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Judge: Wrigley Field renovations can continue

New Wrigley Field rendering

A federal judge has ruled that the Chicago Cubs can proceed with a Wrigley Field renovation plan, despite an argument from surrounding rooftop owners it would cause them irreparable harm.

Two rooftop businesses, Skybox and the Lakeview Baseball Club, petitioned U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall for a temporary injunction to stop installation of signs atop the renovation bleachers at Wrigley Field, arguing that they’d be unable to continue operations with views of the playing field blocks. The Cubs, meanwhile, say they have every right to move ahead with the sign installation under existing agreements with rooftop owners.

The issue hinges on terminology in the agreement with rooftop owners:

The rooftop owners allege that the Cubs expansion of Wrigley Field violates a 2002 revenue sharing agreement, which granted them views of Wrigley Field until 2023, and that the Cubs violated anti-trust law by strong-arming them in an attempt to force them to either raise ticket prices or sell up for below the market rate.

Much of the dry legal argument Wednesday morning turned on whether the outfield signs the Cubs plan to erect constitute an “expansion” of Wrigley Field, which would be allowed under the 2002 contract, or whether they are an “addition” to the ballpark, which would violate the contract.

Kendall ruled this morning that construction can continue, saying that the potential damages were vague and that they were not enough to force the Cubs to halt construction. The ruling today just addresses a temporary injunction. The full case would be heard in coming weeks.

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