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respect wrigleyYesterday, the Chicago Cubs demonstrated another mock-up sign in right field, designed to emulate what the (presumably) imminent Budweiser sign will look like once erected. The demonstration, which used the words “Wrigley Field” for the sign, offered the rooftops outlining the outfield at Wrigley another opportunity to see how their views would be impacted by the sign, which has been approved by the City of Chicago. The Cubs and the rooftops have a revenue-sharing agreement through 2023, which the rooftops claim provides them with the right to unobstructed views into the park.

How did the rooftops react to the mock-up? Not well.

Per multiple reports (examples: Sun-Times, DNAinfo), a rooftop spokesperson said the mock-up blocked views, and if the final sign blocks views in the same way, legal action is forthcoming. For the Cubs’ part, VP of Communications and Community Affairs Julian Green told the Sun-Times that, although the rooftops wouldn’t have the “same” views they had before, all rooftops would still have a view into Wrigley Field. Now that the Cubs have a sponsor in Budweiser for the sign, Green said, they plan to move forward with it. It could be up as soon as next season.

So, how about the obstruction? Is it really as bad as the rooftops’ bristling makes it sound?

There is a particular picture making the rounds that purports to demonstrate just how awful the sign would make views for the rooftops. This is the picture (appears in the Sun-Times piece, the DNAinfo piece with no source credited):

That’s a pretty significant obstruction, yes? Well, hold on. I am a little suspicious of this picture (not its authenticity, but its utility) for a variety of reasons.

First, it’s pretty obvious that the sign isn’t actually set at the time the picture was snapped. Just look how high off of the back of the patio the sign is at that point – what is that, 10 feet too high? And the words “Wrigley” and “Field” are hanging, at an angle, offset awkwardly. This is not a finished product. Second, it appears that the sign is not set back 15 additional feet closer (and thus lower) to the rooftop building, as it would be when construction bumping out the outfield wall was completed. Third, we don’t know which rooftop this shot is coming from, and what impact it would have on other rooftops besides this one particular rooftop. Fourth, the picture is limited in scope and is fixed in a particular location, amplifying the “blocking” feel.

Finally, and most notably, we don’t know where on the rooftop building the picture was taken from – is it the very top? Is it through a lower-level window? Look at this picture of the rooftops over the right field wall and tell me where you think that original picture of the new sign was taken from. I have an extremely hard time believing that the picture emanated from the rooftop seats, as opposed to a lower-level in the building (where obstructed views should be much less of an issue).

Everyone seems to agree that there is some obstruction from the sign. But I am wondering if perhaps this particular picture – the only one making the rounds from the rooftop perspective – is being circulated by certain interested parties because it makes things look as direly awful as they can possibly look. Should the originator of the photo – whomever that may be – care to correct me, I’d be happy to make any appropriate corrections. Heck, we’d all love as much information about the picture as you’d be willing to share.

We’ve got plenty of gamesmanship going on already with respect to the meaning of the words “block,” “obstruct,” and “cannot,” so it’s only to be expected that there would be some gamesmanship being played with the “evidence” of these things. It’s a shame that we can’t just get a clear picture, so to speak, if what is actually going on, and what realities the parties are actually dealing with.

For the Cubs’ part, they have once again suggested that they are entitled to put up the right field sign (the JumboTron in left field remains undiscussed in this context for some reason, which could be because everyone knows it will take longer to get in place (and it’s a ‘we’ll get there when we get there’ situation’), or because everyone knows it won’t significantly block views … hopefully it’s that one) because the City approved it. Without the rooftop contract in hand, I can’t speculate on the precise language (which is always the key), but it sure sounds like the Cubs are moving forward in any case.

Something I still don’t quite yet understand: the Cubs are unwilling to start construction on the renovation project until they know the rooftops won’t sue to block the signs … but the Cubs are willing to put up the very sign that could trigger that litigation? Are we simply approaching the point where the Cubs are going to call the rooftops out and force the litigation issue? Then, once that’s resolved, the renovation can proceed? I guess it’s conceivable, but I seriously hope it doesn’t get to that point. Litigation, as I’ve said, is unpredictable and slow. Big money cases like this are often measured in years, not months, and I don’t think anyone wants to see the renovation finally get underway in 2016.

So, I circle back to where I always land: hopefully the parties can work something out, whether it’s some kind of new agreement, a purchase agreement, or some kind of politically-forced stand-down by the rooftops. The sooner the Cubs get their signage in place, the sooner new revenue starts rolling in. And the sooner the meat of the renovation gets underway. And the sooner fans can see the fruits of that revenue and renovation on the field and in the stands.

  • Blake

    I personally think that sign is awesome and would make Wrigley more visually appealing.

  • When the Music’s Over

    This whole situation has turned into such a circus. Rich people arguing with rich people about money. I honestly don’t know what to think about it at this point.

    • aCubsFan

      Isn’t that what happens when players are negotiating with the owners and there is a lockout or strike.

      • ETS

        The american dream – billionaires using public funds to build playgrounds for millionaires.;)

        • aCubsFan

          LOL that’s a good one ETS, but oh so true.

          • miggy80

            Except for the fact that the Cubs are using their own money.

            • ETS

              It was a joke more about pro sports in general, not the cubs specifically, but yeah.

      • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

        Don’t give Beth Murphy any respect by putting her on the same level as the players who have worked their entire life to get to Wrigley. She was born next door.

      • When the Music’s Over

        Yes, similar situation.

        I have no clue about the specifics, but this impasse shouldn’t really come as a surprise to the Cubs ownership. What did they think was going to happen? The rooftops would be totally cool with ripping up a signed, legally binding contract losing millions of millions of dollars in the process?

        It sucks that the current Cubs ownership have to deal with an entity leaching off their business, but they knew (or I dearly hope they knew) this contract was in place when they bought the team, and shouldn’t act surprised that it is causing headaches.

        So what to do to fix the problem? I don’t know. I think buying them out using some present value of Net Cash Flows, even if semi-cost prohibitive in the short run, is probably the best possible solution given how badly this impasse is beginning to cock block the rebuild.

    • YourResidentJag

      Exactly.

    • Brains

      Cubs are turning into the world’s least lovable losers. The past year was beyond depressing.

  • fortyonenorth

    Interesting choice of words from Julien Green. It makes me wonder if the contract language is somewhat vague. For example, how is “blocking” or “obstruction” defined (if at all). Good contracts make good neighbors; vague contracts make wealthy lawyers.

    • Pat

      Perhaps the Cubs could put out a “more accurate” picture. But some of the things Brett brings up aren’t necessarily wrong. Yes, the sign appears to be about ten feet in the air. Does anyone really expect it is going to be mounted at ground level? At that point it would not be fully visible from much of the park – even moreso if you move it back 15 feet.

      • Pat

        responded in the wrong spot

        • Eternal Pessimist

          It would be easily visible from the 3rd base cameras following Bryant’s 35 HR of the year…it is worth a lot of money to Budweiser (they already signed the contract). Put it somewhere it won’t be seem = goodbye revenue.

  • Hank

    I wonder if there is any possibility of the Cubs striking a deal with the city where public money is used to pay for any lawsuit filed against the Cubs as a result of the renovation project.

    Should a lawsuit happen, I (in my limited lawyering knowledge) wouldn’t expect any payout by the city to even approach what the Rickets asked from the city in the first place. Furthermore, if the ability to financially hurt the Cubs is no longer a possibility for the rooftops and their only course of action is to piss off Chicago taxpayers, I would expect the likelihood of a lawsuit happening at all to drop dramatically.

    That said, I have no idea if a deal like this is remotely possible.

    • aCubsFan

      I don’t think the city of Chicago would enter into any indemnification agreement with respect to the renovation project.

  • Frank

    I am personally getting tired of the rooftop crap. Just start looking for some land and watch the rooftop owners start to sweat.

  • ETS

    I’m really curious how scooting the sign out into the street (which is already approved) impacts things. That picture really doesn’t show us anything do to the reasons Brett described (and described well). It’s disgusting that picture is being circulated. I’m sure it’s a ploy to get public appeal on the side of the “poor rooftops”.

  • Blackhawks1963

    The Ricketts need to call the rooftop owners’ bluff and let them file a lawsuit. Take those sob’s to court and bleed them dry. The Ricketts can spend millions on the best corporate attorneys money can buy to destroy these rooftop owners once and for all. No more Mr. Nice Guy Tom Ricketts….go to war.

    • ETS

      Even if the rooftops had no claim whatsoever, the time the lawsuit would take would be so financially devastating that the rooftops have leverage just by threatening to sue and they know it.

      • roz

        Eh, I’m not convinced that this lawsuit would ever make it to a jury so the time-value that would be list might not be as much as you think.

        • roz

          *lost

        • JB88

          Most likely they would file the case in Chancery court seeking an injunction, so, no matter what, it wouldn’t go to the jury (cases seeking equity are judge tried in Illinois/Cook County).

          • roz

            Jury trial or bench trial aside, I just can’t imagine there’d be too much fact finding that would need to go on and this could hopefully proceed fairly quickly.

    • Edwin

      Because that is the legal system at it’s best.

  • jtizzle

    This is starting to seem like a giant ploy by the Cubs to delay renovating Wrigley Field for whatever reason. Maybe they don’t have funding or didn’t expect this to go so fast through the city. Whatever the case, they are clearly violating a contractual agreement between them and the rooftops. No matter what building that picture is from in the right field bleachers, there will be views blocked. Whatever side or perspective you have to the whole argument, a contract is a contract. Is the revenue from this sign really that much of the $300 million needed to renovate? Doubt it. I think there is something else going on here…

    • mjhurdle

      “Whatever the case, they are clearly violating a contractual agreement between them and the rooftops.”

      How is that even remotely clear at this point without inside understanding of exactly how the contract is written?

      • hansman

        cuz Ricketts be dumb!

      • frank

        Absolutely correct–without knowing the precise language of the contract, there’s no telling if “they are clearly violating a contractual agreement . . .” On top of that, if, as Brett described, the sign might end up being 10 feet lower and 15 feet closer than has been pictured, and if the picture was taken from a lower level of the building and not an actual “rooftop”–it is not clear at all that views will be blocked. That’s not to say that there will be no violation or blockage either–right now, we just don’t know.

    • TWC

      “Maybe they … didn’t expect this to go so fast through the city.”

      ::blink::

      Um, what?

    • D.G.Lang

      IF (notice the BIG if) the contract between the Cubs and the rooftops contains the clause that the Cubs can do anything that the landmark committee says doesn’t not interfere with the ‘sweep’ of the bleachers then the Cubs can not possibly be in violation of that contract.

      Also, since we are lead to believe that that contract doesn’t prevent the Cubs from doing whatever the city and landmark committee approve and the rooftops have agreed to that contract they are again powerless to stop the Cubs.

      The contract fives the rooftops the right to operate as long as they pay the Cubs the agreed upon percentage but it doesn’t require that the Cubs do nothing to improve their own property and neither does it prohibit the Cubs from eventually blocking the rooftops view.

      If the Cubs block the view then the rooftops don’t have to pay the Cubs anything. The rooftops simply stop paying the Cubs anything when their business fails. The Cubs are under no obligation to ensure the rooftop’s businesses.

      Again, this is based on the big IF at the very beginning of this reply along with the correctness of what we have heard from various sources.

  • Tim

    People on the rooftops don’t actually pay attention enough for this to matter!
    They like that they are outside drinking with a baseball atmosphere and they all end up watching the game on the provided TVs if at all.

    You have to wonder if Budweiser made a deal with the Cubs. Sort of “Okay, put a big Budweiser sign up in right field and we will pay for half of whatever the lawsuit is”

  • Fastball

    Oh Boy. This is going to get even uglier. Wonder if the Alderman was the photographer.
    It’s really funny how no other major league team seems to have these kinds of issues with their city or the immediate local politicians. If I was Ricketts I would have the Commissioner start raising hell over it. Then take it to Congress and have it looked into in special committee. They do it for everything else these days. Got to be something on the books somewhere that keeps local governments out of corporate america being able to make money. They sure do get to tax the hell out of everything they can get their hands on. If the mayor of Chicago had any balls he would step in and put an end to all of this.
    Not a lawyer but seems like they could eminate domain those buildings and do whatever they want with them. When I lived in another city they did it all the time. They wiped out a whole area with the eminant domain thing and built a brand new soccer stadium. Then another couple hundred acres was taken and they bulldozed the neighborhood and built a new Town Center.

    • ETS

      Rahm is the presidents buddy. I kinda doubt congress would be on the cubs’ side and this is, in no way, a congressional issue. Ricketts needs to make the threat to move legit. The rooftops would be much more amenable if they thought the golden goose may actually take flight.

    • frank

      Although there have been cases where eminent domain has been used in this way, technically, that power is meant to be used for “the public good” and not to benefit a private investor or company. But given some recent decisions, it’s hard to say what would happen if something like that were to go to court.

  • Jon

    Cubs are willing to pay for this themselves and they still can’t get any support from the liberal trashbag mayor. He’s worthless, send him back to DC to hang out with the OBummer.

    • ETS

      Rahm has supported several of the Cubs requests. I don’t believe it is the mayor’s job to be judge and jury for a dispute between two companies.

      • Funn Dave

        This.

    • Eric

      You’re an idiot, Jon.

      • DarthHater

        Source? :-D

      • Jon

        oh, boy, I’ve pissed off the little Obummer fan boys.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Stop the unrelated political discussion now.

          • WOW

            “STOP THE UNRELATED POLITCAL DISCUSSION NOW”…. OK HITLER!

            • hansman

              Considering this is his website, I’d say he has the right to be as much of a dictator as he wants.

              Hell, this isn’t even your site and you manage to do it well enough.

              • WOW

                LET ME GUESS… IM A TROLL… BLAH…BLAH..BLAH….

                • jh03

                  Hey, man, your finger appears to have accidentally hit the ‘Caps Lock’ button. You may want to press it again so it doesn’t appear that you’re attempting to yell at us.

                  You’re welcome.

                • pauliescorecard

                  sup I’m Paul and I collect scorecards. wanna be friends and hang?

                  • YourResidentJag

                    :)

              • mjhurdle

                lol, WOW got his feelings hurt quick.

            • Kyle

              Hahahahahahaha

            • caryatid62

              Bad puns and Godwin’s Law…

              Nice two-fer!

          • Blackhawks1963

            Thanks Brett. I like your site a lot, but if this devolves into political discussion on any level them I’m out of here.

          • Die hard

            Can’t separate politics from rooftop issue– if council would agree to indemnify Cubs against Rooftoppers claims in exchange for Cubs agreeing to seat tax ball game over

        • EQ76

          Who’s arguing politics? Obama is a White Sox fan.. that should be enough reason to not like him.

    • toby

      You are a clever one, Jon. “Liberal trashbag mayor” that’s a new one. Good job. “OBummer” you are on fire. I didn’t know this site turned into Crossfire. No? Oh, that’s right, Crossfire is, at least, civil and free from resorting to a little girl with skinned knees.

      • Brains

        Just for the record, Rahm is probably the most conservative segregationist mayor in the history of Chicago. Political parties mean nothing, he’s gutting the city to privatize public resources for business elite. Just like the republicans. This is the bigger problem, not party politics.

    • caryatid62

      You clearly don’t understand what the word “liberal” means. If you did, you’d know that Rahm Emanuel is about as far from a liberal as you could imagine.

  • itzscott

    >> the rooftops have a revenue-sharing agreement through 2023, which the rooftops claim provides them with the right to unobstructed views into the park.<<

    Not a lawyer, but the term "right to unobstructed views into the park" appears to be key to me, at least.

    I'd love to see the actual agreement to see exactly what it says about views into Wrigley and if it's even defined. An unobstructed view into Wrigley could mean that one can see the grandstands, maybe 1st base or any part of Wrigley but not necessarily the entire park.

    There are obstructed views in Wrigley itself…. if you sit under the grandstand you never see the path of a flyball. Sometimes pillars obstruct views. The rooftops cannot reasonably expect anything different.

  • JM

    Not sure if I’ve read this here before, but what about the prospect of buying out the contract? Give them the value of 11 years of revenue (or similar compensation), and move forward. Certainly some of the owners would consider selling when a large wad of cash is waved in front of their noses.

    Fact is, there is a contract in place that the Cubs simply cannot ignore. They may not like it, but that was part of the deal when they bought the Cubs.

    • ETS

      Click the link ” a purchase agreement” for more on that, but my guess is both sides are FAR apart on the value of the contract/property.

    • frank

      There’s no doubt that there is a contract in place–what’s in question is exactly what that contract says–and thus, what rights that language gives and what restrictions it places on each of the parties.

  • Bones

    Pretty funny that rooftop owners ( presumably fans ) stand in the way of progress for the team. Clear cut example of money taking precedent over team loyalty.

    • baldtaxguy

      I wound not presume that the rooftop owners are Cub fans.

  • aCubsFan

    1.) The Cubs’, rightfully so, are taking the right approach and not starting construction without an agreement in place.

    Could you imagine that the Cubs start the clubhouse/3rd base side reconstruction and half way through the RTOs and other entities file for a restraining order halting all construction? Wrigley Field half torn apart with no seating or playing field for years. I can see this happening considering the bad blood between the RTOs, local community leaders and the Cubs.

    2.) Based on my experience being in 3639 Wrigley Rooftop that photo was taken from the Skybox on Sheffield Club from the top set of windows or the first row of the first level of seating.

    From those two vantage points I don’t believe the views of Wrigley are going to change much from what is shown in the photo no matter how imperfect the test sign position was at the time of the photo.

    I have no sympathy for the ‘fans’ that utilize those facilities nor the RTOs. They always knew there could be changes to Wrigley that could/would obstruct views from the day they built the rooftops and entered into the agreement 10 years ago.

  • Frank

    How about moving to us cellular field for two years and let the rooftop owners go into bankruptcy. They could share the money with the advertising and jumbotron.

  • CubFan Paul

    “Green said, they plan to move forward with it”

    I’m confused Brett. Is Green saying the RF sign will go up this offseason no matter what?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That was the suggestion.

      • AP

        Is there a possibility that the Cubs are putting up this sign without bumping out the wall, in the hope that whatever litigation results from putting just this sign up, without the costs of bumping out the wall, can inform/settle any future attempts to litigate over things like the jumbotron?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Thing is, the Cubs want to bump out the wall – it isn’t just about the sign; it’s also about getting more interior space at Wrigley.

          • AP

            I know, but incurring the costs to do that might not be worth it to them until the rooftop issue is resolved. So here, they could put up the sign with minimal cost, the rooftops could sue for an injunction, then once the case is settled – however it gets settled – the Cubs could proceed on the rest of the renovations with a relevant court decision to back up the moves they make.

          • DarthHater

            More photos showing the orientation of the mock-up of the sign can be found at: http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2013/10/30/5046912/cubs-mock-right-field-sign-wrigley-field

    • aCubsFan

      It’s the one renovation project that can be completed in time for next season.

  • LER

    Will–or could–the Rooftop Association sue if the Cubs leave Wrigley?

  • MightyBear

    The Cubs public relations team needs to get a shot of the sign mock up out and get their side of the story out. They need to do their jobs so the Cubs don’t lose in the court of public opinion.

  • Todd

    Go to the skybox on sheffield website. Cleary the picture came from them, and by comparing some of their pictures off the website, it is pretty obvious it has been taken out of the window at the top of the building, not from the rooftop.

  • cubmig

    What if the design of the signs operated on hydraulics so that they could be made to lean some (much like a laptop screen). That would reduce the height and in effect reduce the view blockage. I realize a sign that leans needs space to accommodate the angle, but maybe it’s worth sacrificing the footage from how far out the left or right field walls are moved out. (That would have to be calculated to see if that is even a savings.) When the agreement contract expired, the signs could be put in their full upright position. Surely the technology is there to deal with any image adjustment problem the angling may cause during the contract period.

    …….don’t know why I am even suggesting anything since I am opposed to any signage that corrupts Wrigley Field any more than what has already taken place!

  • Cheryl

    It seems as if Ricketts is at the point where he wants this to come to a head and if the Rooftop owners win in court then he’ll move the club. He isn’t going to wait years on the renovation and the rooftops okay. If the contract reads that the rooftop owners receive part of the money when the cubs play in Wrigley Field and nothing else then he can move after the lawsuit .and say – “I tried everything but couldn’t get an agreement on renovation so it left me no choice but to move.”

  • noisesquared

    I’m starting to wonder if Maybe the Cubs are tackling this the wrong way. Instead of the constant head-butting and legal threats, make one last crack at embracing the RTO’s as partners and an extension of Wrigley. Go to the RTO’s with a proposal:
    1) Any RT’s affect by new signage will pay a discounted rate to the Cubs. Maybe % is directly tied to amount of blockage?
    2) The Cubs will install private closed circuit cameras in the park to allow dedicated views of obstructed areas to the RT’s. I’d think with the proximity of all entities, setting up this network would be pretty easy and low maintenance/low cost. It’d give the RT’s another perk for their customers – sit on the rooftops and get special one of a kind camera views on big screen’s for areas of Wrigley that you can’t see from anywhere but inside the park.
    3) As a Cubs’ ‘partner’ set up regular ambassador visits to the RT’s. Maybe an hour before games and give the RT’s something else to sell, and again low cost for the Cubs. Definitely be cool for the Rt’s to say ‘come hang with Ernie or Fergie or Jody before the game’, or whatever.
    4) Most importantly, offer to extend the current contract 5 years.

    And to get all these great perks, all the rooftops have to do is agree to no lawsuits regarding any aspect of Wrigley. The Cubs provide some extra incentives at minimal costs to the RTO’s while getting their prized money makers, the rooftops get some nice extra perks to sell and added security in contract length, and presuming the team begins to win at some point, everyone will make boatloads of money. While I believe the RTO’s are leeches and really don’t deserve anything, they do contribute to the uniqueness of the Cubs and Wrigleyville and do have a place. When/if the Cubs take off as we all hope, you can be assured every seat in Wrigleyville will be needed.

    Or everyone can proceed as expected, fight legal battles, lose money, deal with lots of bad publicity, and at the end of the contract the RTO’s will be no more.

    • DarthHater

      This message brought you by the Rooftop Owners Association.

    • Frank

      I suggest you give the RTO’s anything they want and extend the contract 100 years. Next, build a new stadium and move. Screw the RTO’s.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Great…Beth Murphy has chimed in. Sigh

      I wish Tom Ricketts would resort to the nuclear option with these obstructionists rooftop owners. Let them sue the Cubs. The Ricketts have very deep pockets and can hire the best corporate attorneys in the country to bring these idiot rooftop owners to their knees and to bankrupt them. Ricketts can spend $10 million plus on the best lawyers in the world.

      • noisesquared

        I’m the first person to support a move anywhere. Parking and access for someone driving to Wrigley from 50mi south is a giant pain in the ass. However, seeing as moving doesn’t seem to be on the Ricketts’ radar, I’m just not sure being antagonistic to the RTO’s for the next 10 years is real beneficial to anyone. Thank the Trib and McPhail for creating the problem by signing the contract in the first place.

        If the goal is to get the renovations done without threat of lawsuit, something is going to have to be offered to the RTO’s to keep them pacified. Obviously there is something in the existing contract that give the Cubs cause to refrain from proceeding. All the legal might wielded by the Cubs is not going to make the RTO’s go away until the current contract expires.

        Again I believe the RTO’s are leeches stealing product from the Cubs. But the Cubs have the better part of a decade left to contractually deal with them, so maybe trying a peaceful approach isn’t a bad idea.

      • Edwin

        I don’t think the legal system is supposed to work that way.

    • Funn Dave

      Wow, great ideas. I don’t think the rooftops would agree to never sue for any reason, but I bet even just one or two of those suggestions would be enough to get them to agree not to sue over the signage.

  • paul

    well said Cheryl.

  • CubsFanSaxMan

    I think that the sign (or any sign) would look great in any of the suggested suburban locations.

  • paul

    I love you DarthHater

    • Frank

      Be careful. I don’t think DarthHater is the sensitive, cuddly, nice guy you think he is.

  • http://dude.com dude

    No way that picture is recent, that was taken this summer. Look at the leaves on the trees.

  • Die hard

    The Judge will rule for the rooftops who bargained for a completely unobstructed view– can’t be a little bit pregnant

  • Jono

    Question:

    Why haven’t we heard much of the idea that the Cubs could move elsewhere within the city? The biggest criticism of moving is it would blow having to travel into the burbs, and that’s very true. But the problem isn’t the city as a whole, it’s the restrictions specifically on wrigley. It seems like it would be best of both worlds if they moved within Chicago

    • Myles

      I’m not sure how logical this would be. Short of playing at US Cellular, there are not a lot of realistic and affordable options.

      • Jono

        Well, if you’re looking for a stadium already built, sure. But certainly Ricketts can find somewhere to build a new stadium. Developers knock down old properties and redevelop areas all the time. Would it be difficult to find? Sure, but possible.

        • Myles

          I see your point. However the zoning restrictions in Chicago would make that an extremely difficult and drawn-out process. Alderman would most likely receive a lot of push back from their constituents as well. I don’t think that people want to build “another Wrigleyville.” People that live in Wrigleyville now, know what they’re in for. Bringing that to another neighborhood would be tough not only physically.

          We haven’t mentioned that Wrigley is a historical site as well. Tough situation.

          • Jono

            Yea, businesses in Chicago generally do have more hoops to jump through. My thinking was that it would most likely be a place without the kind of crowded neighborhood like the north side because it would probably be too hard to find that much land and it would be more expensive. I was thinking of areas more like the Fulton Market area. Of course I don’t have any specfic properties in mind, just of a general area with less residents, more space, old warehouses. Not very expensive. The area could use an economic uplift, anyway. And an economic uplift it surely would get

            • Brains

              At least you’re proposing a city relocation, which would be a must. But we’re not moving Wrigley, ever.

              • Jono

                Choosing between having the team hindered by the locals and having to go out to the burbs is not an enjoyable choice, even though you know which one I’d choose

              • Randy

                We’re meaning you are part owner?

            • Jono

              kind of like one of the shitty areas around the United Center, maybe

            • Jono

              or even a lake side location like the Bears (again, I don’t have specific locations in mind, but there’s a lot of lake side real estate)

              • Eternal Pessimist

                If the Cubs moved, do you really think they would move to another location inside Chicago???!!!

                • Jono

                  Im just not seeing why that’s such a shocking idea. Im open to explanations

                  • Eternal Pessimist

                    If the Cubs are willing to leave iconic Wrigley it will be due to a number of limitations, but a primary one is the costliness of doing business in high tax/high control city such as Chicago. If they build a new stadium it won’t be in Chicago (unless it included a sweetheart deal like the one the Sux got with an extended tax/revenue agreement that protects them).

                    I’m not arguing that Chicago has always been the bad guy in this thing, but am arguing that they will continue to raise the entertainment tax and siphon every last bit of profitability they can out of the Cubs, which will limit the Cubs ability to field the most competitive team possible…If they move I’m pretty sure it won’t be within city limits.

                    • Jono

                      I didn’t think a high tax issue was the reason there was talk about them moving. I thought it was more about local restrictions. But chicago and Illinois have given out huge tax breaks to companies in order to keep them. The CME Group and Sears, for example, got huge tax breaks to stay. So I don’t think they can get around the tax issue

                    • Jono

                      *So I DO think they can get around the tax issue*

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      Just because Theo doesn’t mention it doesn’t mean it is part of the calculation, but maybe they could get around it if the threat of moving was there from the beginning.

                      I think Rickett is truly nostalgic for Wrigley and wants to protect it, which has lead him to be Chicago’s “b***h”, and could lead to revenue problems for years if he choses to stay. Hopefully we can generate a WS or two even without the competitive edge a big city team usually brings.

                • ssckelley

                  The City of Chicago has done nothing wrong, it is a dispute with the rooftop owners that is holding things up. So I don’t think staying in Chicago is completely off the table. Although I am sure the Cubs would get a better deal in the burbs.

                  • Eternal Pessimist

                    They charge a huge entertainment tax with threats of an even bigger one. They generate enormous taxes for Chicago, but are treated differently (badly) by onerous taxes that singles out the entertainment industry. This is the one chance the Cubs have to make a move and they will need to carefully consider whether the cost of staying outways the cost of moving.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Two words…Arlington Park. The land is there, the parking is there, the roads and Metra train infrastructure is there, a great strategic location for Cub fans everywhere to include the city.

      Ricketts should hop on a flight to Louisville and strike a deal with Churchill Downs Corporation. They would LOVE to part with the Cubs at Arlington Park.

      • Jon

        Great idea, only problem, it’s in Arlington freakin Heights.

        • Blackhawks1963

          Arlington Height is a centralized location right in the heart of Cub territory. It is a helluva lot more convenient to get to for the majority of Cub fans than Wrigley Field is. And those Cub fans who do live in the northern stretches of the city of Chicago or downtown can hop on a Metra train and be dropped off at the Arlington Park doorstep in 35 minutes.

          A good competitive team, a state of the art ballpark and this team would draw 3.5 million in Arlington Park. And make way more money in the process.

          • Brains

            boo. no one wants to go to arlington heights, that’s where losers live. like the rest of the suburbs over 5 miles from the city.

            • Blackhawks1963

              I’d venture to guess at least 75% of the folks who attend games at Wrigley actually live in the suburbs or elsewhere. If a bunch of 20-something urban dwellers who like the Cubs have to hop on a 35 minute Metra train ride to get to the ballpark in Arlington Heights then I don’t think their world will come to a crashing end either. And lets face it, a large dose of urban dwellers who DO go to Wrigley go there more for the “it” experience versus the actual ballgame. They can still do that in Arlington Heights, albeit probably less frequently. And way more people who live in the suburbs will gladly travel to Arlington Heights to efficiently park their car, spend their money and watch the Cubs play baseball.

              • cavemencubbie

                My thoughts exactly, Blackhawks. There is a 100% correlation with playing ball in Wrigley and no WS win in all these years. Wrigley needs a bigger footprint, better player and fan facilities which only a new site will provide, or Roof Top condemnation and removal.

                • Funn Dave

                  Wow. A 100% correlation, huh? That might take the cake for the absolute least factual post of the week.

                  • bbmoney

                    Actually the 100% is pretty accurate.

                    But thinking that the correlation means there is some kind of causal link is more than a little bit of a stretch.

              • The Dude

                Please stop. The Cubs are not moving out of Wrigley Field.

                • cavemencubbie

                  You’re right bb, correlation does not prove causation but guys on this site use correlation all the time and use it as some kind of proof. We have no proof, but many people think Wrigley plays very differently during the season. I also believe the larger number of day games in the dog days of summer sap the vitality of players in a long season. As for Funn, we haven’t won a WS since the Cubs have played in Wrigley, with good teams and bad, and that’s a pretty good correlation.

    • Funn Dave

      The biggest criticism of moving is not that you would have to travel to the burbs. That’s a very minor point. The biggest criticisms are probably the enormous financial implications and the loss of Wrigley’s name recognition and nostalgic value as a ballpark.

    • D.G.Lang

      It would be best to move out of Wrigley IF they get TAX breaks and an assurance that the new taxing authority wouldn’t raise the rates to an excessive level like Chicago does.

      I remember when I moved from Chicago to Cicero several years ago. The city sticker for my car dropped from $135.00 in Chicago to $25.00 in Cicero. The rate difference was the same for every Cicero resident even those who simply lived on the west side of Cicero Ave compared to those who lived on the east (Chicago) side.

      I believe that there was a difference in all the suburbs that boarded Chicago in Comparison to Chicago Itself.

      I have read and heard that there is also a significant difference in the real estate taxes as well. In other words, the taxes in Chicago are higher than outside of Chicago which includes Chicago taxes which do not exist in the suburbs.

      I feel confident that Chicago imposes every tax possible on the Cubs.

      • Funn Dave

        Cities are more expensive to live in than suburbs or rural settings. Taxes are higher, prices are higher, etc. That’s just the way it is.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          “That’s just the way it is.”

          …and a perfectly reasonable concern for any business considering enormous investments in the city.

          • caryatid62

            That’s what most businesses end up saying after they’ve exhausted attempts to change the rules. Either the costs outweigh the benefits or they don’t. The Cubs are no different.

            And as far as the real estate taxes go, Chicago’s are considerably lower than most of the surrounding suburbs, not higher.

  • ssckelley

    The lower level of the Skybox looks obstructed no matter what they do and based on the views from the 2nd level that they have posted on their website they will not be able to see much that goes on in right field.

    IMO, the should have built that facility taller.

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