According to a report from the Tribune, U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall “denied a request by two nearby rooftop businesses for the Cubs to stop installation of their right field video board” on Thursday afternoon.
The Tribune explained the ruling “could mean an end to the acrimonious dispute between the team and Skybox on Sheffield and Lakeview Baseball Club.”
The team responded to the Judge’s ruling in a statement to the Tribune: “The Cubs are grateful the Court today declined to stop the important work of preserving and expanding the Friendly Confines. We look forward to moving ahead with the expansion project and preserve Wrigley Field for our fans and our team.”
The rooftops can appeal the Judge’s ruling and according to the Tribune, the lawsuit filed in January was not dismissed.
Ed McCarthy, the majority owner of the two properties at 3633 N. Sheffield (Lakeview Baseball Club) and 3627 N. Sheffield (Skybox on Sheffield), filed a lawsuit against the Cubs and Tom Ricketts in January 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.
Judge Kendall explained in her 35-page ruling, according to the Tribune, “that the businesses had not proven the Cubs violated the terms of its decade-old revenue-sharing agreement or that the video board would result in them going belly up.” Judge Kendall also “found the allegations that the Cubs engaged in a monopoly faltered because of Major League Baseball’s anti-trust exemption, long upheld by the Supreme Court.”
The rooftops have argued that outfield signs and video boards are not expansion of the park. Judge Kendall said Thursday, “any expansion clearly covered more than just seats, and so the team didn’t violate the contract’s terms.” Expansion is defined in “plain meaning and its context within the License Agreement, means any change to Wrigley Field that adds volume to mass, including the addition of components unrelated to seating capacity.” The Tribune pointed out that later in the ruling, Judge Kendall noted “expansion above the outfield wall, such as windscreens, barriers and video boards, cause Wrigley Field to occupy a larger space and add to the volume of the stadium.”
Judge Kendall questioned the structure of the two businesses and said each property could just become bars, “Being in close vicinity to the game with fresh air, alcohol and good food might be sufficient to run a business – maybe not the business they are in now – but certainly a business.”
Left Field Video Board Update
A day after completing the installation of the left field video board, tests were run throughout the day and by late afternoon images were being placed on the left field video board.
The player’s information is a classic look as the team promised it would be during the convention in January. Reports from Wrigley indicate the resolution on the board is outstanding.
Pictures from Wrigley on Thursday also pointed to the ribbon boards down the first and third baselines being operational. The Wintrust dimensional, channel letters were installed on top of the left field video board and the installation of the see-through Budweiser sign in right field was complete.