It’s only fitting that on the 10-year anniversary of the Chicago Cubs standing 20-year agreement with the rooftop association that the battle between the two sides escalated further.
On Monday, the Cubs filed a permit application for an advertising sign that would be placed on the right field side of Wrigley Field and would partially block the view from the rooftops. The sign is a part of $500 million Wrigley Field renovation plan that has been delayed while the Cubs and rooftop owners try to reach an agreement. The Cubs have delayed the project until the rooftop owners assure the team that they will not sue the team as a result of blocked views.
Talks between the Cubs and rooftop owners fell apart last week and that is believed to be what led the Cubs to going forward with their plan of putting up the ad-sign in right field.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green said on Monday that the plan all along was for the Cubs to put up the right-field sign before the start of the 2014 season.
“Since last summer, we always stated our intent to move forward with this sign in right field prior to the 2014 season, and we were hopeful we could reach a resolution at the negotiating table,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said. “But given the rejection of our proposal and last week’s legal action, it certainly appears we are going to be met with some resistance, so we are planning on moving forward with this sign.”-Julian Green, Chicago Tribune
Despite the action by the Cubs, the team still is hopeful that an agreement can be reached with the rooftop owners.
“We are still interested in a solution that doesn’t involve the courts,” Green added, saying a meeting is scheduled for later this week between team and rooftop club representatives.-Green, Chicago Tribune
While the Cubs may be interested in a solution that does not involve the courts, the rooftop owners issued a statement on Monday in response to the Cubs filing the permit for the right field ad-sign. The statement would seem to indicate that legal action may be coming from the rooftop owners.
“This is an unfortunate turn of events because our hope was to find a solution to this matter. Rooftop owners believe any blockage of our views violates the contract we have with the owners of the Cubs. We have instructed our legal team to proceed accordingly,” said Ryan McLaughlin, Wrigleyville Rooftops Association.
What this tells me is that the Cubs know that they have the power and money to outlast the Wrigleyville Rooftops Association. While I am still convinced that the two sides will eventually reach an agreement, the Cubs are confident that a judge would rule in their favor. It benefits neither side to go through a drawn-out court process.
Perhaps progress between the two sides can be made later this week when they are scheduled to meet.