Rooftop Association covienient villains, resolution could still come next week

Rooftop Association covienient villains, resolution could still come next week

There are some out there who simply want to blame or boycott the rooftops.

It is not that easy.

They aren't the most sympathetic group mind you, but they have a contract. They are not stealing. They bargained for their rights up until 2025. If they were totally in the wrong, Wrigley would have already been renovated.

Apparently, all hope is not lost for a resolution soon.

There is a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, in which there is a realistic chance this thing can get settled. With that settlement, the defamation suit filed this week would be dropped.

Like I mentioned earlier, it's now all about the Jumbotron. A Jumbotron for which the dimensions weren't totally known up until Wednesday. The LF facet of the Rooftop Association was under the impression moving back the Waveland bleacher wall 16 feet would satisfy all parties' concerns.

However, the 3-D renderings that were presented on Wednesday were different from expected. It took a lot of prodding, according to one source, for those 3-D renderings to even become available.

There are other options on the table, according to some. The building at 3701 Kenmore has been offered up as a home for the Jumbotron to sit upon. The building owners offer the Cubs a free 10 year lease to house it.

The Cubs have countered all along that their Jumbotron has to stay in their park. That only makes sense from the Cubs standpoint.

Everyone would like to see this thing get resolved soon. However, the negative comments and inaccurate analogy Tom Ricketts threw out at the Cubs convention, regarding him watching Homeland in his living room, didn't help much either.

For me, I don't see a clear-cut villain here. You can boycott anyone you like. Some patrons have quit going to Wrigley of late. That's a bad recipe for a team that has become dependent on the gate.

This bad deal for the Cubs was bargained and signed, and Ricketts knew this fully coming in. Blame the deal if you must blame anything. It's time for the business side of the Cubs to catch up to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's ability to find a way when the game changes.

Yes, the rooftoppers are implicit here in this impasse, but they are hardly alone.

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  • But here's the thing: Contracts area not sacrosanct. They are broken all the time due to changing situations, changing management, etc. The price for breaking a contract is that you have to damages (assuming the suing side can prove damages), but just saying "THERE'S A CONTRACT" is ridiculous. Pro athletes ask to be let out of their contracts all the time. It's not a marker of immorality, nor is it a sacred vow.

  • In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    Ok, Jules but why haven't they broke ground then?

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Tom, that's a question that Ricketts should answer.

    Although nonlegal expert Bruce Levine said something about an injunction, this is basically about money, and the Cubs could pay off the rooftop owners if they wanted to. Supposedly the city permit process was completed, except for what was indicated here that all the sudden Ricketts pulled a bigger jumbotron out of his hat.

    Someone suggested that the Cubs' intent is to "mitigate" damages by making the team so bad that nobody will want to pay to see them. Them the rooftop owners go out of business one way or the other.

  • In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    If that's the case, then why don't the Cubs just tear up the 6 remaining years on their Comcast contract? That would bring in a lot more money than some signs.

  • In reply to Barry Clifton:

    Then, they would essentially have to pay off Reinsdorf interests, who own half of Comcast Sports Net (Bulls and Sox), as well as Wirtz (Black Hawks), as well as find some other cable channel available. Remember that CSN Chicago is owned by the 4 teams, not Comcast. At least this way the Cubs are assured of 1/4 of the beer ads.

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    I don't think any of us think the Cubs organization has been duped or are the victims here. How many of the current rooftop owners owned those buildings before the contract was signed?

    Because I am under the impression that the majority of rooftop owners came in right before the contract when there was money to be made stealing the Cubs product.

    Can't speak for the pro-boycott crowd, but that is the root of the problem, the owners were stealing the product from the beginning once they transitioned from "lets get a few chairs, cooler of beer and grill and invite some friends up" to building bleachers on the roofs. And that is why most of us see the roofies as the villian here. The contract may make it legal but it was morally wrong in the first place.

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    In reply to JimL:

    I totally agree. Some folks found an opportunity to make money off the team and they have done so. I think Ricketts should offer them a reasonable settlement, they should take it and things should move forward. However, if the team cannot attract quality players in years to come because of poor accommodations and poor play on the field, I think they should move, like the Braves, the Dodgers, the Giants and other teams have done in the past. I would like to see the team remain at Wrigley, but even more so, I would like the team to have a chance to be competitive; I just don't believe that will ever happen in the current climate and location.

  • In reply to JimL:

    The stealing argument held up until the Tribune Co. said "it is our intellectual property; pay up or we'll block you." Once they decided to pay a 17% royalty, there is a contract, and hence no more stealing. That's the theory behind the defamation suit.

    This is no more stealing than when, in the early 80s, people put up satellite dishes to get HBO without paying for cable, and the satellite companies scrambled the signals and started charging. Dish and Direct TV aren't still holding grudges.

  • Yes, we all know they have a contract. But fans don't care about their bottom line, they only care about moving forward with the renovation process and geting with the business of building the team. They only care about giving the Cubs a level playing ground when it comes to drawing revenue from heir ballpark -- and that is revenue that presumably will be re-invested in the team. That is the only thing fans care about. It's obvious that the rooftops do not share this same interest and so it isn't surprising they are taking a beating in the PR game here.

    The would rather stubbornly hide behind a contract that benefits nothing that any of us care about. And you know what? I have a source involved in the negotiations that says the Cubs are and have always been completely respectful with their negotiations. I've got stories that would make you think differently about the poor little rooftop businesses.

    Nobody frets for their contract and nobody sees them as sympathetic underdogs. They are seen as a roadblock concerned with their own interests and not those of the team. As Cubs fans we only care about what is best for the team. Period.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm sure your stories wouldn't affect me anymore than the others I have heard. Im objective here. I don't always drink the kool aid. Besides, since when does fan opinion matter to you?

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Ugh...hate the kool aid saying. It's dismissive and a way to try to paint oneself as a true independent thinker.

    Aren't kool-aid drinkers guys who start every other sentence with "I've been told"?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not trying to paint just point out that's the only angle you take IMO FO and Cubs. Thanks for reading though.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Not really, but your angle is always the same as the media's. IMO.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sounds good.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not taking sides on this very minor disagreement, but love this, so true. ;)

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    You weren't clear on what you found true.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The idea that we, as fans, should be taking some sort of political stand in regard to a business dispute just doesn't make sense.

    More importantly why should we conflate the Cubs on-the-field product with the actions of The Chicago Cubs National League Ballclub Corporation? One is my favorite baseball team. The other is a massive corporation whose goal is to be profitable. Because I root for the baseball team to succeed shouldn't force me to support the profit margins of the corporation with anything more than the transactional fees associated with purchasing their product.

    I don't know who's in the right or wrong in this dispute, and I don't really care. This is entertainment, after all. The idea that I should sacrifice my own entertainment to prove some fruitless point about "supporting the team" just seems like a waste of time. I want to sit out in the sun, have a beer and watch baseball--I will take whatever option offers me the best opportunity to do so. There's enough b.s. posturing in other parts of our lives; why do we have to let it into our entertainment? (by the way, if the answer is "because that's how the team will win a championship, I'd simply say: we have no idea what their revenues are or what they need to be successful. Simply agreeing to their position that a jumbotron is necessary to success is a little too simple).

    If the Cubs are in the right (which they probably are), it will get settled. Frankly, it probably should have gotten settled a looooooooong time ago (if the business side had much forethought, which it is increasingly apparent that they do not).

    Blindly throwing political support behind a billion dollar corporation simply because we want a baseball team to succeed is the worst form of populism.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Which would be moving to Rosemont.

  • Well John if you have stories then they should be reported just like any other type of story.

  • A billion dollar corporation shouldn't need bloggers and fans to carry their water for them. Just get a deal done.

  • i'm assuming, since i haven't read the contract, that there are no "outs" for either party. wouldn't be good for the rooftops, since they were going to be making some fairly hefty capital improvements and wanted the certainty of the revenue with clear visibility...

    that the cubs didn't work SOMETHING in to provide them with some flexibility is the real story here. tom's right, kap's right...there's a contract which spells out the rooftop's rights to view the games from their facilities in return for a share of their revenue.

    what's beyond me is that the cubs have let this drag on so long rather than closing it out by identifying reasonable profit projections for each of the rooftops through 2025, establishing a rational discount rate for that period and determining a reasonable annual payout for each of the next 11 years to make this go away...or at least get the city to chip-in with tax avoidance compensation so that the construction can begin, jobs can be created (already) and the higher tax $$$ start flowing sooner v later.

    it's apparent it's costing the cubs significantly in terms of investments made in the big league club, but maybe that's just not painful enough for them to get this done... i'm lost...

  • fb_avatar

    This is why I keep saying they just need to move to the Suburbs and build a new stadium and be done with this madness.
    They are never going to get the revenue out of this they want, because they signed the dumbest contract ever with the rooftops.
    The Rooftops are never going to give in, because they stand to lose a lot of money.
    The Cubs can't afford to buy out the Rooftops, because that would simply erase most of the revenue that they were going to gain.
    I'm sure there is a compromise to be made here, but it will not be one that puts the team where they need to be financially.
    The Cubs do have a choice to make. Either they can continue to try to hold onto Wrigley and be satisfied with not being able to generate the necessary revenue to be a big market team or they can join the 21st Century with the rest of big market teams and chase Championships instead of preserving memories of over a century of losing.

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