Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts made it clear that any Wrigley Field renovations would be shelved unless local rooftop-bleacher owners all agree not to sue the team over potential lost revenues.
The issue: a new videoboard that could impact the views of Wrigley Field from the surrounding rooftop bleachers, but the Cubs have also agreed to a 10-year delay in any other new signage. In exchange, the team wants to see the rooftop owners to agree not to sue over lost revenues. The Cubs have an agreement in place with the rooftop-bleacher owners to share revenue. Ricketts want to see that deal amended, and so far the rooftop-bleacher owners have been quiet on the issue. (In the past, the owners were pretty quick to issue a press release when they felt their interests were threatened.) Meetings between the Cubs and the owners are expected to take place next week, and you can bet Alderman Tom Tunney, who represents Wrigleyville and was key in working out the parameters of a renovation deal announced earlier this week, will be involved. From the Chicago Tribune:
But in exchange for that moratorium they are demanding that the rooftop owners agree not to sue over blocked views during the remaining 10 years of the revenue-sharing agreement. They also want city assurances that the rooftop rules on capacity, liquor sales and hours be enforced and to get some “certainty” over what happens when the revenue sharing agreement expires.
In the past, the rooftop owners have said they would sue if their views were blocked….
It is expected that the Cubs and rooftop owners will discuss the issues soon and perhaps try to hammer out a written agreement. The team also would have to sell to Tunney and neighborhood groups any plans for an archway or right-field wall that’s pushed out farther.
The plan calls for $300 million in Wrigley Field renovations and $200 million in area investments, including construction of a new hotel and parking ramp.
Rendering courtesy Chicago Cubs.
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