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Saturday, April 06, 2013

ESPN: Wrigley renovation deal close

The agreement is expected to include $300 million in renovations at Wrigley, more night games, a parking lot and a $200 million hotel nearby, the people said. They said the team would pick up the entire tab to renovate Wrigley

The plan calls for a video scoreboard inside the park in left field and another sign in right field, said one person close to the negotiations. The size of the video scoreboard was among the details still being worked out. Some owners of the famed rooftops across the street where fans watch games have threatened to sue if the renovation does anything to obstruct their view.

Still, the signs—and advertising on them—and those additional night games are significant because team chairman Tom Ricketts has said he’d be willing to pay for the entire project if the city would agree to those two moves. The Cubs are also expected to build a 300-space parking garage on the site of a gravel lot at a nearby cemetery, according to the two people. Neighbors have long complained about the lack of parking on game days.

McCoy Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:02 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, wrigley field

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   1. McCoy Posted: April 06, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4406324)
Should be in quotes.
   2. villageidiom Posted: April 06, 2013 at 08:21 PM (#4406338)
a nearby cemetery
Alfonso Soriano is available.
   3. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: April 06, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4406361)
Some owners of the famed rooftops across the street where fans watch games have threatened to sue if the renovation does anything to obstruct their view.

This is just crazy talk, right? In what world does a buildng across the street have a right to a view into my building?

Actually, thinking about it, I'm considering buying an apartment with a view of Kate Upton's apartment, and suing her for closing her blinds.
   4. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 06, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4406376)
Gaylord - The Tribune Co. & the rooftop owners struck a deal (back when the Trib still owned the Cubs) that shares some revenue between them. The rooftops give the Cubs a slice of their profit & the Cubs officially guarantee their right to let people watch games from the rooftops. That may not be the exact language but that's the general gist & will serve as the legal basis for any case the rooftopers make.
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 06, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4406380)
wrigley field is the first pro baseball stadium I ever attended. I confess that seeing some huge gee-gaw of a scoreboard will be unsettling

   6. McCoy Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4406408)
From an article about the original contract signed in 2004 which runs through 2023.

Tunney said if the bleachers are expanded within eight years, the agreement requires the Cubs to compensate rooftop owners whose views are obstructed
   7. deputydrew Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4406417)
300 cars. That should alleviate any congestion in the neighborhood.

Six weeks ago I moved to Chicago and found a place on West Addison street about a mile from Wrigley. No home games, yet, so it'll be interesting to see what it's like around here come Monday and then on the first night game.

I've never been to a rooftop place but we have tickets for a Giants game. I'm not sure about it, but figure it'll be easier with a young child than fighting the crowds in the tiny Wrigley bathrooms.
   8. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:27 PM (#4406480)
Im glad this got done, its a damn shame they held it up considering they are subject to taxeds that dont help them but do help the other sports teams in town. also once they said they would pick up the tab it should have been green lighted right then and there
   9. John Northey Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4406492)
Well, given the net cost of it all is over $300 million for the Cubs owners I'm sure whatever it would take to shut up the 'roofers' would be chicken feed. I mean, how much could people be willing to pay for rooftop views of a park across the street?
   10. Carlo Paz Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:00 AM (#4406493)
I moved to Chicago and found a place on West Addison street about a mile from Wrigley. No home games, yet, so it'll be interesting to see what it's like around here come Monday


That far west of the park, mostly you'll deal with traffic backed up on Addison (which happens fairly often even when there isn't a game) and happy fans walking by on their way to the game and sadder fans on their way home afterwards. People tend to congregate (and pee on lawns) a bit closer to the park, mostly starting at Racine. Nice area...have fun!
   11. McCoy Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:27 AM (#4406500)
Well, given the net cost of it all is over $300 million for the Cubs owners I'm sure whatever it would take to shut up the 'roofers' would be chicken feed. I mean, how much could people be willing to pay for rooftop views of a park across the street?

Supposedly the Cubs make about 23 million a year off the rooftop owners and that is 17% of the revenue the rooftop owners make each season.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4406504)
Supposedly the Cubs make about 23 million a year off the rooftop owners and that is 17% of the revenue the rooftop owners make each season.

Meaning the rooftop owners took in ~$135M? That seems like a lot, given that the rooftops don't offer a great view of the field, although I suppose some folks will pay extra to not pee in a trough.
   13. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4406506)
@3: for better or worse views have long been considered more than just the property of the person with the property seen into. There's nothing unusual about this complaint. I suppose the team owners would have a stronger case if they hadn't gotten a big chunk of public money.

They said the team would pick up the entire tab to renovate Wrigley

That this is news is a disgrace.

...team chairman Tom Ricketts has said he’d be willing to pay for the entire project if the city would agree to those two moves.

Likewise.
   14. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:43 AM (#4406507)
Supposedly the Cubs make about 23 million a year off the rooftop owners and that is 17% of the revenue the rooftop owners make each season.

Meaning the rooftop owners took in ~$135M? That seems like a lot, given that the rooftops don't offer a great view of the field, although I suppose some folks will pay extra to not pee in a trough.


I call bullshite. 135m at 100 a head means 1.35m people watched from the rooftops around Wrigley. That's at least 15,000 people per game. I doubt that's even close to possible. (I doubt you could average $100 a head, either, but who knows?)
   15. John Northey Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4406508)
To quote Harry Carey - Holy Cow!!!!

How the heck can those rooftop owners make that kinda dough off a horrid view? Guess it lands under the 'sucker born every day' rule. Over $1.95 million per game paid out by nutbar fans. That is just crazy.

Just did some checking, and those figures are probably right. Three sources at http://www.wrigleyrooftops.com/ - 'Value Dates' are $75-95 per ticket, $160 to $210 per ticket on a Sunday vs the Giants (!!!!). Glurg.
   16. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 07, 2013 at 01:14 AM (#4406518)
they charge crazy rates and offer all you can drink and eat in exchange....make bank from it
   17. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 07, 2013 at 03:06 AM (#4406526)
That still leaves my figure of 15,000 a game from rooftops as a useful approximation. Iirc, from photos, those are mostly or entirely apartment buildings. Without major structural work there's a real limit on how many people can safely congregate on a rooftop. Without stands/bleachers you could only have two rows of people on any given rooftop able to see the game. Short of there being something on the order of one hundred buildings from which people view any given game, this doesn't seem possible.

I'd be impressed if the take was 1.95 per season, never mind per game. If anyone has a link to seasonal numbers, please post. Thanks.

edit: Huh. That link in 15 worked and is completely different from my recollection, which was that we were talking about a half dozen apartment buildings with some guy in a cubs cap taking cash as you climbed the stairs to your foldout seat too close to the parapet. There was probably a keg with a pump available, too.

What a goofy way to watch a game. Can you even see the ball?
   18. bobm Posted: April 07, 2013 at 08:30 AM (#4406540)
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1706351

Team to receive portion of rooftop revenue

ESPN.com news services | January 12, 2004
The cost of tradition just got more expensive, at least for the owners of the rooftop grandstands surrounding Wrigley Field.

The Chicago Cubs and owners of the famous building-top seats have come to a 20-year agreement that would require the owners to pay the team millions of dollars each year, the Chicago Tribune reported in Monday's editions.

The owners of 11 buildings will pay the Cubs 17 percent of their gross revenue, which, with approximately 1,700 rooftop seats, could cost owners more than $2 million a year, Alderman Thomas Tunney of the 44th Ward told The Tribune.

The settlement stems from a December 2002 lawsuit brought against the owners by the Cubs after the team's plans to expand the bleacher sections in Wrigley Field failed. The team accused the owners of stealing the team's product, copyright infringement and unjust enrichment at the Cubs' expense.

Owners of two of the buildings have not agreed to the settlement and plan to fight the agreement in court.

The owners and team officials have not yet signed the agreement, and the settlement must receive court approval before it can take effect. That could be as early as this season, The Tribune reported.

"This issue is really between two successful businesses and I'm glad they can reach an agreement out of court," said Tunney, whose ward includes the ballpark.

While the settlement does not affect the team's continuing wish to add about 2,000 bleacher seats at Wrigley, the rooftop owners argue that by taking a cut of the profits from each seat, the Cubs in effect get their expansion, a source familiar with the rooftop owners' side told The Tribune.

"This deal does not mean we are letting down our opposition to an expansion or that it paves the way for an expansion. Our view is, with this agreement, the Cubs have gotten their expansion," the source told the newspaper.

Another source close to negotiations said: "It's an amazing deal for the Cubs. They are just handed $2 million for doing nothing."

Tunney told The Tribune that if the Wrigley bleacher expansion is completed in the next eight years, according to the agreement, the Cubs would have to compensate those rooftop owners whose views were obstructed.

According to the report, lawyers for both sides reached the agreement after 12 hours of negotiations on Friday, which included settlement offers from both the Cubs and rooftop owners.

The owners' first offer was to collectively pay the Cubs $300,000 a year for 50 years, but the Cubs responded with a counteroffer in which the owners would owe the team 20 percent of the annual rooftop revenue over 10 years, the paper reported.


   19. bobm Posted: April 07, 2013 at 08:48 AM (#4406547)
[11] The $23 million royalty is probably the total paid since 2004, and coincidentally the estimated total annual rooftop revenue.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-25/sports/chi-ads-on-wrigley-rooftop-20130125_1_rooftop-owners-rooftop-businesses-rooftop-clubs

Wrigley rooftops offer to let Cubs sell ads on their buildings
January 25, 2013|By Ameet Sachdev and Hal Dardick | Tribune staff reporters [...]

The owners of the 16 rooftop clubs, who share a portion of their tickets sales with the team, contend the [Cubs' proposed] new signs will put them out of business. [...]

The rooftop owners have a lot to lose. In 2004, the rooftop owners and the Cubs settled a lawsuit by striking a 20-year deal that allowed the clubs to keep operating while paying the team 17 percent of their sales.

The rooftop owners used the security of the agreement to spend millions of dollars renovating their buildings and increasing capacity. Beth Murphy, owner of the Murphy's Bleachers bar and rooftop, said the royalty collectively amounts to $3.5 million to $4 million a year for the Cubs. Overall seasonal revenue for the rooftops appears to be about $23 million.
   20. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: April 07, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4406562)
Huh. That link in 15 worked and is completely different from my recollection, which was that we were talking about a half dozen apartment buildings with some guy in a cubs cap taking cash as you climbed the stairs to your foldout seat too close to the parapet. There was probably a keg with a pump available, too.

What a goofy way to watch a game. Can you even see the ball? 


Having never been to Wrigley and not having watched a Cubs home game on TV for years (ever since the demise of the Expos), I was also astonished to see how elaborate the roof seats have become, since I also remembered it as a bunch of people sitting in lawn chairs. I gather from Wikipedia that they were only built up to this degree after the 2004 settlement with the Cubs (which was also the 'Spos last year).

Judging from the photos on the linked site, the view of the field from the roof seats is actually better than I would have thought. I'm not sure it is appreciably worse than, say, the view from the 500-level OF seats in SkyDome. What surprises me is that people will pay hundreds of dollars for what are essentially pretty crummy seats with lots of amenities.
   21. BDC Posted: April 07, 2013 at 09:35 AM (#4406568)
What a goofy way to watch a game. Can you even see the ball?

In Arlington, people will pay a lot of money to get into the Cowboys Stadium parking lot and tailgate their way through a game, watching it on TV and never even glancing at the stadium behind them. I reckon it's more to say you've had the goofy experience than anything else.

wrigley field is the first pro baseball stadium I ever attended

Me, too, Harv! I saw Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Joe Morgan, and Rusty Staub. I'm guessing you saw Cap Anson.
   22. Flynn Posted: April 07, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4406574)
I could maybe see the appeal of the rooftops for parties/group events/corporate outings, but who wants to sit in bleacher-style seating on a ####### rooftop across the street from the park? I haven't watched too many games from Wrigley but I remember the lawsuit, and I recall the rooftops being set up like bars with just a few seats in the front. Now there's bleacher sections 20 rows tall. Really?
   23. Knock on any Iorg Posted: April 07, 2013 at 09:42 AM (#4406578)
Google Maps shows a staggering number seats and support infrastructure stacked on those buildings. One would hope that the owners secured the necessary engineering studies before building, but since this is Chicago I have my doubts.

The southernmost building on Sheffield Avenue has seats whose view is obstructed to the mound and home plate! I'm guessing those are the cheap seats where you go for the beer and the experience, not so much the game.
   24. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 07, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4406616)
I gather from Wikipedia that they were only built up to this degree after the 2004 settlement with the Cubs (which was also the 'Spos last year).

When I went to my first game at Wrigley in 1990, one or two rooftops had bleachers on them. I didn't really track their course, but many of the rooftops were built up before 2004.
   25. zonk Posted: April 07, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4406688)
How the heck can those rooftop owners make that kinda dough off a horrid view? Guess it lands under the 'sucker born every day' rule. Over $1.95 million per game paid out by nutbar fans. That is just crazy.

Just did some checking, and those figures are probably right. Three sources at http://www.wrigleyrooftops.com/ - 'Value Dates' are $75-95 per ticket, $160 to $210 per ticket on a Sunday vs the Giants (!!!!). Glurg.


You don't really 'watch the game' on the rooftops -- you 'attend the festivities' -- and it's really not too bad a deal.

A ticket generally gets you all you can eat and drink - and the rooftops I've been on, the food isn't half bad at all. They switch up the grill every few innings - brats & dogs in the first couple innings, then burgers, then ribs, then chicken... It's at least as good quality as a backyard BBQ. Add that to free beers - and the taps are staffed well enough that it's NOT like one of those New Year's eve all you can drink deals where you spend 2 hours in line, and it really doesn't come out all that bad at all. The views aren't great -- probably a skosh worse than the bad upper deck seats in a modern park -- but most attendees tend to treat most of the game as background.

One nice plus - several of the rooftops (maybe all that this point?) have an indoor bar/lounge area which really is a godsend if you get a bad weather date.

It's popular for things like bachelor parties and the like... I've attended a couple of those - and also did a family outing with a bunch of cousins who were up for the weekend.

It's certainly not the thing to do if you're there to see the game - but if you're having an 'event' with friends, it's worthwhile.
   26. zonk Posted: April 07, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4406700)
I hate, hate, hate the parking lot.... The neighborhood streets are zoned, so the parking thing makes no sense to me - if no spots, it's a simple 311 call get a city tow out to open one up. It's traffic that blows and all adding a parking lot does is make that worse. The vicinity simply isn't built to get 10k cars in and out quickly.
   27. McCoy Posted: April 07, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4406761)
It has been my experience that there doesn't exist a single place in America that is can get 10k in and out quickly but we aren't talking about 10k cars. They are talking about 300 cars.
   28. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 07, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4406770)
I hate, hate, hate the parking lot.... The neighborhood streets are zoned, so the parking thing makes no sense to me - if no spots, it's a simple 311 call get a city tow out to open one up. It's traffic that blows and all adding a parking lot does is make that worse. The vicinity simply isn't built to get 10k cars in and out quickly.


Yeah, the congestion is going to be ridiculous. My suburban friends will generally take the Metra + the El to get to Wrigley, this will just encourage more folks to drive to the game. Where would the parking garage be anyway? Are they referring to that cemetery just south of Irving on Clark? Irving, Clark, and Grace are already a mess after games.

It will be funny to see a bunch of Lakeview residents losing a significant amount of income selling 383 passes. You can get $20 for a $.50 sticker.

I've been to a couple games on various rooftops, and yeah, you don't really go to a rooftop event to watch the game (I'm not a Cubs' fans so this doesn't bother me too much). Some rooftops are very nice- great food & beer selection with comfortable lounge/bar areas, others offer the standard burger/hot dog/Old Style with bleachers. I haven't been on a rooftop where at least some of the field wasn't obstructed.
   29. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 07, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4406908)
So it seems like while there was a 20-year contract, it's only guaranteed for the first 10. Which means that the Cubs might have zero obligations to the rooftop owners after this season.

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