We’re still waiting on an update from the Chicago Cubs and/or the rooftop owners with whom the Cubs are theoretically in discussions about implementing outfield signage in the coming months. At last check, the rooftops had acquiesced to the two signs the Cubs offered last year, but the Cubs have won approval for seven signs, and weren’t immediately inclined to settle for less than that.
The sides indicated a willingness to keep negotiating, even as the Cubs plan to break ground on the renovation soon, but I can only imagine how complicated it is to negotiate sign numbers and locations when you’ve got a collection of individual businesses on the other side. Think about it: dropping from seven signs to five doesn’t reduce the total rooftop impact by 29%. Instead, it could reduce the impact on a couple of owners by 100%, but not impact the others at all. This is tricky stuff, and even if the sides are finally committed to a meaningful, peaceful solution, it could take some time.
In the meantime, an interesting read from the Tribune about the political contributions of the many involved players in this drama. I’d caution you against getting to suspicious about anything, but it’s certainly interesting to see that, after years of being a top contributor to Alderman Tom Tunney’s campaign, the rooftops generally stopped giving to him in the last year.
The Cubs, both at an entity level, and at an individuals-in-charge level, have never really been huge political givers, instead spending public money on projects in the community. Is that a good thing? A bad thing? I don’t really have an opinion, because thinking about the intersection between money, politics, and the Cubs gives me the same kind of discomfort I get when I think about the Cardinals getting a free, early-round draft pick.
Hopefully there is a peaceful solution to be had (no lawsuit yet, so at least there’s a good reason to believe talks are ongoing now that the Cubs have a great deal more leverage), and hopefully the Cubs follow through on their plan to break ground on the renovation very soon.