If stakeholders agree on the proposed Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field renovation deal, some owners of nearby rooftops may take to legal means to protect their rights. The new plans call for a Jumbotron in the iconic left field that will admittedly obscure the view of rooftops in that direction“minimally” sources close to the deal stated according to the Chicago Sun Times. Additional signage is planned in right field to make sure those fans aren’t “left out.”
The rooftop owners established some protocol recently in the formation of the Wrigleyville Rooftops Association which inked a 20-year deal in 2004, according to ESPNChicago.com. According to that article, the WRA was not a party to the renovation negotiations:
“We reserve judgment until said proposals are publicized, however we are deeply troubled that 16 small businesses were not party to talks where their contractual rights were at stake,” Beth Murphy, owner of Murphy’s Bleachers, said in a statement. “Rooftop owners reserve the right to use any and all means necessary to enforce the remaining 11 years of our 20-year contract. We support a renovated Wrigley Field, but the neighborhood and its businesses should be partners in the debate as we have over the last 30 years.”
This is not the first time the Cubs and rooftop owners butted heads, in 2002 by erecting “security screens” at the edge of the ballpark to excerpt their authority in stopping the “free ride” nearby rooftops had. The result was the above 20-year deal in which rooftop owners provide 17% of their revenue to the ballclub.
This seems to be the latest battle line drawn between the (percieved) rich baseball clubs and a teetering fan base that gets handed the shaft every time something like this comes down the pike. Of course, fans inside the 99-year old Wrigley Field have long been behind other teams’ fans when it comes to technology luxuries. But is some ways, that’s what the Wrigley Field experience is about! Bleachers, rooftops, brick outfield, and ivy!
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