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respect wrigleyAs expected, the owners of the buildings that line the outfield at Wrigley Field were quite unhappy with the Landmarks Commission’s unanimous decision yesterday to allow the Cubs to erect a JumboTron in left field and an advertising sign in right field. Although the Cubs have ostensibly gone to great lengths to reduce the impact of the signage on those external views into Wrigley Field – the Cubs do have an agreement with the rooftops, which reportedly runs through 2024 – the rooftop owners are still upset.

From the release the rooftop owners issued shortly after the Commission’s decision:

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks issued a decision wholly inconsistent with its mission of preserving and protecting historic properties in the City of Chicago by approving dramatic changes that adversely affect specifically protected elements of Wrigley Field. Contrary to most landmark debates, this action was taken without community participation or any scheduled public hearings. The language passed today appears to allow for additional bleacher signage without the consent of the Commission. Rooftop owners – a significantly affected partner – have been intentionally excluded by the Cubs and City of Chicago as decisions to aid the Ricketts family have been rushed through.

The Wrigleyville Rooftops Association has released the following statement from Beth Murphy, owner of Murphy’s Bleachers in reaction to today’s events:

“Today’s decision is a blow to anyone who cares deeply for the historic and special nature of Wrigley Field. We, like many residents of the Lakeview community, feel blindsided by the total disregard of the commissioners who ignored years of careful work that went into crafting the 2004 Landmark Ordinance and the corresponding contractual agreement between the Chicago Cubs and the rooftops. We want to see a modernized Wrigley Field, but throughout this process, the affected small business owners have been shut out to create a more favorable deal for a billionaire family.”

“In January, rooftop owners proposed a solution that would preserve the feel of Wrigley Field, provide the Ricketts family revenue needed to modernize the ball park while keeping rooftops in business. Unfortunately, the Ricketts family muscled through a plan today that adversely impacts Wrigley Field and the surrounding business and homes. As small business owners who have spent more than 30 years and tens of millions of dollars investing in our neighborhood, our input should have been sought and valued, but instead, we have been intentionally excluded with arrogant disregard.”

I can understand a group of businesses fighting for their future, but the “today’s decision is a blow to anyone who cares deeply for the historic and special nature of Wrigley Field” part goes a bit far. No one is as incentivized as the Cubs to preserve that historic and special nature of Wrigley Field – not just because they are stewards of history, but because it makes them a lot of money. I have little doubt that the new signs will incorporate well into the park, and will be designed in such a way as to minimize the amount that they stand out.

We’ll see how things proceed now, vis a vis the rooftops. There remain official, legislative steps before the signs go up, so we’ll probably hear some more saber rattling over the coming weeks/months. And if the late-night Twitter rantings of one rooftop owner* are to be credited, at least some rooftop owners stand ready to sue. If this all does lead to a lawsuit – an unfortunate outcome about which I’ve written previously – we can only hope that the uncertainty associated with legal proceedings will not impact the actual renovation process. Although I was a lawyer in a former life, I don’t want to play law-guy here because there’s too much that we don’t know. I’ll say only that, if memory serves, this kind of contractual dispute would seem to be the kind where the fight would be about damages (i.e., the payment of money from one side to the other), rather than about actually blocking the construction.

For the Cubs’ part, Mike Lufrano seemed to state the team’s position yesterday at the Landmark Commission hearing, which is that their agreement with the rooftops does not preclude the organization from building these signs. That doesn’t sound like the position of an organization that is afraid to proceed with the signage, which has now been blessed by the Landmarks Commission.

Up next: the Plan Commission on July 18.

*I’m fairly certain that Twitter account is legit, but I would be happy to correct if it is not.

  • ssckelley

    This is getting tiring, I love Wrigley Field but I love the Cubs even more. If they moved out of Wrigley and built a new stadium I would not stop being a Cub fan. Let the rooftop owners have their “historic and special nature of Wrigley Field” and turn the place into a museum or something.

    • Scotti

      Yes. Exactly. I’m married to the Cubs. Our first home just happens to be at Wrigley Field. Special place but I’m not married to it.

  • hansman1982

    Remember the uproar about the Under Armour signs?

    • On The Farm

      There are Under Armour signs in the OF? Oh my God the horror!

  • jasn

    what do you al l think of al yellon?

    • TWC

      I think he’s a bit of a megalomaniac and a pretty terrible writer, which is why I don’t spend any time on his website.

      I’m curious why you’re posting your question here, and suspect that you have little intent other than to cause a shit storm. Perhaps you should take this elsewhere. I suggest BCB.

      • jasn

        i know alot of people dont like him and he gets ban happy

  • Cedlandrum

    I love how the owner says how he would love for the Cubs to leave. Um no you wouldn’t you’d be closing shop the day they left. What a blowhard. I also love how he complains about paying 17% of the gross. – yes because you were raking in a hundred percent profit off of a product you used to steal. Dang the cubs for charging you admission like everyone else.

  • mak

    I read the Twitter rant. What makes the roof top owners so damn unsympathetic is the fact they lean on the ironic argument that the jumbotron will kill the tradition of Wrigley (I’m paraphrasing here). In actuality, what the roof tops have done by commercializing and charging $75 bucks per ticket is far more nontraditional than a jumbotron (remember the days when the rooftops were just a bunch of dudes on their rooftops with fold out chairs). It’s so self-unaware to complain that the Cubs are ruining Wrigley by trying to squeeze every dollar.

    • Kyle

      Commercialized rooftops (and contentious relationships with the ballclubs) are about as old and traditional as baseball itself.

      • Scotti

        Hyperbole anyone?

        • Kyle

          Not really. This stuff used to happen all the time in the olden days.

          • hansman1982

            Polo Grounds used to have quite the fights with fans sitting on a hilltop that overlooked the stadium back in the day.

          • Scotti

            Baseball is older than commercialized baseball. Hell, Wrigley itself didn’t even have an outfield in the “olden days” (i.e. no way to charge admission).

    • ssckelley

      The bleachers on the rooftops do look weird, how is that protecting history? The actual tradition of the rooftops was a bunch of people partying, while watching the game for “free”. When I was young I used to want to watch a game from up there, it looked fun. Now it just looks like cheap nose bleed seats that they are overcharging for.

      • mak

        It is. I’ve been to maybe 150+ games at Wrigley, but spent my first on a roof deck this year. Pass.

      • caryatid62

        Actually, if you are just looking to have a good time and not pay close attention to the game, the rooftops are fun. And, when you can get a $75 or so all-inclusive (food/beverage) from Groupon, they’re a much better deal than the ballpark.

        If I want to watch the game, I’d go in the stadium. But if it’s a choice between the bleachers and the rooftop, I’ll take the rooftop.

  • Spencer

    It’s interesting, because yesterday’s decision was made by a LANDMARK COMMISSION. And the rooftops are saying, “Yeah, well adding a JumboTron negatively impacts the historic and special nature of Wrigley Field, but look! Here’s an alternative if you build a JumboTron smaller that doesn’t obstruct our views, well then, the historic and special nature of Wrigley Field won’t be impacted.”

    It doesn’t make any sense to say that the historic and special nature of Wrigley Field is being affected by a JumboTron, then in the same breath say that it’s okay to have a JumboTron so long as it meets our size specifications. Because apparently there’s some arbitrary square footage number out there that doesn’t impact historic and special nature of Wrigley Field.

    • On The Farm

      “Because apparently there’s some arbitrary square footage number out there that doesn’t impact historic and special nature of Wrigley Field.”

      Exactly, hater’s gonna hate.

      • Eternal pessemist

        Interesting also that adding bleachers to rooftops doesn’t detract from the neighborhood. Beth Murphy and her henchmen trying to have it both ways.

        • Bricklayer

          It’s also interesting that Beth Murphy is in the business of inebriating 100’s, maybe 1000’s, of people every game day and then turning them loose into the night doesn’t detract from the neighborhood, but signs INSIDE THE PARK do.

    • mak

      I wonder if there was outcry about tradition when the Cubs added the fences/bleachers?

  • Elliott Pollack

    Okay, dumb question. Is there any reason the Cubs can’t just simply buy out the remainder of the contract with the rooftops? Whatever they’re slated to make between now and the termination of the contract (I’m assuming this is a reasonable amount of money that Mr. Ricketts can afford, willingness aside; perhaps I’m wrong), why don’t the Cubs just cut Beth Murphy and friends a check and call it a day?

    • Scotti

      Because the rooftops owe the CUBS money. Why would the Cubs pay the rooftops? Instead of $50+ million dollars over the next 13 years TO the Cubs should pay the rooftops? That’s nuts. The Cubs are trying to generate money not give it away.

    • mak

      They can, and maybe/probably will. Another option, when the cash flows really start to come in, is to buy up the roofdecks (a bunch of them were in bankruptcy over the last few years).

    • JB88

      There’s no legal reason preventing a buyout, but you need two to tango, as they say. And, I imagine there would be a very big issue in evaluating the value of buying out one rooftop, let alone all of the rooftops. Because, to the rooftops, this isn’t just about the next 11 seasons, but what the value is after 2024.

      And, even if you buyout the rooftops, you are still going to have a fight to actually block their sitelines into the park. That is because, I believe, even if they were already bought out, that blocking them would violate the landmark designation.

      • Scotti

        Blocking sight lines has NOTHING to do with the landmarking of Wrigley. The only landmarked parts of Wrigley are the shape of the wells, the ivy, the marquee, the scoreboard and the height of the structure with the intent of preventing a roof. Nothing else is landmarked.

        • Pat

          Actually, there is language in there referring to “the uninterrupted sweep of the bleachers”, or something to that effect. Which would appear to be so vague as to be completely useless in a legal sense.

    • Barry Clifton

      Of course the Cubs could buy them out, but they simply don’t want to pay the price. They’d rather drag things through litigation and settle with the rooftop owners for pennies on the dollar.

      • hansman1982

        So, assuming the Cubs would have to AT LEAST pay the rooftops’ revenues for the next 10 years and that comes out to $170M, you really think this is feasible?

        • Barry Clifton

          Unfortunately, this is the mess that the Crane and the Cubs have gotten themselves into. I’d be nice to tear up their Comcast/WGN contracts as well, but that’s not the way it works.

          • Scotti

            No one here knows what the actual contact entails but, if I recall correctly, it was reported that a provision in the contract was that if the city allowed changes to Wrigley then the contract allows for those changes as well. Makes sense why the rooftops would try this route (the city) instead of simply going to the courts…

        • Pat

          I don’t think they would be responsible for the revenues. It would probably be profits. Considering that some of the rooftops have gone into bankruptcy, I’m not sure that’s all that much.

          • Pat

            Alternatively, they could be responsible for the remainder of the loans taken to upgrade the rooftops to the specifications demanded by the city (since those loans were taken under the assumption of a contract that would give the rooftops a chance to recoup the money). If that’s the case, it would probably be a larger amount.

      • mak

        It’s too hard to predict without seeing the contract, but I’d assume that once the changes are made, the rooftop owners would gladly accept a settlement on their way out.

  • Scotti

    Sigh… The only specifically protected elements of Wrigley are the brick and ivy outfield (the shape of the inner OF wall and the ivy), the marquee, the scoreboard and the height of the structure (solely to prevent a roof from being built). Nothing else is landmarked. Including ads. The ONLY landmarked change is a potential ad on the scoreboard. Period.

    • JB88

      Is this true, though? There was consistent reference to the “sweep of the bleachers”, which both the Commission and the Cubs were interpreting to mean that the jumbotron and script signage needed to be elevated off the bleachers.

      Now, maybe there is no direct prohibition, but, given that both the Cubs and the Commission were interpreting it in such a way, such an interpretation may end up being the way that it is construed going forward.

      • Scotti

        The Cubs have not interpreted anything as needing to go to the commission (they have had numerous statements on this for both this and the signage already in RF from a few years ago). Once they did go to the commission (as a courtesy) they did include the clock on the scoreboard as a possibility and that IS 100% landmarked. The sweep of the outfield wall refers to the wells.

      • frank

        I believe the “sweep of the bleachers” does not refer to landmark status, but to the existing agreement between the Cubs and the rooftop owners. The agreement is that the Cubs would not alter the sweep of the bleachers unless in the course of an expansion plan approved by the city council (note–“expansion” not “renovation”).

  • wassup

    My favorite thing about the twitter rant is this douche who calls himself common folk. I mean, paying 17%, to the Ricketts, and charging people to sit on your roof top, all the while he’s made millions because of the cubs. Selfish people being selfish. Brett, you always disclosed the you were covering the story but the rooftops advertised here. Is that still the case? Your stance as of late, to me, has seemed to disagree more with the garbage these people are putting into the media.

    • Scotti

      Used to play ball with one of the rooftop owners (freaking canon for an arm). He’s a good guy and has never ripped the Cubs. He now owns two buildings and they are worth about $10 million. ALL of the rooftop owners are multimillionaires. Any one of them making a play as ” the common man” is just silly (and offensive). The rooftop owner I know had to finance and is leveraged to the hilt but so is the Ricketts family.

      • fanof19

        I know one of the rooftop owners, and he is definitely NOT a millionaire. He does quite a bit to help the inner city kids through baseball though. His rooftop helps fund some of those teams, as well as helps Hope Academy.

    • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

      Shellfish people being shellfish? Yes common folk can use their common creative brain and provide a good product/service and make millions. The Cubs appear to be changing the future business model of such business partners. It will be a messy process, Cubs will probably pay some financial damages. So what! The common Chicago Business folk will still be making a buck by continuing to provide the Cub fan a great product/service. Maybe some common folk figures out how to capitalize on the changes for example go get money from the Cubs/Chicago to raze the roof tops. As a Cub fan I support Wrigleyville business people including Cub ownership. Boycotting anything Cubs and trying to create pain on good Wrigley businesses? Not for me!

  • caryatid62

    The rooftop owners are flailing right now; I can’t necessarily blame them for being so hyperbolic, seeing as how this will likely bankrupt them. I can, however, blame them for thinking it would be a good idea to buy into a business that is entire dependent upon a product they don’t have any control over. Bad investment, bad business model.

    As far as the twitter rant, when your bio on twitter reads “Ticket Broker/Rooftop Owner,” don’t expect people to like you. If you’re looking to garner public sympathy, maybe you should re-think that bio.

    • Scotti

      This will NOT bankrupt the (or any of the) rooftops.

      • Caryatid62

        No, I’m fairly certain it will. They operate on fairly small margins. Don’t get me wrong-if it does, I don’t really care, but I’m pretty sure it will.

        • Scotti

          Again, I used to play ball with one of the rooftop owners (repeating what I said before, he’s a nice guy and very positive about the Cubs). The rooftops are not a homogeneous group. They are a number of individual businesses. NONE of the Sheffield (right field) rooftops are affected by this in the slightest.

          The Jumbotron is in left field and set back (literally on Waveland) and it blocks…Kenmore Avenue’s view of the field. Fortunately no one has built a rooftop in the middle of Kenmore. It PARTIALLY blocks the view of 1, maybe 2, rooftops tops. Those rooftops, and ALL rooftops, are already partially blocked by the actual stadium.

          To the east of Kenmore there is just a house (the old Budweiser building). Nothing to block there. To the east of that, Beyond the Ivy will lose nothing. To the west of Kenmore the first building will have partial blockage (again, mitigated by the Jumbotron being backed up into the street). The second building to the west will have very, very minimal blockage, if any. 1 to 2 partially blocked rooftops of 16. They will survive. None will need to fill bankruptcy over being blocked.

          If anything has affected their collective businesses it is the bad publicity generated by their own actions. You’d think every rooftop was completely blocked by the rooftops by the way they have acted. The only thing that would bankrupt any of them is mismanagement of their own assets. The rooftops are NOT about seeing a game (the field)–you CAN’T see a crapload of the field from EVERY SINGLE ROOFTOP as it stands now. They have zero customers return who are looking to watch a game–it’s more about ambiance.

          https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=Wrigley+Field,+Illinois&fb=1&gl=us&hq=Wrigley+Field,+Illinois&hnear=Wrigley+Field,+Illinois&cid=0,0,2083546915695089222&ei=49_gUZ-vM8jQyAHft4GIBg&ved=0CMcBEPwSMAA

          • Rebuilding

            This is all spot on. I’ve never really understood their outcry after the first artists images. It was apparent that only 1 or 2 rooftops would be minimally impacted. The slight blockage is not much more that the sight lines already endure. You can’t see a play within 30 feet of the wall or in the corners anyway. Those places are all about the atmosphere and could have built a lot of goodwill by supporting their host

            • Scotti

              The rooftops have poisoned the well. Not with the Cubs but with fans. Now the casual fan, who MAY have been interested in their product, thinks that ALL rooftops are blocked. It’s going to take a lot of PR to fix their own mess. It’s literally 1-2 that are marginally blocked.

  • Tom A.

    I think we should let the world of Cub fans know that attending a game sitting on a rooftop is anti-Cubs. Every Cub fan should boycott the rooftops. I also will telling everyone that Ikniw to do the same.

    Murphy’s now officially has list my business. I will not step in that bar again until Ms. Murphy issues an apology for saying so many wrong things. I ask others to join also a boycott of Murphy’s.

    Finally, I now hope he Cubs renovate during a season — which will bankrupt all of them !

    • caryatid62

      Meh. This is baseball. If I wanted to take some moralistic stand by boycotting a company, there are about a thousand companies doing a hell of a lot worse to this world than the rooftop owners.

      These aren’t blood diamonds we’re talking about here; it’s a silly business disagreement. It will get worked out. In the meantime, I’m a consumer–when it comes to entertainment, my loyalties go as far as my checkbook allows.

      • Tom A.

        Please consider sitting in the stadium and not on a roof and buy you pre and post game beers from a bar other than Murphy’s. If that actually happened for a single game, I bet the rooftop owners and Beth Murphy would realize their strategy for a public fight is flawed and has possible bad effects. Then maybe they could do what most sensible business people do and that is begin to positively work with those you want to create a deal with.

        I sat in City Hall yesterday afternoon, as did many other Cubs fans. There was no apparent circumvention of the established laws and rules of the City of Chicago. The rooftop owners’ and Beth Murphy’s strategy failed. Alderman Tunney transparent allegiance to those people also resulted in him being the bad guy. Like I said above, maybe they all should start to play nice with the Cubs and try to work out whatever deal they want with the Cubs (and not through the press).

        And, yes for sure there is a lot worse being done by companies than what is being done by the rooftop owners and Ms. Murphy. That also is why I don’t buy the products of those companies.

        • Caryatid62

          No thanks. When deciding on how to spend my free time, I’d prefer not to contemplate the relative morality of competing businesses. There are numerous times where I just want to sit in the sun, drink a beer, enjoy my friends, and casually pay attention to baseball. I’ll do that wherever it is most economically feasible. If its a rooftop, so be it.

  • HVACBOB

    Why don’t the rooftop owners work out some sort of financial agreement with the Cubs to assist in paying to literally raise the elevation of the rooftop establishments impacted by the new signage?

    • caryatid62

      That would involve a pretty hefty rezoning process–the buildings are likely zoned for 3-4 stories, and moving them would require a waiver signed off on by the zoning commission, I believe. And given how wonderfully expedient (note sarcasm) this entire process has been, I can’t imagine that would help.

      Although if they got out the cranks and raised the buildings like they did in Chicago in the 1850s, that would be worth the price of admission.

  • North Side Irish

    Wrigley beer man ‏@WrigleyBeerMan 18m
    So Cubs attendance is down 8% compared with last year, but my beer sales are down 25%. What’s the deal, Cubs fans?

    No wonder the Cubs are hurting for money…that’s a lot $7.75 beers not getting bought.

  • mtcubfan

    Brett,

    Your memory of the black letter law is correct. Injunctive relief generally will not be granted if money damages would compensate the roof owners for their lost. However, I don’t practice in this state and I don’t know the politics. Let’s hope everything goes according to the black letter law. I expect that the rooftop owners will sue and that the suit will result in a settlement. I am sure the Cub’s lawyers are ready for the filing of the injunction and law suit.

    • Scott

      I’m no legal expert.. How long can this type of thing delay the renovation? How long if it gets really hairy?

      • DarthHater

        Typical sequence: Suit gets filed. Plaintiffs simultaneously request a preliminary injunction to block construction while the suit is pending. The injunction motion probably gets resolved within a couple weeks. If plaintiffs win the motion and get their injunction (unlikely, for the reasons already mentioned by others), then Cubs could not erect the challenged signage until the lawsuit is over. If Cubs win the motion and the injunction is denied (more likely), then Cubs could immediately start construction.

        • Timmy

          yeah they either are going to have to buy those buildings or this is going to court for a long time. no stadium is an island.

  • itzscott

    Obviously both sides are angling for a settlement to make this whole thing go away.

    The Cubs could start by offering those rooftop owners whose views are impeded by the jumbotron and right field sign an amount of money equal to the average of their annual incomes (less what’s paid to the Cubs) generated over the lifetime of their existence X the number of years remaining on the Cub/Rooftop owner contract.

    The effected rooftop owners can then say “okay, deal!”

    End of this tiresome story.

    • DarthHater

      Send Luca Brasi to make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.

  • Tommy

    What are the odds the agreement with the rooftops is extended after 2024? I’m thinking nil to none.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’d not be surprised if some of the rooftops try to sell out to the Cubs before the contract ends.

      • Leo L

        I think the cubs would like that. better than being sued and having real estate around the ballpark cant hurt

  • Funn Dave

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m personally against the signage and the jumbotron. And while of course the Cubs ownership is concerned about preserving Wrigley’s historic nature, I’m pretty sure they care more about the increased revenue that signage and a jumbotron would provide than about the (almost certainly minor) impact they would have on tourism & attendance.

    • DarthHater

      So, they give up some increment of ballpark tradition in exchange for some increment of increase in revenue to invest in the on-field product. Some changes to the ballpark and some new revenue streams are surely necessary. The real question is how much change should be accepted in exchange for how much new revenue? In the end, they will undoubtedly end up having to compromise on some middle ground that will displease both the adamant traditionalists and those who want to maximize every possible revenue stream.

      • Funn Dave

        I’d say that’s a pretty accurate assessment. I’m one who thinks that renovations to some facilities are necessary but I’m personally against increased advertising in sports. I realize it’s pretty much inescapable and that my views on the subject are somewhat archaic, but…I just don’t like being advertised at. Which is part of why I like mlb.tv.

    • ssckelley

      You really think people would stop coming to Wrigley Field because of the Jumbotron?

      • Funn Dave

        I think there are probably some people (with stronger willpower than mine) who would avoid Wrigley as a protest to the Jumbotron. Probably not a significant number, but I think there would be a few.

        • Tommy

          I think the amount of people that would avoid Wrigley due to a Jumbotron will be so insignificant that it won’t have any effect whatsoever on attendance numbers. If we’re winning, we could put a giant hotdog in the bleachers and it wouldn’t keep people from coming to games.

          Let’s face it, people do travel to visit Wrigley, but for the most part, people come to watch the Cubs.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    Ms. Murphy cut the bullshit! If the Cubs put dancing girls, painted the stadium pink, and loud sirens and doubled their attendance so the rooftop owners could raise prices, you would applaud them.

    You clowns are no more concerned about the “historical preservation” than the White Sox are. It is all about the money. Talk about your millions invested, it is pale in comparison to the money Ricketts has invested and from which you profit.

    What a damn crock!

    5412

  • https://twitter.com/WrigleyNbrs Wrigley Neighbors

    The Landmark Commission was a success but we have more work to do. Find out how you can help at http://www.wrigleyfield.com

  • Timmy

    Once the Ricketts win this lawsuit they’ll sue the lake for being wet so they can build a walmart in it.

  • Illinois nazi hater

    I hope this all works out, for the sake of the cubs future and such, but man I don’t understand how any cubs fan could picture Wrigley with a jumbotron without cringing just a bit.

    • Rebuilding

      I picture Bud Selig in a wheelchair handing Tom Ricketts a World Series trophy – all captured on the Jumbotron

    • Rebuilding

      Pat Hughes was telling a story today about why there were so many doubles in the 30’s. when there was a standing room only crowd they used to bring those people down on the field and put them where the warning track is now (there were no warning tracks until 1949). The people would stand in front of the wall (there was no ivy until ’37) with a rope in front of them. If the ball was hit or bounced into the crowd it was an automatic double. Guess we should bring that back too

    • Timmy

      it’s an inexplicable change in cubs fan mentality. they hate the ballpark, they hate lakeview, they see the players as trade chips, they want the owners to save money more than spend it on free agents…and the jumbotron. it’s like blasphemy.

      • DarthHater

        They hate tedious, annoying, self-absorbed, incomprehensibly redundant whiners. It’s like an outbreak of sanity.

      • Jimmy James

        Or……we see that the ballpark is holding them back (financially without these changes/updates). Players are trade chips when you are out of it and you need to build your minor leagues. We also realize free agency is a poor way to spend resources, players are too old when they finally hit it and get too many years (there are exceptions, but there are less each offseason). The jumbotron is a way to make money, money that can be used at a later date when the team doesn’t need 5-6 pieces in free agency but one or two to put a good team over the top. We can call it tradition but the team is basically tying one arm behind its back if they don’t embrace and maximize ad opportunities when they present them self…..we already see the tv deals other teams are receiving and that bubble could pop before the cubs get a chance at a new deal.

  • Timmy

    or, they love businesses, wish they ran businesses, and don’t really care about traditions, players, ballpark history, etc. it’s just a potential fantasy or video game baseball thing you can play with and have control over until its gone.

    • DarthHater

      The team really should compensate you for that chunk of Wrigley concrete that fell on your head…

      • Timmy

        you lose your sense of meme-or when it gets late

        • DarthHater

          My home computer is not as efficient at meme-ing as my work computer — at least until I get fired. :-P

          • Timmy

            the jumbotron better be accompanied by jumbo hot dogs

            • Rebuilding

              The food at Wrigley needs an upgrade. The Cell has a much better selection and quality

    • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

      You talking about the Yankees that just tore down the house that Ruth built! Or you thinking about the new Parks in St Louis, Atlanta, Pitt, Brew Crew, Twins, Tigers, Reds, Mets, Phillies just to name a few. The list of new parks is almost the whole MLB! The Cub owner is rebuilding Wrigley Field into a new modern park. Not rebuilding or replacing Wrigley would be negligent for the Cub Fan, Wrigleyville and the City of Chicago! Your now mad because their baseball business strategy does not include over spending and clogging playing slots with old free agents.

  • CubsiFaninMS

    Uh-oh. Here comes Alderman Tunney-Boo-Boo.

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