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Boycotting the Rooftops

Boycotting the Rooftops

Usually I'm a pretty measured, rational, logical guy. I try to look at things from both sides.

Usually.

But if you mess with the things or people I love, then I'm going to throw all of that out the window.

And I love the Cubs.

I don't know enough about legalities as far as the rooftops contract with the Cubs.  I'm not a lawyer.  Maybe they're in the legal right here.  I don't know.  What I do know is that I will not purchase a ticket to watch the game from a rooftops until this is resolved.  I will not accept them as gifts.  I will not patronize any of the businesses they own. If I may borrow this great comment from JerryMartin28...here is a great explanation as to why we as fans have every right to boycott...

At the risk of offending some (hopefully not), I do not understand the thinking behind some of these posts. Any argument against a boycott that relies on the notion that the Cubs and the rooftop owner have a valid contract misses the point entirely. Nowhere in the article does John suggest that the Cubs intentionally breach their contract (whatever its terms may be). What he suggest is that non-parties to the contract – us Cubs fans – exert some pressure on the rooftop owners by not patronizing their businesses. We Cub fans don’t owe any contractual or other duty to the rooftop owners, and frankly I don’t feel responsible for making sure they obtain a healthy return on their investment. So what if they bought or upgraded their property in anticipation of future revenue. That’s an investment decision they made based on a contract WITH THE CUBS, not me or anyone else. A group of fans decision to boycott them based on their commercial behavior is no different than a boycott of any other business which conducts itself in a manner offensive to the boycotters.

In the spirit of John’s usual fair mindedness, this nonsense about contractual rights got me thinking about what duty any of us might owe the rooftop owners, being that we didn’t sign a contract with them. There is a civil claim called tortious interference with contractual relations in Illinois. Usually, this is where someone knowingly works to undermine or otherwise interfere with a contract between two other parties, but the suggested boycott against the rooftop owners would be quite a stretch to claim that here, to put it mildly.

So yeah, I'm going to boycott and I would encourage everyone to do the same. Those businesses include Murphy's Bleachers, Vines, Sports Corner, and Cubby Bear. There are plenty of other options if you care to imbibe.

They are getting in the way of the one thing I care about in this equation and that is the ability of my beloved Cubs to compete.

I don't care about any nostalgia with the rooftops. I don't care if it's all part of the Wrigleyville experience. I don't care if it's all Crane Kenney and the Tribune's fault for signing that contract in the first place.

In the words of Jay Cutler, "I doooonnn't caaaarrre."

And I'm not the only one here.  Julie DiCaro of Aerys Sports wrote on something similar today.

Reader JimL also set up this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Wrigleyville-Rooftops/431500950272989

Count me in. What is your stance on this?

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  • To be fair, I've never before sat on one of the rooftops and never planned to do so.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I have and it's fun when you're with a group. But won't do it again.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Great piece John, maybe if all the fans follow your lead we can get something done with these people.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    A few years ago I had some company offering me 2 rooftop tickets for Opening Day vs Pittsburgh. The seats were $140 a ticket. I never even thought of buying them. I have 3 places in Wrigley Field where I try to get tickets. (1) Bleacher seats. Left or right field close to the basket. (2) Box seats behind 3rd base. (3) front row along the bricks by the pitcher's warm-up. I got to talk to Lee Smith tossing balls over there. It was the game vs Cincy when Pete Rose tied Ty Cobb's record. Lee Smith was a cool guy to talk to.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Me either. My preferred seats, although in my case it has been since 1993 (might have been 1994) since I have actually been to a game. Moved away from Northern IN to KS in 1995. Then to MD in 2004. Haven't had much chance to get back duing the season,...

    I was generally a 3rd base line / LF cheap-seat kind of guy in my day. Ambiance inside the park is what I always loved.

    Might have to look into seeing if I can get some seats for a game this Summer when they come to play the Nats,....

  • It's not just the rooftops, we have to boycott the bars they run at street level. That means Cubby Bear, Vines, and Murphy's, just to name a few.

  • In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    need a comprehensive list to avoid...and alternatives so when people leave the game slightly lubricated they know where to go!!

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    Agreed. We'll try and put one together.

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    Yep, would love a comprehensive list.

  • In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    It's going to be really hard for some people to boycott the bars lol... But I agree with John's sentiment here, they are messing with what's really important... What good is the rooftops if fans don't go to the games anymore because the Cubs can't win games?

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    In reply to Caps:

    There are enough bars in the area, it shouldn't be too hard to avoid Murphy's, Cubby Bear, Vines, etc.

  • In reply to JimL:

    Fair point... And I just want to let you know, I don't live in Chicago, but when I go there, I'm good with the traditional beer and a hot dog.

    If I'm still hungry after the game, then I'm good with Lou Malnati's.

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    In reply to Caps:

    With regard to "What good is the rooftops if fans don't go to the games anymore because the Cubs can't win games?" Considering that the team has drawn over 3 million to see a 6th place, 66 win team, I don't think they are overly worried about fans not coming out for bad teams.

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    In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    Sports Corner too? I don't think they have a Rooftop but are they hindering negotiations?

  • In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    As a Cubs fan who doesn't live in the suburbs, I already avoid Cubby Bear and Murphy's, so I should be pretty safe!

    I have however, sat on the rooftops multiple times for work or client outings in the past. Not an experience I would ever spend my own money on.

  • In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    Great idea Julie, let's get the signs made and let's march. People my age marched in the 60's, while we may be a little older, a few on walkers, meds, whatever, we still know how to march. John is our leader, call the troops out and let's march, BOYCOTT, i like the sound of it...

  • In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    As well as any other companies who advertise on the rooftops, and let those other companies know why you're boycotting them.

  • You know, I've never been to a rooftop because it seemed to run counter of the very reason to go to a baseball game.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    True. Only reason to go is to hang out.

  • This is a very ugly chapter in the neighborhood's history. My family has been in the neighborhood since the 1860's and I can say that it is a real sordid mess since the original bleacher expansion talks began in 2002. And through this whole process the Cubs have been the better neighbor.

  • I will doubly not go to the rooftops now. The first reason, of course, is that they are charging way too much for way too little. The second reason is that my living room has much better beer.

  • In reply to Myles:

    This assessment is spot on, in my view: they charge too much for too little. I've only been once and wouldn't go back. I had more fun just hanging out in the Captain Morgan Club for an afternoon game.

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    I agree with the sentiment. However, I'll try to play devil's advocate here.

    The Rooftop owners think they have a valid contract, and probably feel they spent alot of money on capitol improvements, real estate, marketing, and other items in order to get a reasonable return on that investment. To have made those investments, and then have the Cubs change the terms, they probably feel that's unfair and against the contract.

    Apparently that contract expires 2023. No matter how strong their legal position, however, the rooftop owners are pretty much blowing any chance of having their business continue for one minute past the next 9 years.

    To me, the rooftops was kind of charming in the 80s when it was a couple guys with lawnchairs and a cooler. It's a big business now, so to me it's lost it's charm, especially at $100+ a ticket

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Zonk, that may all be true. But as Cubs fans it's not relevant to us. All that matters is can the Cubs do what they need to do to put the best team possible on the field. Are the rooftop owners messing with that? If you think yes, the boycott makes sense.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I'm conflicted on this. I don't know the specifics of the contract between the Cubs and the rooftops, so I don't know what is or is not a violation of that contract. If what the Cubs want to do is a violation of that contract, then there should be ramifications.

    But as a Cubs fan, I just want them to be able to do what they need to do to win. Basically, I want the signs to go up, but I can understand why the rooftops would want their agreement honored.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Exactly right, rooftops may have legal right, but they are hurting the Cubs and that's all that matters, BOYCOTT!!!

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I agree that the roof top owners must cooperate.

    They are making a lot of money off the Cubs product.

    I plan to boycott.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    But the Rooftops are violating the terms of the agreement too I believe, which include no single game ticket sales and no brokering of sold but unaccounted for tickets.

    Then there is the whole copyright infringement issue as well. When it is too cold to sit outside, those rooftops are essentially selling tickets to watch the game indoors on their television screens.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I couldn't agree more. The charm of the rooftops ended a long time ago. It is nothing but a big commercial enterprise and not the guy taking off of work, getting some sun, drinking a beer and catching a glimpse of the game.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    There is nothing in the contract that gives the rooftops unobstructed views into the ballpark. The Landmark Commission is what prevented the Cubs from putting up signage in the bleachers. That was eliminated by the commission last year.
    The rooftops overplayed their hand on Tuesday. They had a deal where the Cubs agreed to move the right field sign across the street. At the last minute, the rooftops demanded the video board in left field also be moved on top of a building across the street( which is ridiculous). They should have taken the deal, I hear the Cubs are done talking. They are going to put up the right field sign in the bleachers, as soon as possible, and deal with it in court.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    I won't go to the rooftops because it's not a good deal for the price. However, I side with the rooftop owners on this one. They have a valid contract, does it suck that it effects my team this way, sure, but I'm not going to boycott a business for enforcing the terms of a valid contract. That is not being rational or well measured at all.

  • I've never been to a game on the rooftops, but have considered it. I have however frequented the likes of Murphy's, Cubby Bear, etc... but not anymore. Not until this nonsense is put to rest.

    Anybody have a complete list we could circulate?

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    If you don't mind me posting a link, I set up a FB page called: Boycott Wrigleyville Rooftops - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Wrigleyville-Rooftops/431500950272989

  • In reply to JimL:

    Liked it! Also put it out on Twitter.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks John!

    Up to 163 Likes, over 100 this morning.

  • In reply to JimL:

    Not a bad start!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to JimL:

    Adding invites to your page to all of my FB friends. Hoping to get some momentum to your page.

  • In reply to JimL:

    Good stuff, Jim!
    I'd "like" it, if I had an account.

  • In reply to JimL:

    I love it. Just went and liked it and I have to say, the Sweeney picture is a gem!

  • All in. I've boycotted the Billy Goat for around 15 years for the profiting off all the curse BS. Although It probably helps that I am not a fan of grade D meat with a bun to meat ratio of 4:1

  • The rooftops are the only thing keeping Ricketts from installing 50,000 square feet of new advertising, much of it of the jumbo, flashing variety.

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    BTW, one thing I have never seen is any outside legal opinion on that contract.

    Maybe nobody has gotten their hands on it, but there must be language in there around a) what the Cubs obligations are relative to views and obstructing views, and b) what the remedies are if the Cubs do not adhere to that language. I'm dying to know what the terms are. My sense is that the rooftop owners have more legal leverage; otherwise the Cubs would build and take their chances.

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    Whether we like it or not, the Cubs organization entered into a contract with these rooftop owners through 2024 to provide them with an unobstructed view in exchange for around 17% of their revenue. If the team on the other side of town was doing this, we'd be ripping them for trying to and snake their way out of a contract.

  • In reply to Justin W:

    17% thats being stolen anyway.

  • In reply to Justin W:

    Comments from Crane Kenney on Saturday at the Cubs Convention, "The contract with the rooftops does not prevent signage in the outfield, the only legal roadblock prior was the city landmark ordinance, which designated the team could not change the uninterrupted sweep of the bleachers".
    The city council amended the ordinance last year, giving the Cubs the right to construct two signs in left field and right field.

  • In reply to Justin W:

    I have not seen the contract, so I do not know if it calls for the Cubs to provide an unobstructed view. Nor have I seen it reliably reported as such.

    Can you tell us exactly what the wording is in the contract?

  • This seems so misguided.

  • As a cubs fan I never understood the rooftops being so loved. It looks like a bad game experience, and I hear its very expensive. People say you can't see anything in the first place. I have a question, people say they have a contract but what does the cubs gain from the roof tops besides money that they are already sealing ? I thought in a partnership both have to bring something to the table ?

  • well I am Calgary and don't get back home to the Midwest much , but if I do and am lucky to get to Chicago for a game count me in on the boycott.

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    First they needed to put more advertising in order to compete. Then they needed to expand the bleachers in order to compete. Then they needed more night games to compete. Now, they can't compete because of the rooftops. B.S. Wake up. The Ricketts are just trying to cash checks. They could give a flying f*&^ about competing as long as they make money. Ricketts senior has emphatically stated this. They signed a deal with the rooftops, they have to live with it. But as long as their are people stupid enough to believe the rooftops are what is keeping the Cubs from winning, the Ricketts won't have to spend money.

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    In reply to Jim Comerford:

    You're so right. The Ricketts inherited this deal with the rooftops, but they're the bad guys. They don't want to compete! That's why they hired Theo and the gang. That's why they've developed the #2 farm system in baseball. That's why they offered more than the Tigers for Anibal Sanchez.

    I understand the frustration. This team has been terrible under the Ricketts. But the future looks good. I know I'm certainly optimistic.

  • The cubs need to talk to wgn and comcast about the ads the rooftops run during games. I think Len Kasper reads at least one ad per game about the rooftops.

    "Just to be very, very clear on this point, the contract does not prevent signage in the outfield. At all. Full stop,” Kenney told ESPN. “What prevented signs in the outfield was the old landmark ordinance, which has been changed … The rooftops say all the time, ‘Our contract doesn’t allow signage,’ but that’s not true.”

    If what Kenney is saying is true then let the rooftops sue and they will lose in court. It appears that the rooftops thought that the old landmark ordinance would ever change. It would be nice if either side made the contract public.

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    It is a lot more complex than whether or not the lawsuit will succeed, and even more complex than the contract itself.

    The rooftop owners can sue for a review of the changes to the zoning laws that prevented signage (it is more than merely landmark status). They would probably lose, but in the meantime they might get an injunction that prevents continuation of half completed construction. Then they could sue on any number of issues that would delay an already started construction. There are an immense number of Federal laws and regulations that could be used to hold things up. These tactics have been used by various activist groups to hold up construction of roads, dams, nuclear plants and whatnot, and can be extremely successful in delaying construction and adding cost to a project.

  • Umm. . . I'd like to see the rooftop situation resolved and have the Cubs generate additional revenue as much as the next fan, but it's really not helpful or very informed to just close your eyes and say, essentially, "I don't care if there's a valid contract with the rooftop owners or whether they have legal rights, I just want them to go away!!"

    Love 'em or hate 'em, the rooftop folks appear to have a binding contract that gives them real property rights. Some of them may have bought these buildings based on a business plan predicated on the revenue generated by views guaranteed by that contract with the Cubs. Why is it fair to just tell them to take a hike and absorb having their investment and business plan ruined because the Cubs changed course? Contracts just don't work that way, and I'm guessing if the Cubs had an easy out, they would have taken it by now, but the fact that this is still going round-n-round shows the Cubs lawyers probably know they are going to lose this if it goes to court.

    I have absolutely no idea if the rooftop owners are bargaining in good faith to come up with a win / win compromise. But I have no idea if the Cubs are doing the same. But one of the best Cubs' blogs just telling the rooftop owners to go away really accomplishes nothing and just contributes to misinformation.

  • In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    None of the people on this board are parties to said contract. Why shouldn't we try to bring public pressure to bear to force them to take less to get out of the way and let the Cubs move into the 21st century?

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I'm not saying a boycott is wrong -- everyone has a right to spend their dollars wherever they want, and I'm not trying to defend the behavior of the rooftop owners. But I'm perturbed by the presumption that the Cubs are in the right here and the rooftop owners are in the wrong. I love the Cubs and want them to succeed, but it just feel unethical to me to advocate for ignoring a valid contract. Business is business, and the Cubs need to sleep in the bed they made with this contract or they need to find a way to satisfy the rooftop owners if they want to abrogate the contract.

  • In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    I guess I don't understand how Julie and John's proposal in any way ignores a valid contract.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Julie and John are certainly free to propose the boycott. I'm just saying that it's not clear to me why the rooftop owners should be the focus of the boycott and not the Cubs themselves. That's the presumption I'm talking about -- that the rooftop owners are the bad guys here. The contract is a black-and-white, legal document and that, to me, makes the Cubs just as responsible for finding a solution as the rooftop owners. And just putting pressure on one side through a boycott seems unproductive, and also a bit unethical to pretend to be blind to Cubs' contractual obligations.

  • In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    Nobody is stopping the rooftops from selling admission to see the ballpark from their buildings. The Cubs want to put up signs, which they have the complete legal right to do.

  • In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    I see nothing unethical about it. I don't owe the rooftop owners a thing, and I am personally invested in the success of the Cubs. Their contract doesn't impose an ethical obligation on any of us.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Good point, nothing like a little pressure on the old bottom line to get the ball rolling.

  • Tribune's lawyers couldn't have been too stupid. Even so, Ricketts bought the club knowing what that contract was. I would love for this to be all behind us and I'm no fan of what the rooftops have turned into, but neither do I approve of steamrolling the little guys for the greater corporate good. The buyout of that contract must have a price, Ricketts probably just doesn't want to pay it. Having said that, wouldn't surprise me if both sides weren't playing dirty.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    So correct. When Ricketts bought the Cubs he knew from day one it would be a "buy out" the rooftop contract or go to court. The protest should be against the Cubs and Rooftops. This thing could be dragged out in court for 2-3 years.

  • It's all about money, money and money. I hope they block there view.
    %18 is not enough.

  • Count me in! Whether the cubs are right or wrong, we need the revenue from the advertising, and I'd like to win while I'm alive. I'm sick of trading money and talent for the ballpark's 'charm.' The rooftop's will still be viable even with obstructed views, because they are already partially obstructed and they've flourished already. That neighborhood loves the business the cubs bring in, yet they cry anytime they want to add anything(night games, seats, advertising, etc.) or make more money. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

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    Jonn and Company a couple points.

    First off If Im going to spend $100 - it will be on a box seat.
    The rooftops are a novelty for corporate parties etc.

    When we talk about the contract that was signed - It was Crane Kenney handling it. So when Rickets purchased he knew what the terms were. Which are the the rooftops pay 20% of the Gross (not net) which equates to around $3.5 million per year - not a huge sum, but real money. To put the $3.5 million in prospective - the Cubs get about $800K for the Toyota sign - so you would need a lot of signage to attain that $3.5.

    In my opinion this is all PR and negotiations and the Cubs are killing the rooftops on The PR side as is evident on this site. At the end of the day - they want to drive the rooftops out of business and buy them for .20 cents on the dollar and own that stream of gross revenue as well.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    The Cubs already have a deal for the Budweiser sign, 14 million a year. The video board would be good for 30-50 million by most estimates.

  • Where do you get the estimate of 30-50M for the jumbotron? That's seems way to high.

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    those are absolutely positively false numbers

    not reality.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    I have seen reports that the Jumbotron alone would be worth 140 million over ten years, or 14 million per year.

    But there are other ways of bringing in money streams that would also let the Cubs better compete in a financial sense. I have seen estimates that selling naming rights to the stadium would bring in more than 20 million per year.

    In the long run, the Cubs would probably be better served by a new stadium in the suburbs that would bring in parking revenue, greater off season event revenue, vastly more luxury box revenue, and countless other money streams.

  • The big thing for everyone to think about is remember who was mayor when the original contract was negotiated with the City's help and signed (and their allegiances for baseball) versus who is mayor today.

  • This is a divorce with a poorly written prenup.

  • At the risk of offending some (hopefully not), I do not understand the thinking behind some of these posts. Any argument against a boycott that relies on the notion that the Cubs and the rooftop owner have a valid contract misses the point entirely. Nowhere in the article does John suggest that the Cubs intentionally breach their contract (whatever its terms may be). What he suggest is that non-parties to the contract - us Cubs fans - exert some pressure on the rooftop owners by not patronizing their businesses. We Cub fans don't owe any contractual or other duty to the rooftop owners, and frankly I don't feel responsible for making sure they obtain a healthy return on their investment. So what if they bought or upgraded their property in anticipation of future revenue. That's an investment decision they made based on a contract WITH THE CUBS, not me or anyone else. A group of fans decision to boycott them based on their commercial behavior is no different than a boycott of any other business which conducts itself in a manner offensive to the boycotters.

    In the spirit of John's usual fair mindedness, this nonsense about contractual rights got me thinking about what duty any of us might owe the rooftop owners, being that we didn't sign a contract with them. There is a civil claim called tortious interference with contractual relations in Illinois. Usually, this is where someone knowingly works to undermine or otherwise interfere with a contract between two other parties, but the suggested boycott against the rooftop owners would be quite a stretch to claim that here, to put it mildly.

  • In reply to JerryMartin28:

    This is excellent!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    The only one getting in the way of the Cubs competing is the organization itself. You are projecting your anger for the Cubs onto the Rooftops. The Rooftops where around in '03 no? How about those back to back titles in '07 and '08? Who took over in '09? The boycott is absurd.

  • In reply to JerryMartin28:

    Yes, boycott away. I'm not telling you to do otherwise if that's your opinion of the situation. You certainly have that right and we make decisions all the time about where we spend our hard-earned dollars. I've never been to a rooftop and have absolutely no desire to go -- I'd much rather be in Wrigley itself. So none of us owe anything to the rooftop owners. But nor do we owe anything to the Cubs in this arena. And it just galls me to have people pick sides with the Cubs and push them to ignore the ethical obligations inherent in a contract or between two businesses.

  • In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    I agree with what I am inferring your view is that there is great societal importance to the validity of and enforcement of contracts. But I don't know what the contract says, so I cant be galled by anything either party is doing to avoid their obligations under it. Are you aware of what the contract says (no snark intended, honest)? If the Cubs are doing something wrong, the rooftop owners can sue them. That's what courts are for. But as a non-contract party, I don't really care. I trust the courts will provide an appropriate remedy to the rooftop owners if the Cubs have done something egregious or "galling" and I would support that outcome. Having said that, even if I was galled, I want the Cubs to win, and in my view, the rooftop owners are making that harder for the Cubs to do. So I support a boycott.

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    In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    Maybe sides are not being picked. This may only be the start of something bigger or nothing at all. I've seen plenty of folks say that they were giving up their season tickets because of the Cubs performance. There were plenty that agreed with this stance.

    But now that some may want to boycott the rooftop owners, you want us to take a minute to reflect upon such a move? You pick your battles and you move on. So maybe first we get this rooftop isuue resolved for good and then we move on to something else.

    This is one thing fans can definitely fix buy boycotting these rooftop owners business'.

  • In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    I agree with you in as much as not doing harm to the rooftop owners, that said, I am proposing we put pressure on them only to get a deal done with the Cubs to get the project going forward. Perhaps a united front by Cub fans can get that done. There has to be some common ground here that both sides can live with.

  • In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    Agreed. The other issue I have is if the rooftops keep a jumbotron out of the park other season or two, I'm all for it. I hate jumbotrons with passion.

  • In reply to JerryMartin28:

    Tortious interference applies only in situations where a third party induces one of the parties to the contract to breach. That's not being proposed here.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Agreed. That's why I concluded my post the way I did.

  • In reply to JerryMartin28:

    Agreed - I know I didn't sign a contract with any of the parties,.... I suspect nobody here did.

  • I've been on a rooftop once. That was waaaay back in 1984 for the playoffs Cubs vs Padres. There weren't any bleachers or anything on the rooftops back then. My friend was from San Diego, and his cousin was an attorney for the Cubby Bear. It was exciting seeing game 1 where the Cubs blasted the Padres 13-0.

    I definitely would boycott the rooftops and I'd like to see rooftop boycot t-shirts made up because I would gladly purchase one.

  • I agree with the sentiment of the boycott. The rooftop owners may have a contract but they are distorting the intent of the contract IMO. I think the original intent must have been for the rooftop owners to not take away from the ability of the cubs to fulfill their obligation to put a competitive team on the field. By their recent actions they have infringed on the profitability of the cubs and therefore weakened the ability of the cubs to attract free agents which is a vital component of a competitive team.

  • I wouldn't step foot on a rooftop even if I was taken there for free

  • Great quote from Jay. I've been using that line waaaaaay too much lately.

  • Thoughts in bullets, in no particular order:

    - I support the boycott, but only to help the Cubs. Overall I think the rooftops are a neat, unique experience, in the grand scheme.

    - However I think that most folks who buy rooftop tickets don't really care that much about the Cubs in the first place.

    - In an ideal world I think the Cubs would buy the rooftop properties. It's a "free" way to expand stadium seating, so to speak, and if this were the case I think it'd truly be a cool experience when going to a Cubs game.

    - If the Cubs bought that rooftop that's currently for sale, wouldn't they all of a sudden have a seat in the big, famous Rooftops Owners Association? Just sayin'...

    - Fact of the matter is, the rooftops have a contract that must at least have some merit, because otherwise the Cubs would have moved forward a long time ago.

    - I think the rooftops are throwing away any chance of having positive relations come 2023.

    - The Cubs were stupid to take moving away from Wrigley off the table. That's huge leverage.

    And in unrelated news:

    - I heard that the Yankees signed some Japanese pitcher. What was that about? Anyone know?

  • Wow. From a blog that nails the unemotional, measured response every time, this is an unbelievably irrational, emotional response to a situation the OP admittedly knows nothing about. (full disclosure: I've never been on the rooftops, I don't have any plans to be on the rooftops and I want the Owners of this club to provide all available resources to make it better too). But I'm completely prepared to give them (the rooftop owners) their chance in court or provide the benefit of the doubt for them to get the best terms they can from a billionaire owner who can spend anytime they want on other measures to improve the ballpark, its surrounding facilities and the team.

  • john..... I have never sat on roof tops even though it looks like fun. How can you defend/ support the statement that roof tops are interfering with the cubs being able to compete. I have never seen the rooftops strike out or groove a fast ball. Please explain that thinking.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Current proceeds from 17% revenue share with rooftops nets $3.5 mil.

    A video board is estimated to bring in $30 to $50 mil.

    That means the Cubs could expect an additional $30+ mil a year to spend on players. $30 mil buys you Clayton Kershaw and he strikes out a lot of people.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Ok I understand extra money but we have ads up at wrigley, higher tix prices and holding concerts at wrigley. That should be extra money. And the quote from john that it is keeping us from being competitive is very laughable. It sounds like sour grapes to me. Let's focus on new manager, prospects and spring training. Let's improve on field product. Instead of grabbing for a fall guy.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    "And the quote from john that it is keeping us from being competitive is very laughable."

    It is not laughable at all. The Cubs are going to need additional revenues to be able to sustain success at the big league level. Sure they have a lot of nice prospects, but they are not all going to pan out and there are going to be areas that you will have to fill through free agency. There are going to be times where you will need to outbid a team like the Yankees or Dodgers for that player that puts you over the top, and there will be a time when all these great prospects are eventually going to be elgible for Free Agency, that you will need money to keep them as part of your core.
    The Cubs continued problems with being able to move forward with the renovations at Wrigley are going to hamper them being able to do that, because the additional revenue streams will not be there.
    Since this process started I think the smartest thing that the Cubs could have done was move the team out to the Suburbs, because there are too many parties that have leverage over what they do at Wrigley, and none of them are paticularly interested in anything other than making sure that the Cubs continue be their personal ATM.

    I say if the Rooftop owners want an unobstructed view, then give them one, but make it of an empty stadium.

  • In reply to Richard Madsen:

    I feel like ppl r reaching out to blame someone. Bottom line is cubs have done a terrible cub drafting and picking the right free agents to sign and spent dumb money there. No other team has a roof top income so it can be done. Then the cubs shouldn't have signed a contract with the roof tops. If they move they still don't get the extra income to sign those prospects when they become FA so it doesn't matter put focus on us getting better not whining

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It's so refreshing to see a Cub fan speak candidly about this situation.

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    In reply to radstarr:

    I agree. Roof top owners stopped us from signing Tanaka.

    Rickets PR firm is earning every freaking dollar.

    Wow.....I have heard it all.

    FYI.....I don't go to rooftops or know anyone who does.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    John is right. It IS keeping us from being competitive.

    Many other teams are reaping the benefits of new TV deals (Dodgers to the tune of $7 BILLION over 25 years. Meanwhile the Cubs are stuck with WGN and Comcast, who are substantially below market value.

    The advertising on the Jumbotron would help bridge the huge chasm between what the Cubs are able to accrue via TV rights and what other team can. Basically, the Cubs need this to be able to fund a healthy payroll while Ricketts is paying off the debt from the purchase.

    There's no fall guy. It's basic economics, and the rooftops are hamstringing the Cubs' efforts dramatically.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    C'mon now. You know better than that. The Cubs are trying to maximize the revenue that they can draw from the ballpark. That revenue is presumably going to be put back into the ballclub. That's the way it was done in Boston. In Chicago, they have a huge roadblock from trying to achieve what every ball club in baseball does, maximize revenue. The Cubs draw a significantly higher percentage of their revenue from their attendance than any other club. That puts them at a disadvantage.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think you need to take a step back and got caught in heat of moment when u made a over the top statement. No other team has a roof top income and they have won World Series. To blame roof tops for cubs not being competitive sounds funny. Bottom line is cubs shouldn't have signed a contract with roof tops. Also the roof top owner r not in charge if drafting and signing FA. What is next too many day games? If they move to suburbs they still won't get any roof top income but can have the biggest jumbo tron ever. Sounds like frustration over Yankees offering more.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Not what I said.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    They are getting in the way of the cubs competing.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    “I think you need to take a step back and got caught in heat of moment when u made a over the top statement.”

    What is “over the top” of this is hindering the ability to add needed revenue? I guess you think, as so many Americans now think, that anyone who is “rich” just hoards money and all they can ever think of is adding more and more money to their bank account.

    “No other team has a roof top income and they have won World Series. To blame roof tops for cubs not being competitive sounds funny.”

    Except, John said nothing of the kind.

    “Bottom line is cubs shouldn't have signed a contract with roof tops.”

    Actual bottom line is they did, but that doesn’t change the dynamics of today’s MLB competitive market and revenue needs.

    “Also the roof top owner r not in charge if drafting and signing FA. What is next too many day games? If they move to suburbs they still won't get any roof top income but can have the biggest jumbo tron ever. Sounds like frustration over Yankees offering more.”

    This was in play way before the Yankees offer. That’s a mere deflection.

  • Great article, John. And I think Michael Canter may be on to something. Can the rooftops legally sell tickets to watch the game indoors on TV?

    Let's get the signs posted of any business owned by the rooftoppers - AND THEN BOYCOTT - the businesses wherever they are in Lakeview and the rooftops.

    We can't let a few greedy people hamper the Cubs effort to put the best team on the field for their fans.

  • My apologies if I went so far as to call a boycott unethical -- that was not my intent to disparage the motives of those proposing it. I am a strong believer in people exercising their free speech in this way, and if people want to put pressure on the rooftop owners, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that tactic, even if I disagree with the reasoning.

    I guess I'm feeling that it's the Cubs are being unethical by -- apparently -- trying to steamroll the rooftop owners and ignore the contract that was signed in good-faith many years ago. The hidden nature of the negotiations means we really have no idea who has offered what and if one side or the other is being a roadblock. So maybe the Cubs have offered a lot in return and the rooftop owners aren't giving in on anything -- that could certainly be the case.

    But, from the Cubs public comments, they seem to continue to take issue with validity of the rooftop owners' claims, and I don't like that. A contract is a contract and the Cubs have to deal with it.

    But more than anything, I'm tired of the excuses from the Cubs about not being able to move forward on anything in their so-called business plan. They need to do what they need to do to get the deal done, and I don't get the sense that's happening. I think continuing to demonize the rooftop owners only pushes them further into a corner and really isn't productive at this point. That's my complaint about the boycott idea, but it certainly isn't unethical and I'm sorry again for saying otherwise.

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    In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    One interesting twist in the contract the cubs have with the rooftops. The contract calls for nothing being done to the structure off the ballpark that roils obstruct views. It specifically does not cover the possibility of signage or scoreboards, since those were already covered by city landmark ordinance. The contract didn't need it. But the landmarks commission has now waived that restriction - meaning the cubs can build a sign or scoreboard with the city's blessing, and it is technically not prohibited by the contract. Doesn't mean the rooftops won't try to have it implicitly read in to the spirit of the deal.

  • In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    There is nothing unethical about walking away (breaking) a contract that you no longer feel is to your advantage. It isn't a marriage. It's a commercial agreement. If one side (the Cubs) wants to walk away from it before it expires, they are free to do so and there is nothing unethical about it. If the Cubs breach the terms of a contract, they will have to pay the rooftops for any loss of income they suffer that they can prove occurred because of the breach. If people continue to go to the rooftops after the renovations, there is no loss of income and therefore no damages. The rooftops will have to prove that the Cubs broke the agreement and that they suffered commercial losses because of it. That's what the courts are for.

    Conditions change and businesses walk away from contracts all the time. There is nothing shameful or unethical about it. It's business. That's all.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    Well said.

    Its not personal, Sonny. Its just business.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    Well, it all depends on how the contract is written. Some contain out-clauses, others don't, and some can include significant damages above and beyond lost revenue if one party walks away from its obligations. But I agree with your general point and that's really what I'm advocating for -- the Cubs are likely to be legally bound to make the rooftop owners whole, per the terms of the contract, and the longer the Cubs keep pushing off that day and keep refusing to deal with the reality of breaching the contract, the longer it is until they put this behind them and move forward with Crane Kenney's wonderful business plan. To me, the boycott just supports this unproductive behavior by the Cubs, and I'd much rather see Cubs fans put pressure on the Cubs to start dealing with reality and moving forward.

  • In reply to MarbleMountaineer:

    I like the previous comment of building a new stadium in the suburbs where there is plenty of room to do whatever the Cubs want to. Plus they will have much less taxes to pay. Let the rooftop guys have their view.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    Good stuff, Joe.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks!

  • Never been. Don't plan to.
    Their business has to have been severely affected the last couple of years. But, no tears from me.

    I realize they have huge investments in their buildings that need to be covered. These investments were based upon a valid long term contract. So the Cubs share some blame here as well. That being said, I'm tired of the drama from the neighborhood. Property values have skyrocketed because of the Cubs. No thanks for that. Screw em all and get on the phone with the mayor of Arlington Hgts...now.

  • Couldn't agree more with the boycott. It's absolutely ridiculous that we are still even discussing this. Only in Chicago can a business that wants to spend its own money to improve its product have to jump through so many hoops to do so. I remember when you would see just a few people up there drinking beers and watching the game. It has turned into big business and has made many of those building/business owners very wealthy. They were paying the cubs nothing for years. The Cubs are doing something wrong because we have seen other Chicago teams over the years get state and city money to help fund there stadiums. The Ricketts want to spend there own and they can't. If I were them I wouldn't start construction until there is agreements on every front. But until that time we are the one's that are hurt. The true fans waiting through another rebuild. This just slows the extra revenues needed. Why wouldn't Tanaka pick the Yankees? Same old story here. But in the same breath I could never not be a Cub fan. It's part of me. And I will absolutely be here now and when we win that title.....just not on a rooftop!

  • fb_avatar

    This is OT, but brings to light how the game is changed.

    This week, 25 years ago, the Dodgers agreed to a new contract extension with Orel Hershiser. This was coming off a 1988 season, where Hershiser won 23 games, the NL Cy Young award, and posted a 1.04 ERA in the playoffs while leading the Dodgers to a World Series Championship. Hershiser was a model teammate, and perfect fact to the franchise.

    Justifiably, the Dodgers decided to make Hershiser not just the highest paid pitcher, but the highest paid player in all of baseball.

    3 years, $7.9 mil.

    Boy, how times have changed!!!!!

  • In reply to Zonk:

    For perspective - even adjusted for inflation that would still only be an 18mm deal. That IS crazy.

  • I have not been to a rooftop since 2009 when we had my brothers' 40th birthday party, and the rooftop owner WAY oversold for the game. They were so overcrowded that there was no room to actually watch the game from anywhere but the indoor party room. Those guys are cut throat - they understood even 4 years ago they had adding business and were going to bleed every last dollar they could out of it. So boycott away.

    John - do you think that the rooftops have hindered the Cubs rebuilding plans to date? I had gotten the sense that you felt Theo had the money he wanted to spend, and it was a matter of Theo just not thinking the right players were there to spend their money on (with exception of their failed attempts with Ryu, Sanchez and tanaka)?

  • Let me understand this. So the Cubs have money to spend, but for reasonable strategic reasons refuse to spend in the short term. The Cubs freely entered into a contract with the rooftop owners to be paid a portion of the profits that the rooftop owners make. This has resulted in even more money that the Cubs (for reasonable strategic reasons) refuse to spend in the short term. But the Cubs want to break that contract in order to make even more money that (for reasonable strategic reasons) they won't spend in the short term.

    Sounds like a fight between millionaires and multi-millionaires. So it's hard to mustard up much passion for either side. But I'm sure neither side will be wont of resources to hire lawyers to eventually come to an agreement that will probably involve the multi-millionaires paying the millionaires a little extra so the multi-millionaires can make a lot extra. That's capitalism. C'est la vie.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Well said.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    I don't care about who is who in the fight. I don't owe anyone anything. I only care what benefits the Cubs. That is my interest.

    As consumers we have the right to not patronize any business for any reason.

    C'est la vie!!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    In a democratic capitalistic world, a very defensible stand. And in a bar-room fight, a very typical stance: my side right or wrong.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Consumers can boycott whatever they want to boycott. Attempts to assign right or wrong to it are silly.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Now you are just "grunting" self-contradictions. Your original article states you think the rooftop owners are wrong to stand in the way of Cubs wishes and the team's need "to compete." So to now say determining "right or wrong" has nothing to do with your consumer stance is fairly nonsensical, as it is the complete basis of your (or any) boycott.

    You are completely fine to boycott anything, but it's silly to say you are immune from anyone judging whether it's based on right or wrong thinking. To use an extreme: There were racist fans (consumers) who boycotted the Brooklyn Dodgers for letting Jackie Robinson break baseball's color barrier. Is it "silly" to assign right or wrong to the basis of that consumer boycott?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I am a first time poster.

    I agree with the boycott. The man wants to spend his own money on making his product better and more competitive let him do it.

    BTW, I used to share season tickets at Wrigley for 17 years, and didnt renew my share before the 2013 season. I will not spend money to see a horrible team. I understand the rebuild, but cant watch the Cubs. Last year was the 1st year I didnt attend one home game, and I am reasonably sure i wont attend one this year. I used to see at least 20 games a season. I love baseball and travel for work, so I prefer to see the Cards (cheer against them), Tigers, Tribe, or Rangers home games, where they field a quality product.

    I have also been on the rooftops. The experience there is not about the game, its about the event that you attend. Its my opinion that signage wont impact the rooftop experience as much as a bad team will. I personally believe that the RTO are putting pressure on the Cubs knowing that when this contract expires, the Cubs will not renew the contract, and there will be bigger issues forthcoming. All this posturing is doing is preventing the Cubs from fielding a quality team and making WF a better facility, thus hurting us fans.

    Its a pretty simple decision.

  • Report Garza signs with the Brew Crew

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    In reply to cubbybear7753:

    4 years, $52 mil.......clearly injury concerns, I would have predicted more money

    That's the exact same as Edwin Jackson's contract.....I think Garza is better

    On the other hand, the trade we made with Texas looks better and better....

    On a side note, I can't figure out what the Brewers are trying to do right now. They get as starting pitcher, which they really needed, but couldn't get anyone better than Overbay/Reynolds at 1B?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    For literally half the price of Tanaka (assuming Tanaka is any good and chooses to opt out after 4 years), I think that was a great price for Garza. Theo and Jed were sleeping on that deal.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    I think some sort of bridge was burned with Garza.....not sure what it was, but didn't seem like a reunion was in the cards at all... can't put my finger on it, but something is there

    Garza has been very good while on mound, but injury risks loom large, particularly since he's had more than 1 elbow problem

  • Also, who wants to watch a pitched ball from a city block away? The appeal of the rooftops always seemed more alcoholic romance than reality. If you are a baseball lover, you want to see the game upclose or on TV.

    ... but if you offered me a free blimp ride, I might be persuaded to toss purism aside.

  • I just don't see how boycotting the rooftop owners does anything positive for either side. All legal/ contract issues aside, if the cubs were so desperate to rebuild and bring the stadium into the next century why does the Ricketts family not just buy them all out? Is that not the prudent thing to do here to speed things up? If they did that I really wouldn't have a valid argument against them not spending on FA and skimping so much.

    Now I am not advocating to go out and spend 300 mil in one offseason, because I do believe in the plan that Theo and Hoyer have at the moment. BUT I refuse to pay a top 5 ticket price for an inferior product at the same time. If the CSN report is true that the cubs only offered 120 to Tanaka it pisses me off all the much more over this argument. The fact is that the Cubs haven't been competitive in recent years. I could see 3 games at Kane County for the price of one Cubs game. Which is why I go there instead. It's not because I'm not a fan or hate the team, but if they aren't willing to invest something into the major league roster, then I don't feel obligated to go see a game there and spend my time and money. Does that make me a bad fan? I just don't have a whole lot of disposable income.

    I'm sick of this constant argument... I'm sick of the two sides jockeying for the upper hand in negotiations regardless of who has the legal right. Stop the bickering and nut up. Buy them out or move the team. I just can't stand this whole argument of blaming one side or the other. And Wrigley NEEDS to be renovated regardless, we NEED more revenue sources. JUST DO SOMETHING!!! I want to see a winner on the field or at least a competitive exciting team. That hasn't happened the last 2 years in my opinion. My patience is running out. The next 2 years will be a defining time for Theo and his plan. I'm hoping for the best. I want to get into the playoffs again and get closer than in '03. I'll be patient for the waves to come, but my patience is waning more and more. I just want to see a competitive Major League roster again. I would still go to the rooftops. Its not my fault because it's more financially prudent for me to do so because I save at least $100 than if I went inside Wrigley. It also doesn't make me a bad fan. (which is what the vibe I feel I'd get for my opinion). That's just how I feel. I enjoy watching the games from that view/ angle because its different and much more affordable. Its not my fault the Cubs botched the negotiations in the first place. I'm not saying I'm right or wrong in this instance it's just my opinion.

    All I want at the end of the day is a competitive Cubs squad. Buy them out or move the team. Stop holding us fans hostage because of a bad contract that someone signed way back when. It's on the Cubs and the rooftop owners to move forward from this somehow. If they move the rooftop owners are finished anyways... Just make a decision and commit!!!

  • I generally agree with Backtothefuture15's sentiment. First and foremost I am a Cubs fan, I want a World Series winner here. Over the years, I have been to a few of the rooftops as a guest (I saw the 2004 Red Sox/Cubs Saturday game from a rooftop as a guest, Cubs won, I was with Red Sox fans). They can be fun and add to the Wrigley experience (I think it was Tom Browning with the Reds who during the game (he was not pitrching) left the ballpark and was spotted on the Murphy's rooftop in the 7th inning. That was funny. Neverthless, if I never went to one again, that would be ok. Being at a rooftop is not the same as being at the game, the game is background. It's a party, which is fine, but IMO you are not "at the game".

    A bit of perspective...when I go the ballgame, I want to be at the game, watch what is happening on the field, talk with other fans about the action. I have been coming to Wrigley Field since the early '70s. One summer in summer school, I lived near the park and saw close to 40 games. As a newly wed, I lived just north of the left field wall on Kenmore where two of my kids were born. Prior to the most recent Wrigley rehab, I attended one of the community meetings where Paul McDonough spoke. He commented it was the first time, he or any Cub official had been to such a meeting in 10 years (he was proud to be "back", I thought is bad that a Cub official had not been therte i so long, it seemed like they took the neighbors for granted).

    John, this is a great blog your articles and the posts are probably some of the best in all of baseball. However, you may remember several weeks ago I posted a question about why weren't the Cubs going to do something to benefit the fans (i.e. a price cut for tickets), the Cubs knowing they are fielding an inferior product during this very legitimate rebuilding process. The point was, the White Sox did it, they lowered ticket prices. Where is the Cubs' gesture to their long suffering fans (count me as one of them). Your response was that this blog did not really address those types of issues. This issue seems to be front and center here. If I want to buy good seats (a friend has season tickets I buy from time to time) and take my kids to the game, it is a $500 outing. Even in lesser seats, it is very expensive.

    The Cubs need to do whatever is necessary to bring a winner to this town and be fair to their very loyal fans. As Cub fans we have paid the Cubs' very high prices and suffered generations of the Cubs' bad decisions. As between the Cubs and the Rooftop Owners, there is plenty of blame to go around.

    The Rooftop Owners are playing hardball, they certainly can do that if they want to (probably short sighted when they are looking to renew in 10 years). Both the Cubs and the Rooftop owners had lots of very good lawyers work on the deal when it was signed and the same is true now. This is not a David and Goliath scenario (recall the negoations that lead up to the Cubs/Rooftop Owner agreement)

    A boycott is fine, as noted above, I don't even really like the rooftops. Likewise, if the Cubs want to breach their agreement with Rooftop Owners, that is fine too. As has been alluded to by others, there is nothing wrong with breaching a contract, you just have to be prepared to pay for it. The hard part is figuring out how much. Why not just build the signs and let the owners prove how it impacts their revenue?

    The waiting game to resolve this with the Rooftop owners is not fair to the fans if the absence of this development revenue is going to be an excuse not to make the Cubs as competitive as soon as reasonably possible. There is real progress in the developing player picture and the fans are prepared to wait, but Cubs have paid a lot an dbeen through a lot. The Cubs need to take some short term steps show their fans something.

  • They could give me and my family free seats for our entire life and WE WOULD NOT TAKE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And we are just middle class peoples. I wish the Rickett's would just buy their property or move out. I am so sick of the whole BS of the ROOFTOP owners. It's Chicago's politics at it's normal. I hope hey lose in the lawsuit's.

  • Perhaps some believe that the "rooftop experience" is like the ambiance of Starbucks. Women are the predominant customers because they are not just buying a cup of coffee, but buying something more significant, including atmosphere and the cup holder. It also might be the reverse ambiance, in that one might be allowed to be less guarded in their behavior on the roof tops. Don't know!

    What I do know is that as a kid, I tried a little trick. My neighbors, brothers Tom and Dave and I decided we were going to pry some boards loose at the local drive-in nearby and watch the movie for free. We accomplished this with much difficulty but that night swung the boards aside and watched a horror movie named "Macabre". We got caught for trespassing, vandalism, and stealing licensed property.

    This probably started the same way. If watching a game from your apartment window, or having a few friends in was acceptable, it was acceptable because logic would dictate that on no basis was it worth pursuing, and was indeed of questionable offense. When the neighborhood set up lawn chairs on the rooftops, it became an issue more along the lines of theft of product. If an agreement was signed, then it was a mistake, because I am certain interested parties decided that taking advantage of the legal latitudes could financially benefit them. It all goes haywire based on the foundation of reasonable permissions, now largely violated. In truth, if they are selling seats, the Cubs should get half of the sales receipts. But now, it interferes with the teams future and competitiveness. It is beyond just contentious!

  • I'm all for the boycott. Screw the greedy rooftop leeches. On the other hand . . .

    I have to say that Ricketts is pissing me off too. He's like a spoiled cry baby. Rham and the City bend over backwards, give him just about everything he wants, and now he won't spend nickel one on the rehab til the rooftops knuckle under? Oh, the revenue from the Jumbotron and the big sign is right field is supposed to pay for the rehab?

    Well, does any one know how much revenue that Jumbotron and RF sign are going to generate? Last summer when the Jumbotron design was unveiled the Trib did a story that estimated -- if I recall correctly -- that it would generate about $5 million a year. That's it. Now let's assume the RF sign generates the same -- and better yet, let's double both to $20 million a year.

    $20 million is nothing to sneeze at, but C'mon! In this industry, $20M is chump change. The whole thing is supposedly tied up in knots over $20M p/yr? Please.

    I'm telling you, I'm beginning to sense that Ricketts is most interested in squeezing every dime out of Wrigley and the Cubs. And putting profit above all else: see, e.g., third highest tix prices in MLB and according to everyone's favorite Cubs beat writer, a projected opening day payroll of $65M.

    I believe in the rebuild. I believe and have confidence in Theo. But is it just possible that Ricketts is a dick?

  • Agree completely John except for one thing.

    If you're gonna throw out the "I Don't Care!" quote, you can't go with Cutler. You gotta go with Tommy Lee Jones in "The Fugitive." That's the gold standard for that quote.

    Otherwise, spot on...

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    LOL...excellent point!

  • I think the boycott should include any businesses that have company outings on the rooftops if that info is available.

    And the T shirt idea is a gem. I'd buy several.

  • As a teetotaller, I already had no interest in the rooftops or the neighborhood bars, as they have nothing to do with baseball. I have to put up with enough drunks in the grandstands, I certainly don't want to surround myself with nothing but them. Same reason I haven't bought a bleacher ticket since Ryne Sandberg's last season. Now that the rooftop owners appear to be actively working against the best interests of the team (the team being the only thing I care about in the neighborhood) I have even more reason to go out of my way to never give them a penny in the future.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I agree that there nothing more annoying than a bunch of drunks ;unless, of course, one is one of them.

  • So I just read that the Brewers signed Garza to a 4 year $52 million contract. Is it just me or does that sound like a great deal compared to the Tanaka contract? Or the Edwin Jackson contract? I'm more disappointed we missed out on Garza than Tanaka!!!

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Looking at the four seasons before their deals:

    E Jackson: 11.1 WAR, 812 IP, 3.98 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9, age 29 in first year of deal

    Matt Garza: 7.2 WAR, 661 IP, 3.71 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9, age 30 in first year of deal

    Don't know why people love Garza and hate Jackson

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Those are interesting numbers. If those numbers are accurate, I'm shocked to see it. I always viewed Garza as the better pitcher by far.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Garza has been better, when healthy. One thing about Edwin, though, he's been a workhorse. Can't say that about Garza.

    FIP and advanced metrics also point to Edwin being better than he was last year. I think 2014 is a bounce back for him

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I thought the Jackson deal was a great move at the time, then he pitched 2014. I think he will turn it around and that will look like a fantastic deal at the end.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Jackson's ERA is much higher.

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    In reply to xhooper:

    This is 2014, not 2005. ERA is one of the most useless statistics for judging pitcher performance.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Thank you for putting him in his place. What was that guy thinking?

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Laugh much, Marcel?

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    In reply to Ike03:

    Thank you. I've said all along that the Jackson contract is fair and that the Cubs are getting exactly what they paid for, a durable 3/4 starter. His numbers slot in exactly for what you'd expect out of a 3/4 starter and the contract valuation is spot on.

  • When are the Cubs going to throw up their hands and seriously look at other options? I'm a 50+ year Cubs fan who wouldn't shed a tear if they took a wrecking ball to Wrigley Field and built a 21st century ballpark with freeway access, parking and a retractable roof. The thought of driving 4-5 hours only to fight city traffic and get rained on has kept me (and I'm sure others) away for years.

  • Ive bee

  • Can anyone tell me the ramifcations if the Cubs went ahead with the ballpark renovations without stopping for the baseball season? In other words playing in another place for a year or two and then get the revenue streams quicker, all the updates to the park at once, the new hotel and jobs all right now. It would also mean one or two years closer to the end of their contract. If the rooftop owners lose money for a year or two is that really all that bad?

  • Been to three different rooftops but will not go to another one. These guys do not get it. Not patronizing them seems to be a great way to get their attention.

  • I have been reading cubsden for the last 8 months. This is the first time that that I really have to disagree with an article. I think the new sign and jumbotron are a huge mistake. I know it will have a increase in revenue of about 20mil, but it comes at the cost of defacing Wrigley. Not only do i love the Cubs but I also love Wrigley Field and I think putting up a jumbotron would take a lot away from the park. So if the only way to stop this is the rooftops winning the negotiations, well then Im rooting for them. And anyone who says that the Cubs should move the team are absolutly nuts.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    Peter, unfortunately change is the only constant in baseball and life. If the Cubs are not allowed to change, they cannot compete with other teams who have the same revenue streams they are trying to get. The Yankees Dodgers Cardinals all keep getting money to spend and the Cubs are not. It creates an inequity overall but for a team like the Cubs who could have it, it is asking to be put at a disadvantage.. If you do not want the stadium to change to support the financial growth of the Cubs, then it will become a museum to Chicago baseball where they will hold two to three games a year for sentimentality. Donald Stevens would love nothing more than to build a replica for them in Rosemount. For Wrigley to stay viable it needs these changes. The rooftop owners have known this for years and are basically being obstacles to the process in effort to get a larger payout.

  • In reply to Gator:

    I don't buy the whole notion that Cubs need more/new revenue streams in order to compete. The Yankees and Dodgers are one thing, but there is NO WAY the Cardinals generate more revenue than the Cubs. The Cubs are a cash cow and one of the most profitable teams in baseball, if not all of sports. And even as to the Yankees and Dodgers, I suspect it ain't about revenue, but rather about owners willing to cough up the dough to buy the players.

  • In reply to Teddy P:

    So the fact that their TV packages bring in 100's of millions more than the Cubs deals means nothing.

  • In reply to Teddy P:

    Teddy, if we want to win the central the Cards, Reds, Pirates, and Brewers are the competition. But we want to win the WS, so the Dodgers, Yankees, and other big market teams matter, and actually matter a lot!

  • In reply to Gator:

    I like all the updates to Wrigley except the Jumbotron. There just is no need for it. They can change and update the park but some of it isnt neccesary

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    In reply to Peter Chicago:

    Your missing the point, that the Jumbotron and other additions that you don't like, are needed in order to pay for all the other renovations that have to be made.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    Moving the team is the clean way to go. Chicago is making things difficult for the Cubs to do what they want with their own property. I would love for the team to build in DuPage County. The Cubs would be able to do what they want with little interference and low taxes. The rooftop owners are not being reasonable. We should just leave.

  • In reply to John57:

    So just because a jumbotron and new sign cant be agreed on, the team should leave its biggest asset and move to the damn suberbs? It maked no sense to me and luckily the Rickets arent going for it either.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    you are a Wrigley fan not a Cubs fan , those signs will generate the income to compete on the modern baseball landscape. I could care less if the Cubs win game 7 of the world series inside Wrigley field or sloshing around in the middle of the everglades as long as they win. Cant win unless the finances can support paying the talent.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Hahaha, no I am definitly a Cubs fan. The whole point is that an extra 5mil a year from a jumbotron at the cost of defacing Wrigley isnt worth it. And being born and raised in the North side of Chicago I want the Cubs to win the world series in my home town, not the suberbs or wherever the heck else anyone wants them to move to.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    Peter, look at what the older ballparks used to look like. There wasn't a bare wall anywhere in the park that didn't have some sort of ad on it. Look at hockey rinks nowadays. See any of the boards without an "Eat at Joe's" sign?
    I thought I would hate the Under Armour sign on the gate. You know what? I don't notice anymore. As long as it is done tastefully, I can tolerate it. Ricketts has a bunch of bucks tied to this franchise and he deserves to make some money.

  • When I saw the news reports yesterday about the collapse of talks and the rooftop owners filing a lawsuit, that was the last straw for me. The first thing I thought was "I want to support a boycott of these businesses."

    I rarely get to Chicago, and I've never been to one of the rooftops, but I've always liked the idea of the neighborhood joining in the fun with the Cubs. At least until they started selling tickets and profiting off the Cubs without putting anything into the team. But ownership worked out a deal with them, and at the time it seemed to solve the problem.

    Now we've got new ownership and the current baseball economy makes it imperative for the Cubs to get as much advertising money as they can to compete. The rooftop owners are getting in the way of this, no matter what accommodations the Cubs try to make to them. So when I heard that talks broke down and the rooftops want to sue, I got pretty angry. These people are getting in the way of the Cubs' efforts to get the income they need to compete, and this is something any other team in baseball can do without having to go hat in hand to their neighbors. It's ridiculous! I'm fed up, and I have no sympathy remaining for these guys. If I lived in Chicago, I would not only boycott their businesses, I'd be tempted to make signs and go picket in front of them. Enough is enough!

  • Can someone please start a website to boycott the rooftops! I will be the first to sign up ....I sick of what the rooftops have done to the Cubs. No other baseball team in baseball has a front office that deals with this type of garbage! They should be ashamed.

  • We live in a major market, and our team should have the resources to spend like the Dodgers and the Yankees. The boycott is on!!!

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    I'd like the Cubs just to buy out the contract and buy the buildings. Be done with it all at once. Cash. Is. King.

  • In reply to Dave Boer:

    You know what that would cost? 3.5M is 17% of the annual income so your looking at around 20M a year for 10 years, the rooftops will want inflation so your looking at a 250M MINIMUM . that's just revenue not the real estate I could see a buyout minimum of 500M , Pretty sure that would set the rebuild back a year or 2 or 10.

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    Fantastic idea. I joined the facebook page.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    I thought about creating a fan page of that page. Take it to the streets! But it is cold, so take it to Facebook!

  • Negotiations can be difficult, but I find it hard to believe agreement cannot be reached with some creative thinking when all parties(Cubs,Owners,city,rooftops,fans&neighborhood would benefit.

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    Too many people still don't get it. This isn't about the legality of the contract, breaching the contract or anything like that. This is just boycotting the rooftops which could create leverage for the Cubs in negotiating with the rooftop owners. If the rooftop owners start to lose business because of the boycott, they'd be more likely to give the Cubs what they want. When they give the Cubs what the Cubs want, customers would return.

  • In reply to Kevin Knobloch:

    Exactly, not to mention their is a PR war going on and the rooftops are losing it pretty handily.

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    way way off topic, but the hall of fame announced Greg Maddux's cap will have no logo, because he "could never decide between the Cubs and Braves." A very gratifying statement, we should be humbled by it. But also odd because I remember when Andre Dawson went in as an Expo, we were told the player had no say in the cap selection, it was all up to the Hall. Rules change?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Maybe the HOF would have deferred to Andre if he were neutral.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Just another reason to like Maddux.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    ...and hate Larry Himes. He wouldn't have to decide if it wasn't for Larry, he would just be a Cub.

  • I think Kevin and other have it right on. For months, many of us have thrown around scenarios on what we think the team should do; signing Tanaka, drafting Beede, etc, etc.

    Finally, I think this gives us fans a real chance to have impact on something that means so much to us. Our collective voices and money staying in our pocket and going to other establishments sends a clear message that real Cubs fans won't stand for this any longer.

    I propose that for Opening Day 2014 an organized boycott of the rooftops and the bars would be the most effective way to get the message across. With all of the media descending on Wrigley, Mike and Mike and Murphy's and the circus atmosphere that is Opening Day, this hopefully gets some attention that the fans don't want to put up with this any more.

  • Considering I can get to a handful of games for the price of one rooftop ticket, can't say I've ever been there. Even with the selling point of unlimited food and drink, I didn't spend close to that much for a mid-April doubleheader a couple years ago in which I don't think the temperature ever climbed above 40.

    The view sucks, it's overpriced, and the people there play into the stereotype of Cub fans not knowing about the game.

    As for the businesses associated with the rooftops, well, they all lost any shot at my patronage due to a certain choice of signage a month and a half ago.

  • The rooftop issue is odd to say the least. To hold up the entire renovation project doesn't make sense. They can start with aspects of the renovation that don't involve the outfield signage. They can buy out the roof top owners. Something doesn't make sense here. Ricketts has made some great decisions since buying the team, I totally agree with the re-build, but the stadium renovation has been poorly managed from the start. From giving up all leverage at the very beginning ("we aren't moving") to the apparent implied threat of moving now ("we won't start the project with the threat of a lawsuit and injunction"), it shows surprisingly poor leadership for such a large business/enterprise. I have no problem with boycotting the rooftop owners. The issue however, is not with the rooftop owners. The issue is with the Cubs acting decisively and moving forward with the renovation.

  • In reply to ccia:

    I think the rooftop issue is complicating the entire project because of all of the money the Cubs are putting in to the rebuild. Offering to fork up $500 mil when most cities put up a fair amount (if not all) of the costs is a big gesture by the Cubs. I doubt they are doing that simply because they are really nice people. The caveat is they want the opportunity to increase their potential revenue. Of all of their proposals, the video board may be the one that has the most significant chunk of potential revenue tied to it. Without a guarantee that it will go up, management doesn't want to start sinking money into the project.

  • yea don't forget that Murphys bar had the sign that was offensive to every vet and every guy who sits inside the USS Arizona and every other grave across the world where we have left our guts and buddies so these idiots have the right to be assclowns.

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    what sign is that?

  • In reply to Dave Boer:

    Vets Day someone link a pic please?

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    I'm afraid of heights. Rooftops were never an option for me. For that matter, I used to get wobbly in the upper level at the old Chicago Stadium.

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    I think a boycott is a good gesture, but it's ultimately a futile one. It's always been my impression that the rooftops are usually rented by groups, not individuals, and for it to really work, you have to get through to the groups who usually do the renting.

    In the end, as I see it, the only real choice Ricketts has is to go "Atlas Shrugged" and move out of Wrigley Field. The rooftop owners would probably sue to make the team stay, but they'd have a harder time winning that fight. Of course, there's always the chance a corrupt Chicago judge could be bought off in the same way the rooftop owners have bought off Alderman Tunney, but that would probably only slow the move down.

    The only question for me is: "Where to go, and how best to get there?"

    There are three easy choices as to where to go, and I'll list them from easiest and most likely to the hardest and least likely.

    1. Somewhere else on the north side. This has several advantages. It keeps the Cubs near their traditional base. It's also politically doable because the move hurts the fewest possible amount of people. In fact, the only people hurt by the move are the ones causing the Cubs to move in the first place. I'd think the jobs created by the construction of a new park would be welcomed in these times of 37% REAL unemployment. There's also no real reason for the city or the state to oppose it, since they won't be losing any revenue because of it.

    2, The northwest suburbs are also a potential destination, and it's still within the Cubs traditional fan base. Moving completely out of the CROOK County has poses some political problems. The entire city's political machine could line up against the Cubs because of the loss of jobs and tax revenue, though it would be offset by support from the suburbs and down state, who would have no qualms screwing over the county and the city. Such a move affects a larger number of people.

    3. The Cubs could move out of the state, but there would only be one place to do that and still be close to their traditional fan base, and that is NW Indiana. To make a move to another part of the country is problematic. One, the number of places that can support an MLB team are limited. Two, there is MLB itself. They'd have to approve it. This is the least desirable option as it has the biggest effect in terms of people and tax revenues. It's also the least likely.

    I'm not going to lie. I'm a Cubs fan. I could care less about the city or the state. If I thought Indianapolis was viable, I'd be writing the governor and my state rep and senator every single day. Being less than 2 hours away from my favorite team in my favorite sport would be just awesome, but I think, while the Cubs need to get out of Wrigley and leave all the BS, it's better they stay in Chicago and CROOK County.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Who had 64 words before Caldwell quoted Ayn Rand? Lemme see here. Mauricio! Mauricio is the winner. Mauricio, you can pick up your new Hyundai Elantra at Felzzy's place. ;-)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    An Elantra? Man, Mauricio is going to be stylin'.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    You're killing me Smalls.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Maybe so, but the bars are supported by everyday fans. And they are losing the PR battle here. They don't have a lot of support.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, in the end, the Cubs need to be free to run their business as they see fit, and if they can't, they're going to be at a perpetual disadvantage. If they're already losing the PR amongst their traditional fan base, then maybe a much bigger move is in order. By much bigger move, I mean to a city and state that is actually growing.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Don't kid yourself Michael, they're better off in Chicago.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Short term, yes, but long term is questionable. The Dodgers and Giants moved, and it worked out. Why not the Cubs? As far as I'm concerned, if the fan base is taking the rooftop owners' side, then they deserve to lose the team.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I thought John was saying the rooftops were losing the PR battle.

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    In reply to nccubfan:

    My bad, if I misread that. I really hope the fans are lining up against the rooftop owners.

  • I got no business with these rooftop goofs.
    Sooooooo... OCCUPY ROOFTOPS!!!

  • The Misses and I went to a rooftop game a few years back with a Groupon. It was a night game in late April and cold and on a Tuesday. I love baseball but believe me this is no place to watch a game. You can't see any of the outfield plays and can't really get into the feel of the game from over right there. Plus being an old farts we really didn't mix well with the date crowd. Boycott or no boycott, if your a fan of the game you're on the wrong side of the wall on the rooftops.

  • The rooftop owners arguing with the Cubs is like a toddler arguing with his parents: you may hate them but you can't live a day without them. Parents always win.

  • In reply to DownersGroveTom:

    Well put :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The boycott is fine, and a good way to send a message.

    Separate and apart, don't the Cubs have some responsibility here (see my response to Backtothefuture15 above)? Don't they need to do something for the fans or to make sure a deal gets doen with these Rooftop Owners? I am no great fan of Telander, but interesting article in the Suntimes today.

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    Could the Cubs survive a move outside of their traditional geographical area? I think the answer to that is "yes." The Cubs might be in a unique position of being able to do it. The Cubs brand is as national as it is local and regional. Furthermore, it's been stated before on this blog that attendance, while still a major source of revenue, is not as big a chunk of the pie as it once was. TV and Radio are a far bigger chunk of the pie now.

    I'm convinced a move out of Wrigleyville is the thing to do. The only question is how far should they move.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I am convinced your obviously not from Chicago.

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    In reply to Peter Chicago:

    How'd you ever guess? I grew up as far south of Chicago as you can possibly get and still call yourself as being in Illinois, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong about the Cubs ability to survive without Wrigley Field.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Nothing againt you, but you cant just move the Cubs. That would be disasterous for the Cubs and for Chicago.

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    In reply to Peter Chicago:

    You probably aren't a whole lot different than a Brooklyn Dodgers or New York Giants fan before those teams moved. I'd bet their fans at the time would've said similar things.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    You are probably right, I love the Cubs and I dont want them to go anywhere.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    Rosemont Cubs.

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    That would be great except for the reason the Cubs want to stay at Wrigley. According to Dan Bernstein of 670theScore (and I usually don't quote him so it must be something extraordinary), the Cubs want to stay at Wrigley because they see the gentrification of the area expanding and they want the younger residents to spend, spend, spend. According Bernstein's sources, the Cubs have spent thousands of $$$ on market research and that's why they're staying. That Wrigleyville neighborhood includes the business owners....so if we're to boycott the Cubs based on the actions of Wrigleyville residents, I guess it's okay for the citizens of Peoria to boycott based on the actions of the Cubs. All's fair in love and war.

  • Was he shouting at someone as he spit out this bit of wisdom? He's a smart guy but not as smart as he thinks he is...

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    I have been to Wrigley field at least a dozen times, I have taken my kids there to watch games. Wrigley is a great place to watch a baseball game, however, the Cubs are not a great team to watch. Don't get me wrong, I love the Cubs, and I have since I was a youngster, but I'm tired of road blocks and poor decisions that have led to year after year of frustration. Once before I die, I want to see the Cubs win. I'm from the Peoria area, but now live in Orlando, Florida. I visit Illinois ever summer and I wouldn't have a problem going to another location to watch the Cubbies. No wonder Tanaka wouldn't sign with the team, look at what they have to offer: a losing team and a worn out ball park. Baseball teams move from time to time. I bet Orlando would love to build them a park.

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    Love the idea of a boycott!!!
    once we have a complete list we can circulate it.

    I've said the Cubs/Ricketts family should just make it $1 drafts for 2 hours before and after games. That would put a nice hurt on the local bar/rooftop owners.

  • I will boycott the businesses. Although I wouldn't buy a rooftop ticket as I want to see the game a little closer, I don't blame people for buying them. However, since the tactics and attitude seem to be only to stall and preserve the status quo for a short-while, I support boycotting both the businesses and the rooftop owners. While I am generally skeptical of MLB owners, it seems the Cubs are being reasonable and the rooftop owners don't care about the team or the fans and are instead focused on short-term profits. I will never, ever go to Murphy's again. Not even if it is with Mark Grace.

  • I understand that some people may think a boycott is a futile effort, but a couple of thoughts: 1). Publicity is key here. The goal isn't to bankrupt the rooftops, just to entice them to the negotiating table and come to fair deal to both sides and end this nonsense so the Cubs can added much needed revenue sources to improve the team and Wrigley. The more we can spread the message and get in the media the better, don't underestimate the impact of a credible threat. 2). It's not just the rooftops that need to be boycotted, but the bars owned by rooftop owners as well. Individuals alone and spreading the word can make an impact here. 3). If you work for a company that holds events at rooftops, approach the decision makers and suggest alternatives. Don't have to mention a boycott, just tell them the Cubs stink and we should do something else this year.

  • Jorge Soler # 49 best prospect by Mayo and Callis, mlb.com.

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    In reply to Caps:

    Not bad. Would probably be ranked much higher had he been healthy last year.

  • To those who want the details of the negotiations & how hard the Rooftops are negotiating, here is the lawsuit...

    In settlement of a copyright claim by the Chicago Cubs against the Rooftop Owners, the Chicago Cubs (“Cubs”) and the Rooftop Owners entered into a twenty-year (20) royalty agreement in 2004 which allows the Rooftop Owners to continue to operate their businesses and use certain Cubs’ trademarks in exchange for the Rooftop Owners paying the Cubs a royalty fee of seventeen percent (17%) of the Rooftop Owners’ total gross revenues (“Royalty Agreement”).

    22.Pursuant to the Royalty Agreement, the Cubs agreed not to erect windscreens or other barriers to obstruct the views of the Rooftop Owners.

    23.The Rooftop Owners pay annual royalty fees to the Cubs pursuant to the Royalty Agreement. The total annual royalty fees paid by the Rooftop Owners to the Cubs pursuant to the Royalty Agreement are approximately $2,500,000.00.

    24.The Cubs and Rooftop Owners have recently been in dispute concerning the addition of proposed signage that would block the views of the Rooftop Owners.

    http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/201479505?access_key=key-2m07wgx76zzauw4r2ju5&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    ...and here is some juicy tidbits from the negotiations, the rooftops are definitely playing hardball...

    "...talks went nowhere after the rooftops demanded: a share of revenues from any new signage placed atop their buildings; additional capacity beyond the current, 200-seats-per-club limit and a new, 30-year agreement under the same terms that call for them to share 17 percent of their revenues with the Cubs.”

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I do not understand the possibility of expanding the 200 seat capacity. What is the fire escape capacity for those rooftops? Looking at pics, they do not look like a place I would want to be if there was a fire.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    There is no chance of the rooftops getting another agreement.

    Once the current agreement is over there will be signage all across the backs of the bleachers and their views will blocked for good. $2.5MM is nothing compared to the money those signs will bring.

  • CJ Edwards 42

  • Pierce Johnson #100 , Arimendy Alcantara # 89 MLB top 100 coming out right now, only 2 cubs in 51-100 range.

  • Where is this 3.5 MIL coming from? There is no way the rooftops are pulling in 20 MIL a season - roughly 250,000 a game

  • I've always thought it was a joke that the roof top owners ever charged for people to watch. It was great when just a few people would be up on the roofs, it seemed their right for living there or being a friend of someone that lived there. If they were true cubs' fans then they would have made this deal long ago, and no true cubs fan should support them in this claim. They have made a great deal of money over the years, and would get a big chuck from a reasonable settlement. The cubs will have enough new revenue streams in the near future to overcome if this never gets resolved, but coming to a quick agreement would have only sped up the timeline to cubs success. Rooftop owners, realize how good you had it for longer than you deserved and make the reasonable and right decision.

  • The rooftops are in no way "getting in the way of the Cubs ability to compete." They are near or at the top of the league in both revenue and profit margin.

  • Here's an idea for a Jumbotron that doesn't block any of the current views of the rooftops. Temporarily take down the hand-operated scoreboard in center field. Come to agreement with the Landmarks Commission and the city of Chicago to take it down for x number of years. It probably needs to be totally rebuilt anyway. Replace said scoreboard with a Jumbotron in the same basic shape as the hand-operated scoreboard. So you could you could have a temporary video board while working out some sort of deal with the rooftop owners. Easy-peasy.

  • I believe it's time to seriously consider moving the team to a new location. On another blog, I read a comment from an older gentleman who used to be a lawyer in Chicago many years ago. He quit because he was tired of the shady and dishonest conduct by city politicians and officials. He related that to the conflict between rooftop owners and the Cubs. He suggested the Cubs move out of Wrigley so they do not have to deal with these unreasonable people- politicians, ungrateful rooftop owners, neighborhood complainers, etc.

    I've always wanted the Cubs to stay in Wrigley but after this latest fiasco I believe the Cubs should leave to a more favorable location in the suburbs. All of this ridiculous pandering and arguing threatens to seriously hinder the team's ability to improve on the field, which to me is all that really matters.

    Benefits for leaving- The Cubs would have a much better relationship with their new community, wherever they go. They would be welcomed with open arms ( hello big revenue). They could build another stadium with all of the new amenities they want while sill capturing the nostalgia of Wrigley. And maybe best of all, we can all see the looks on the faces of the rooftop owners when they realize the will not be able to make a living off of the Cubs anymore. When they realize that they should have been a little more grateful and not so greedy, when their income is reduced to 0$. And all of the neighborhood people who cry about night games, etc., can finally be happy when the Cubs are gone and their neighbor loses almost all of it's revenue capabilities, rendering the area almost irrelevant. (PS- I'm betting the park was there before you lived in your house, unless you're 100 years old. You should have known there would be inconveniences during games)

    Anyway, that's my take. Sorry for the long post but I am sick of this whole situation and needed to vent. Tom Ricketts- move the Cubs to the burbs and stick it to these greedy, unreasonable people. The true fans will stick with the team.

  • How'd it go last night? Did anyone cheat?

  • Right on John. Take a stand. I hope really there is enough hometown fan outrage to put even a little bit of hurt on these businesses.

  • I would much rather sit in the bleachers with the rest of the bums!

  • So if you were a rooftop owner that signed a contract for 20 years and invested in a building you would just pack up and say....oh darn, well if it's good for the team. That's delusional and typical Cub fan talk. They signed a BUSINESS CONTRACT for 20 years. The rooftop owners poured millions into their buildings for catering, renovations, structural support, high end seating, etc. Cub fans are hung up on the wrong issue...per usual. Boycott the TEAM. Boycott the product they are putting on the field, that's how you get progress. Boycott them for keeping Crane Kenney employed or for Tom Wreck-its having no stones to threaten to move the team. You're going to try and take on the 'Chicago Machine' with no bargaining chip?!?! The Ricketts look like a bunch of spoiled rich kids that bought a new toy and have no idea how to handle it.

    Was the deal bad for the Cubs....of course, but everyone one of you would take it as a business owner, and if you say no then you're lying to yourself. That's like if a baseball player signed a big time contact... played terrible and felt bad and decided to void his own contract. You're all mad at the wrong people.

  • In reply to bwhit:

    Not really. The fans are already showing their displeasure with the team, which is shown by decreased attendance and fewer season ticket holder renewals. Now they wish to show their displeasure with the rooftops owners. Nothing wrong with that. It's the only power they have.

  • In reply to midwestlefty:

    That's fine if you want to boycott the rooftops, but the article suggests not to care about Crane Kenney or the debacle P.R. moves Ricketts has made. How Cub fans can be complacent about Kenney blows my mind. This guy has been a nightmare since he brought in a priest to bless the dugouts. And for Tom to keep him on board doesn't bode well for confidence in the ownership decision making abilities. Be mad at the whole thing. But don't think boycotting the rooftops and going into the stadium proves anything, cause it doesn't.

  • In reply to bwhit:

    I agree with you about Kenney. I have to doubt his people skills as well as his business acumen. I didn't say that boycotting proves anything. I merely said that people are using it as a way to voice their displeasure with the process. I have no idea whether or not it will do any good. It just makes people feel a little better. And there is nothing wrong with that.

  • I think that most of the fans commenting here are just frustrated at seeing two groups who have so much to gain and lose negotiate in such a ridiculous way. We just want it over with so things can proceed. And since we cannot control how each side negotiates, we can use the one thing we can control - our patronage - to let them know we are fed up with the situation and want a solution once and for all. Sure there has to be a middle ground they can both live with. As for the lawsuit - defamation of character, really? That's what you lead with? It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

  • I suspect if the Cubs are at this same junction one yr. from now, alternate revenues[ie. locations], will need to be considered.

  • I think it's important to note that when the agreement was reached the rooftop owners definitely had public opinion on their side. They were an adorable handful of neighborhood types that weren't hurting anyone.
    Public opinion has shifted now that they are, in fact, costing the Cubs money.

  • In reply to supertecmo:

    The rooftop owners had been stealing the product and selling it for years. Join the boycott and drive them into bankruptcy.

  • What if the Cubs make their left field jumbotron a video screen on the backside facing the rooftops, and broadcast a live stream of the game. That way, the rooftop patrons have a partially obstructed view of the field, full view of the game albeit by video, and the Wrigley Field ambiance. This could be used also for concerts and other events at Wrigley. The problem is that Cubs management did sign a contract, and as much as I disagree with the rooftop companies leaching off the Cubs, a contract is a contract. I've had partial obstruction seats at events, and this would be nothing different. Feedback?

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