The Cubs played their final home game of the year more than a month ago. Construction on the first phase of the Wrigley Field Restoration plan was expected to begin as soon as the home schedule wrapped but due to the ongoing conflict between the team and the rooftop club owners, the Cubs have yet to apply for permits much less order materials.
As they did in May, the Cubs erected a demo of the city-approved 650 square-foot see-through sign in right field on Wednesday. The demonstration had two purposes on Wednesday. The Cubs wanted to show the rooftop owners on Sheffield Avenue that their views would not be obstructed and to give Anheuser Busch a “better sense of what they have purchased.” The Cubs sold the advertising to Anheuser Busch and when the sign is built, it will feature a Budweiser script logo.
The Cubs have received permission from the city to build the sign and the construction could begin soon according to multiple reports, so the sign will be up for next season.
The Cubs erected demos of both the left field video board and the right field see-through sign in May in order to give the rooftop club owners an idea of how their views would be impacted.
While the Cubs do not think the views of the rooftops will be blocked, the rooftop owners do not agree. Reports from Crain’s Chicago Business and DNAInfoChicago.com quoted rooftop spokesman Ryan McLaughlin as saying, “We’ll take legal action accordingly if they put them up. The current mock-up blocks the views.”
The rooftop club owners have threatened they would sue to protect their views because the team would be in violation of a 20-year contract with the Cubs.
Talks between the two sides have stalled but Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last week that he has confidence “that a final pact between the two sides is going to get worked out, because it’s in everyone’s self-interest” according to Crain’s Chicago Business.
The Cubs have not only received approval from the city to install both the left field video board and the see-through sign in right field but have received permission from the city to move the footprint of the ballpark back 10-12 feet in both left and right field. The thought is that if the exterior walls are moved back it would help maintain the rooftop’s current views inside Wrigley Field.
- Full Report from Crain’s Chicago Business
- Full Report from DNAInfoChicago.com
- Full Report from the Sun-Times
- Full Report from May 28 – Cubs Demo Mock-Ups of Outfield Signs