In case you’d forgotten, there are actually two lawsuits ongoing right now about the renovations at Wrigley Field involving two rooftop businesses that aren’t too keen on having their views impacted by the outfield signage planned for right field. Well, there were two suits ongoing, as one has just been dismissed.
The suit you undoubtedly remember, against the Chicago Cubs, is still ongoing, though the Cubs won a significant victory in opposing a request to block construction of the signage until the case is resolved. The language the court used in that decision was overwhelmingly in favor of the Cubs, and the rooftops even indicated they would not appeal that decision.
So, that case is technically still proceeding on the merits, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon see an out-of-court resolution.
Adding to that suspicion is the conclusion of the other renovation-related lawsuit involving the same two rooftops, which, together with several other rooftops, sued the city last year over their approval of the plan. All but those two rooftops had dropped out of the suit within the last few months, however, and now those two rooftops have also voluntarily dismissed that case (Tribune).
Voluntary dismissals leave open the possibility of tweaking and re-filing, but given the timing of the decision in the Cubs/rooftops case, as well as the ill-timed indictment of a former owner of one of those rooftops, I strongly anticipate that we’re seeing a resolution, in total, of these cases. Though the Cubs weren’t parties to the city suit, they were directly implicated, and, if the Cubs were ever going to consider settling with the rooftops, I’d imagine they would have wanted the city suit ended, too. So this dismissal could be a sign of a resolution.
We’ll see if that is confirmed in the coming weeks, because, right now, it’s just my read of the situation having followed the news and the court filings, together with my background in cases like this.
In the end, the most likely outcome of all of this has been the Cubs/Ricketts Family owning the rooftops, and that may yet be what happens. By this time next year, it’s possible that a half-dozen or more of the rooftop buildings and businesses are officially part of the Chicago Cubs’ organization, which would allow the Cubs to expand the Wrigley footprint without actually expanding Wrigley any further.
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