Tom Ricketts and the Cubs have been pretty adamant in painting the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association as the biggest culprit in the delay of renovating Wrigley Field.
The Cubs have long claimed the looming threat of lawsuits are holding up the start of construction, which in turn holds up revenue streams that can be used for on the field improvements as well.
A resolution appears imminent, according to sources.
This past week, the Rooftop Association, the Cubs, (represented by Crane Kenney and Mike Lufrano) and City Hall all sat down together and made substantial progress.
This marked the first time all 3 parties were represented at the bargaining table at once.
These negotiations have dragged on for quite some time. It now seems just about everyone involved sees a resolution, as long as rooftop owners promise no future threat of litigation, a major sticking point with Ricketts.
All along, it's been the right field facet of the roof toppers that would be more affected by the renovation proposals. Yet, the owners had to stay united. One of the stickier points in the negotiations has involved the owners of the Sheffield Ave. rooftop building the Miller Lite advertisement adorns.
I'm told, as of 2015, that signage will be phased out, per the agreement.
On that note, I'm told the Cubs have entered a ten-year, $140 million, Budweiser signage deal that includes the right field signage, as well as the Jumbotron. The Cubs simply could not have Bud's main competitor having that ad intertwined. A deal had to be reached, and was.
I'm told these negotiations need be resolved by February 1. Tuesday could be the day an agreement will be reached. It could have been sooner, but Kenney was involved in traveling to LA to woo Masahiro Tanaka.
This deal will have some of the similar structure the rooftop owners agreed to ten years ago, and it will run until 2024. At that point, the rooftop owners will no longer have a stake in the game.
The rooftop owners have been mostly quiet throughout this process of late. However, Ricketts and Kenney's negative comments towards them at the Cubs convention this weekend didn't sit too well with some. I spoke with a prominent rooftop owner who has had a major role in these dealings.
"Ricketts is likening our agreement to looking through his windows, and he can't draw his own curtains? That really isn't a fair analogy when rooftop owners collectively paid near $4 million for the 2012 royalty", he says.
Seems everyone involved is ready to draw the curtains on this saga.
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