pay for any of the renovations it was basically a sign to the owners that the team was on its own for everything. which is fine. but if the town is going to treat it like any other business, they need to be allowed to operate like all the other businesses in MLB. night games, signage, concerts. anything inside should be their own business decision. can you imagine if chicago tried telling reinsdorf he couldn’t have a concert at the UC? he’d laugh in their face.

  23. Cub Style

    Seems like saying they’ve been here 30 years isn’t the best ploy when the other party is knocking on its establishment’s 100th birthday next year.

  24. Die hard

    Could come down to who owns the air rights above Wrigley…. If Cubs then they can build up to block view

    1. Diamondrock

      “Hey, the government can’t control the sky! What if you lived in a balloon?”

      1. MichiganGoat

        Maybe an Avenger like floating stadium hmmm

  25. Luke

    Any info out of the neighborhood meeting yet?

  26. MTM82

    The Cubs should build a dome over Wrigley.

  27. ruby2626

    I’m surprised the Cubs ever partnered with the rooftops, I know we sell out most games that the rooftops are open but still it has to cost a bundle of sold seats each year. Actually forget about the seats sold, what about the beer concessions, let’s face it the people who pay for the all you can drink rooftop are usually the big drinkers.

    With the WGN contract coming to an end I would love to know if they have an out for the Comcast agreement. Be a lot easier to sell the entire package than just 70 games or so. If they do have an out I’m sure it will be exercised pretty quickly. Most of the focus seems to be on advertising on the roof tops and site lines but what about the number of night games that the neighborhood allows. I would imagine ratings for evening games would have to be double or triple those of day games. Again that hits the Cubs right in the pocket book.

    Has anyone been listening to the Score in the morning, the hosts are shocked how one sided the callers are in favor of a move. Really does boil down to are you a Cub fan or a Wrigley fan. Wrigley is cursed, let’s get the heck out of there and join the 21st century.

    1. Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

      At the time the deal was made, the Cubs were closing in on constantly selling out Wrigley and were having trouble getting approval to expand seating. It was basically free money.

      1. aCubsFan

        Here’s a summary of all the legal issues back in 2003. http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1013&context=njtip It is an interesting read. All the same arguments of today between both sides.

  28. Kramden

    Hmmmm….. Consider this one:

    April 1st passes and the Cubs say they’re moving to the suburbs…..

    The value of the rooftop buildings plummet and become no more valuable than any other building in Wrigleyville……

    The current owners take any equitable offer they can get to sell their rooftop buildings….

    Through a 3rd party which represents Ricketts interests he swoops in and buys every rooftop building for a fraction of what he would have paid…….

    Ricketts voids the current rooftop/Cub contract…..

    And tells Tunney “Checkmate!”…….

    And is pretty free and clear to do whatever he wants with Tunney’s blessing because he is no longer beholding to the former rooftop owners at that point.

  29. hawkcub

    I think this action by the RTO is hard to read. On one hand it may be a last gasp effort because they know they are really close to losing their political cover. But it also can be viewed as them simply digging in.

  30. dan wis

    please just put kids free in the bleachers and give them helium ballons with a twenty
    foot string and screw the roof tops