At yesterday’s unveiling of the new, publicly-funded, relatively easily-obtained facilities in Mesa, Arizona, conversation turning to the facilities questions at home in Chicago were inevitable.
As far as we know, the Chicago Cubs and the rooftops at Wrigley Field are still negotiating about the placement of signage in the outfield and the future of the two sides’ relationship post-renovation/post-contract, and the Mayor recently nudged the sides to a settlement once again. Shortly after the Cubs Convention in January, there was significant legal saber-rattling, the rooftops sued a former Cubs advisor for comments about the rooftops and renovation, and the Cubs applied for a permit to erect a sign in right field. But nothing firm and final has actually happened just yet. The chance for a modestly peaceable solution still exists.
Tom Ricketts left that possibility open yesterday at the Cubs Park ribbon-cutting ceremony, though he mostly stuck to safe, non-committal, but positive statements. The gist, which you can read from Jesse Rogers and Mark Gonzales, among others, is that the sides are still talking, and the Cubs are hopeful of a solution soon.
Dan Bernstein reported yesterday along the same lines …
Sources: negotiations between #Cubs & rooftops have revived, with the team taking a harder stand, confident in better legal/$ position.
— Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) February 12, 2014
Based on the contract provisions we’ve seen – and only that – it has always appeared that the Cubs had the better of the arguments. It is interesting to hear that the Cubs think so, too, which could be part of the reason things are progressing so contentiously and so slowly. Imagine that the Cubs believe they would win a legal fight, but fear that doing so would take a year or more. Imagine that, at the same time, the rooftops – or even just one or two rooftops – recognize that their entire business is on the line if the don’t extract enough concessions from the Cubs in these negotiations. That can lead to heels digging in on both sides.
In any event, hopefully Bernstein and Ricketts (and the Mayor) are right, and that an agreement really is on the horizon so that the construction process at Wrigley Field can begin as soon as it is practicable to do so.