The rooftop filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs and Chairman Tom Ricketts. According to the report in the Tribune, the rooftops are “accusing the team of breaching the terms of its revenue-sharing contract, engaging in deceptive business practices and acting in violation of anti-trust laws.” Or as Crain’s Chicago Business reported, “attempted monopolization in violation of the Sherman Act, as well as breach of contract, defamation, consumer fraud and deceptive practices.”
The previous two lawsuits filed by the rooftops were directed at the City of Chicago to try to block the installation of the outfield signage and overturn the approval the team received from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to proceed with the plan to restore, renovate and expand Wrigley Field.
The majority owner of the properties at 3633 N. Sheffield, the Lakeview Baseball Club, and 3627 N. Sheffield, Skybox at Sheffield, Ed McCarthy filed the lawsuit.
The Tribune explained the 58-page filing alleges “that the Cubs violated the federal Sherman Antitrust Act that prohibits monopolies; violates the revenue-sharing, 20-year agreement the team signed with the rooftops in 2004.”
Under the agreement, the Cubs could not install windscreens or other barriers that would block the views during the 20-year agreement. The suit concedes the team was allowed to expand Wrigley Field “but under no circumstances” could the views of the rooftops be obstructed.
The lawsuit also accuses Tom Ricketts of engaging “in deceptive business practices” and that he “committed consumer fraud when at the 2014 Cubs Convention he compared the rooftop businesses to a person charging people money to wrongfully watch a neighbor’s pay-television through their window.”
The rooftop owners are seeking “a financial judgment as well as injunctive relief that prohibits the Cubs from blocking the views into Wrigley from the rooftops.”
Crain’s Chicago Business included the statement from rooftops lawyer Tom Lombardo in its report: “The Cubs decided to put up giant signs to block the rooftops halfway into a 20-year contract to guarantee the rooftops’ unobstructed views. The Cubs are blocking the rooftops that refused to sell their properties for a fraction of market value, and who refused to participate in a price-fixing scheme the Cubs demanded to raise ticket prices. It’s unfortunate the rooftops have been forced to take legal action, but they’re confident the legal system will protect their rights.”
Cubs attorney Andrew Kassof told the Tribune “the Cubs will vigorously contest this lawsuit and move forward confidently with the Wrigley Field expansion construction project.”
- Full Report from the Tribune
- Full Report from Crain’s Chicago Business
- Rooftop Owners’ Lawsuit against the Cubs
- Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Rooftop Owners File Separate Lawsuit (Jan. 9)
- Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Rooftop Owners File Lawsuit (Aug. 14)