Days after club chairman Tom Ricketts announced his plans to move forward with a Wrigley Field expansion and renovation, regardless of the necessity to fight with rooftop owners across the street, CSN Chicago has made the actual contract between the club and the owners public.
Litigation may be forthcoming from rooftop owners who are completely against the idea of the Cubs putting up a video board and park signage that would block rooftop views of the park. For years, fans have been able to go to the buildings on Waveland Avenue and enjoy the game from the rooftops. Bleachers have been installed on the rooftops and full service food and drink facilities are available. The contract is found here.
On top of the language that says that each rooftop will pay a 17% royalty based off of revenues and 11% royalty from billboard sales, there is also specific language about what happens if Wrigley chooses to expand the bleacher section in the park itself to the point where it blocks the view of the rooftop bleachers.
6.2 If the Cubs expand the Wrigley Field bleacher seating and such expansion so impairs the view from any Rooftop into Wrigley Field such that the Rooftop’s business is no longer viable unless it increases the height of its available seating, then such Rooftop may in its discretion elect to undertake construction to raise the height of its seating to allow views into Wrigley Field and the Cubs shall reimburse the Rooftop for 17% of the actual cost of such construction.
The contract goes on to say that the Cubs would have to reimburse the Rooftop owners 50% of the royalties paid during the expansion process of Wrigley and the construction process of the rooftops IF the expanded rooftop bleachers still cannot see into the park. Without the sight line to Wrigley, that would inevitably cause the Rooftop business to shut down, which kicks in the preceding sentence. It also says that if a Rooftop business elects to receive reimbursement from the Cubs, then it will stop business and cease to receive any sort of additional compensation.
The litigation seems to allow for something agreeable to be reached upon by both sides, and indeed, it is the hope of the team to be able to come to some sort of compromise with the Rooftop owners. The $575 million dollar plan for renovation would completely update the player facilities for both the visiting and home clubs along with creating additional revenue from sponsorships that would undoubtedly be in the best interests of everybody. It should also be noted, as it is in the article by David Kaplan where the contract is located, that absolutely none of the money needed for the reconstruction would come from tax payer dollars.