With the right care and an eye toward expanding the Chicago Cubs/Wrigley Field footprint without sacrificing history, I’ve always been excited by the idea of the Cubs (or, more recently, the Ricketts Family) owning a large number of the rooftops that surround Wrigley Field.
It’s something I’ve talked about for years: imagine a scenario where the rooftop experience is an integrated part of the Wrigley Field experience, together with actual Cubs-related infrastructure in the lower levels of some of the buildings. A Cubs Hall of Fame in one or two of them? Cubs shops? Cubs bars? There’s not a ton of room to work with around Wrigley Field, but the rooftop buildings have always seemed a logical way to expand the Cubs-related area in a non-obtrusive way. I’m all about the character of Wrigleyville, but I also wish there was just a little more Cubs-related stuff in the area. The plaza and hotel planned for the west of the park will certainly go a long way to sating that interest, but the rooftops could be another step.
If, of course, the sides could actually work out a deal.
As you know, there’s been plenty of sparring in the last year between the Cubs and the rooftops as Wrigley Field is renovated and outfield signage goes up. Throughout that process, however, the Ricketts Family has looked to purchase rooftops, and has successful done so more than once.
And now, according to multiple reports, the Ricketts Family has done so again, acquiring three rooftop buildings and businesses on Sheffield Avenue – bringing their holdings on that side to all but three: Murphy’s Bleachers and the two rooftops still suing the Cubs.
In total, out of 16 rooftop properties, the Ricketts Family now owns six, and has an ownership stake in a seventh. The rooftop business have continued to operate as rooftop businesses.
Here’s hoping more of these purchases can be consummated, and the Cubs-related experience in Wrigleyville can be *tastefully* expanded.