Phil Rosenthal reported more details of the current 20-year contract between the Cubs and the Wrigleyville rooftops owners on Sunday. According to the report in the Tribune, “the contract calls for the Cubs to help them in a variety of ways” which further pushes the point of the rooftop owners that they are as much a part of the Wrigleyville experience as the ballpark.
The contract states that it is “a requirement that WGN-TV will show and comment upon the Rooftops’ facilities during broadcasts of Cubs games and the Cubs will request other Cubs television broadcasting partners to do the same.” The contract also includes verbiage that the team discuss the rooftops during tours of Wrigley Field and positive stories about the rooftops must be included in the Vine Line.
The rooftop owners are looking for their current contract to be extended by nine years. The current contract was signed in 2004 and runs through 2023. The rooftop owners are looking for the contract extension in exchange for allowing the Cubs to put digital signage on their rooftops while not seeing a penny of the money generated by those signs. Under the proposal, the Cubs and the city would split the revenue generated by the signage, which could bring in an estimated $10-$20 million a season. The money the city received would be used for additional police protection and maintenance in the neighborhood.
Under the current contract that was agreed to by the Tribune Co. and the rooftops owners, the Cubs receive 17 percent of their sales.
The rooftop owners think they have leverage in the contract they signed in 2004 that they will be able to “parlay into an extension of their current agreement with the team.” But the current contract with the rooftop owners allows for “any expansion of Wrigley Field approved by governmental authorities shall not be a violation” of the deal. As Phil Rosenthal pointed out, that means if Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets behind the Ricketts, look out.
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