It was widely reported today that the city of Chicago and the Chicago Cubs could announced an agreement on a deal regarding the proposed Wrigley Field renovations. This announcement could happen Monday, the same day Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts will appear on WSCR’s "Mully and Hanley" morning show.
It’s a battle now between the Chicago Cubs organization and the Wrigleyville Rooftops Association. It’s a fight to see who can win Chicago hearts and minds by getting their message heard the loudest. Through the media and public relations, both the Cubs and the Wrigleyville Rooftops will get their agenda to the people. And since Ricketts is BFF with Wrapports Chairman Michael Ferro (who own the Chicago Sun-Times) it will be interesting to see how the second city’s second paper covers this.
Why do you think the S-T was first in having the story of the supposed agreement today?
I detailed this argument a week ago in a previous article, where I included the rooftops' last press release and debated each point. I grudgingly gave the edge to the Cubs and Ricketts. After the press release sent out by the rooftops today, I am even more swayed to Ricketts’ side. The rooftops association release looks desperate, scared, pathetic and defensive.
They claim they will sue if their contract with the Cubs is not honored Here’s the rooftops association release:
The apparent decision to allow the Chicago Cubs to block the views of some Wrigleyville Rooftops is in direct violation of the current 20-year agreement entered into by the Cubs and the Rooftop owners. While Rooftop owners support the concept of renovating Wrigley Field, exact plans for outfield signage have not been provided to these contractual partners.
The in-force contract negotiated by federal mediators which enumerates revenue sharing between the Cubs and their neighbors - along with the accompanying landmark ordinance - protects the "uninterrupted sweep of the bleachers" until at least 2024. Any construction that interrupts the Rooftop views will effectually drive them out of business and be challenged in a court of law.
Statement from Beth Murphy, owner of Murphy's Bleachers and spokesperson for the Wrigleyville Rooftops Association:
"We reserve judgment until said proposals are publicized, however we are deeply troubled that 16 small businesses were not party to talks where their contractual rights were at stake. Rooftop owners reserve the right to use any and all means necessary to enforce the remaining 11 years of our 20-year contract. We support a renovated Wrigley Field, but the neighborhood and its businesses should be partners in the debate as we have over the last 30 years."
So you might go out of business? In the words of Bears QB Jay Cutler:
Free enterprise. Capitalism. The invisible hand of "the free market." All that b.s.
Yes I know that no actual "free market" truly exists but...
...who are you to think that you deserve protection from a nanny state? The Wrigleyville rooftops aren’t “too big to fail.” We don’t care if you go out of business. Lots of business are failing; especially in this TOUGH economy. And especially so in the hospitality industry, with its extremely high failure rate. You’ll just have to deal with some tough economic love.
Business evolves and things change. Especially after almost a decade. The “Cubbies” may be a cuddly, friendly mascot and “lovable loser” brand, but they are truly an unfeeling, amoral money-making machine. Just like all corporations.
I’m not saying the Cubs are greedier or more cutthroat than any other sports team corporation, I’m just saying they exist with the bottom line in mind first. And you’re absolutely naive to think otherwise. And you’re a DUMB businessman to rule out all re-negotiation. Especially after 9 years. And the Ricketts family made their money in T.D. Ameritrade, so they’re more about dollars than the lyrics of a Jay-Z song.
Or you could paraphrase Snoop: “mind on my money and my money on my mind.”
By the way, I heard a snippet of a Rahm Emanuel press conference pertaining to this on 670 The Score today. I heard Rahm tell us that the neighborhood and businesses surrounding Wrigley Field is in fact referred to as “Wrigleyville.”
Well, thank you!
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of visitors. He’s an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker
Banks has appeared on Comcast SportsNet and the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks)
He has a Fulbright in media studies and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago
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