The lawsuit claims “the Cubs’ most recent tweak to their signage plan – scrapping one outfield sign and moving and shrinking the right field video board – was done to earn a federal tax credit, as the team says, or to block the views of specific rooftops” according to the report from Crain’s Chicago Business.
The rooftop owners think the signs were moved to clear sightlines for buildings the Ricketts family is closing in on purchasing, while at the same time blocking the views of the rooftops that are not selling their property.
In Danny Ecker’s report, rooftop lawyer Tom Moore said “some of the rooftop owners already were under contract to sell their properties to the Cubs and that the most recent tweaks to the outfield signing plan deliberately improved the rooftops they were buying while hindering those whose owners would not sell.”
The rooftop owners’ new lawsuit claims the team changed the plan on purpose. And the rooftops are trying to “block the Cubs’ ongoing renovation project.”
The reason for the Cubs reducing and changing the signage package in the outfield was to gain the approval of the of the National Park Service.
The Cubs are seeking a federal tax credit that could be worth $75 million that will go toward the $375 million restoration project. Wrigley Field must be added to the National Register of Historic Places in order for the team to receive the tax credit.
On December 4, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, by a vote of six to one, approved the team’s revised plan.
The approval included the reduction of number of outfield signs from seven to six with the removal of a script sign in left centerfield. The video board in right field was reduced from 2,400 square feet to 2,250 square feet and moved closer to the foul pole. By moving the right field board closer to the foul pole, it will be set lower. The sign that was planned for the same location was moved closer to the other side of the video board and closer to the centerfield scoreboard. The video board in left field was moved 30 feet closer to the iconic centerfield scoreboard. The video boards will be a mix of gray and green, metallic and feature horizontal and vertical support posts.
The other approvals last month included raising the height of two light standards beyond the bleachers to be even with the grandstand roof level. Two elevators were added to the left and right field bleachers and slight modifications to a new planned western gate that opens into the triangle property adjacent to the park.
According to Danny Ecker, “the city will seek to dismiss” Thursday’s filing and the Cubs did not comment on the matter.
- Full Report from Crain’s Chicago Business
- Full Report from the Sun-Times
- Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Landmarks Commission Approves Cubs Revised Plans (Dec. 4)