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Rooftop owners, Cubs disagree over Wrigley Field renovations

Chicago CubsNo surprise: the Chicago Cubs front office and owners of rooftop bleachers are still disagreeing over proposed changes to Wrigley Field that could impact the views from beyond the ballpark.

It’s a symbiotic relationship to be sure: the Cubs provide the action, and the rooftop owners pay 17 percent of their revenues to sell remote seating on rooftop bleachers. But the renovation plan proposed by the Cubs and already approved by the city could impact the views from the bleachers, though the Cubs say they’ve already gone the extra mile by downsizing a proposed videoboard and perhaps moving it a rooftop location outside Wrigley Field proper.

That plan has been scrapped, and the Cubs upped the ante by saying they’d apply to put in a 650-square-foot see-through sign in right field. Not surprisingly, the rooftop owners are pissed — and the whole matter may end up in court, per the Chicago Sun-Times:

“When I got into this, I was told right field was the problem. We solved the right field. Only in the last three or four days did the left-field [rooftop] owners come in and say, ‘We’re not done yet,’ ” said Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th), who has brokered the talks at the request of the mayor.

“They said the way in which the sign lined up on the left field wall diminished their view to the point where they didn’t feel they could live with it. They would have been happy to have the sign reduced or have the sign moved across the street. They would have been happy to do anything to make the sign less impactful. The Cubs were looking at ways to reduce the potential monetary loss but not necessarily do things to the sign.”

Years of bad blood between the Cubs and rooftop club owners who share 17 percent of their revenues with the team also were resurrected by two recent developments: disparaging remarks about the rooftops owners made by Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts at last weekend’s Cubs convention; and club owners’ decision to file a defamation lawsuit against a stadium financing consultant who once advised the Cubs’ prior owner, the Tribune Co.

The Cubs says they’ve jumped through every hoop set forth by the city for a renovation plan that will widen the ballpark’s concourses, upgrade the suite level, add a plaza outside the ballpark and renovate the exterior, among other things. However, the Cubs ownership says they won’t begin renovations until a deal with the rooftop owners is struck — and it could take years to resolve a lawsuit.

RELATED STORIES: Cubs to add more night games; beer plaza in question; Cubs test sign placement; rooftop owners not happy; Ricketts: No Wrigley renovations without rooftop-bleacher deal; Wrigley Field upgrades approved by City Council; Cubs win big battle: Landmark Commission approves Wrigley Field signage; Chicago approves additional Wrigley Field night games; Cubs still not happy; Cubs-city lovefest hits rocky patch; Cubs submit Wrigley Field renovation plans to city; Ricketts brings hammer down, threatens Cubs move; Cubs, Chicago agree on Wrigley Field upgrades; Cubs, Chicago close to Wrigley Field accord; Could parking ramp clinch Wrigley Field renovation plans?; Rosemont to Cubs: Here, have some free land for a new ballpark!; White elephant on Cubs ledgers? Debt service, not Wrigley Field imperfections; Chicago mayor: We can work with Cubs on Wrigley Field renovations; Cubs unveil more details on Wrigley Field renovations; Cubs exploring hotel, courtyard as part of Wrigley Field upgrades; Ricketts: We’re taking long-term view on Wrigley Field improvements; Spat between Cubs, Mayor Rahm continues; Can Bud Selig warm relationship between Cubs, politicians?; Cubs: Following the Fenway Park recipe for renovationsRicketts family political activity threatens to scuttle Cubs reno plansWSJ: Tear down Wrigley Field now!Chicago politics at play: Tunney vs. the CubsCubs reno plan draws harsh criticism from key aldermanCubs funding request: $500M in Wrigley Field improvementsEmanuel plan for Wrigley renovation: set aside landmark statusIllinois guv: No public money for ballpark renovationsCity, Cubs finalizing terms of Wrigley Field renovationsRicketts: Time to talk Wrigley Field public funding againWant to buy a chunk of Wrigley Field? Dream onGammon rips Wrigley Field, defends RickettsMayor Rahm: No to city aid for Wrigley FieldPoll: Voters oppose public funding of Wrigley Field renovationsState funding of Wrigley Field renovations dies as Assembly adjourns


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