Today, the federal court hearing the lawsuit filed by some of the rooftops against the Chicago Cubs regarding the outfield signage in the Wrigley Field renovation ruled that the rooftops cannot get a temporary restraining order to stop work at Wrigley (per Danny Ecker, Jon Greenberg).
The Cubs had vigorously opposed the request, so this is a small win.
From the Cubs’ perspective, though, it’s just the first step. As we discussed more extensively when the rooftops first made the request, the TRO is requested in advance of a full preliminary injunction hearing (which is, itself, requested in advance of the actual lawsuit being determined at trial). So, what the rooftops didn’t get today is an order halting work at Wrigley until the preliminary injunction hearing. That hearing, which should come very soon, will be a more extensive battle over whether work at Wrigley should be shut down until the lawsuit is completed. Obviously, that’s a much longer period of time, and is a much more serious dispute.
I’ll have more on this if and when I get a look at the court’s ruling today, and when we get details on the preliminary injunction hearing.
UPDATE: The preliminary injunction hearing is set:
Next step for Cubs/rooftops: Preliminary injunction hearing on March 23rd.
— Danny Ecker (@DannyEcker) February 19, 2015
That sets up a question, then: if the signs were due to go up long before that date, do the Cubs wait pending the resolution of that hearing (in case they’d have to take the signs back down)? Or do they proceed full bore? Remember, one of the right field signs is a video board, which I can’t imagine is super simple to take up and down. I’m just thinking out loud.
Oh, and, as always, the possibility of a settlement before then remains on the table. The Cubs just picked up a teeny, tiny bit of leverage.