Cubs and Rooftops: Buyout and Giant Beer Bottle Looming?

Cubs and Rooftops: Buyout and Giant Beer Bottle Looming?

Over the last few weeks, the word has been the Cubs and the Rooftop Association have been closing in on a deal.

So what’s the holdup?

I, among others, have hinted that it has come down to one rooftop in particular that resides on Waveland Avenue. It has also been suggested that Tom Ricketts should buy out that rooftop.

That may be where we are headed.

I'm hearing negotiations are taking place on a deal that would have Ricketts buy out said building and then turn it into a business/commercial entity for the Chicago Cubs.

This is the development everyone is waiting for. It could not only solve the rooftop battle once and for all, but also allow better placement for the proposed Jumbotron.

In this scenario, Ricketts would eliminate the rooftop business that sits atop the building. The Jumbotron could be moved down Waveland Ave. toward centerfield by about 28 feet. As far as the right-field facet of the rooftops is concerned, there are still some ongoing negotiations regarding the Miller Lite sign.

To have that signage converted into a Budweiser ad will require some concessions from both sides. This new ad would work along with the Cubs new $140 million deal with Bud.

What I'm hearing today is that the Cubs are looking into putting up a Budweiser bottle-type structure on the Sheffield Parkway. For a visual image think the giant Coca Cola bottle in the outfield of AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Sounds like Ricketts is ready to not only pull out the big guns, but also the big bottles?


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  • Tom, I realize that there are lots of moving parts here. That being said, does a comprehensive deal get done before Opening Day?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    You would think.

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    Sounds like a good solution. So to reiterate you Tom,

    "What's the holdup?"

  • In reply to sleepy1:

    If I may quote Puff Daddy circa 1997; "It's all about the Benjamin's baby".

  • The holdup, just like in the Shark case, I would presume is coming to terms regarding the value assigned to the asset. The RTO probably wants more than what Ricketts believes it is worth.

    Then there is the issue of all the city council work. How does the purchase of the RTO and moving of the Jumbotron impact the current agreements in place with the city?

    Another factor that might be impacting things is if Ricketts buys the building does the profit from the sale have to be shared with the other RTOs. Then again are there other RTOs that want to sell and what value are the buildings worth?

    Then there is the 17% royalties. How does the sale of one of the buildings impact the royalties the other RTOs have to pay?

  • In reply to JeffK:

    Many good questions and points here, I can not answer fully.

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    In reply to JeffK:

    Good job laying out the many variables. I understand it's complicated and with a lot of moving parts that need to come together to make things work. Let's hope that all sides involved in the negotiations remain sensible. It seemed that there was an air of optimism as recently as last week.
    In many respects this situation seems more important to the future of the organization than player acquisitions and development. Its time he business side does it's part.

  • In reply to sleepy1:

    Sleepy1 ... The situation with the RTOs is far more important to the long term success of the Cubs than play acquisition. Can you image if they got rid of all of the RTOs and were able to put up a bigger jumbotron and a huge beer bottle, what type of revenues those two items they could generate that would allow them to use on player acquisition?

    We are talking huge money. Equally important is how having total control of that area represents with respect to a TV deal.

    What many people don't realize is that while the quality of the team is important, more importantly is the accessibility of signage and advertising to TV cameras. This is why the Cubs are standing head strong on having the Jumbotron and the Budweiser sign just outside the outfield wall.

    Doing so does two things. It raises the value of the advertising to the Cubs because the ads will be shown not only in the stadium but also on TV — more frequently. And because the ads are available more often for the TV cameras it makes the the TV deal more valuable.

    And, yes, it's important to have a good product on the field because then more eye balls watching the game on TV. However, I have to caution the Cubs on going too hog wild about wanting a private network or putting the broadcasts on some obscure network like Fox because the viewing habits of consumers are changing.

    Under 35 aren't buying into cable or even watching cable TV because all broadcast content is available online through the Internet in one form or another. So the Cubs have to take this trend into consideration.

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    In reply to JeffK:

    "What many people don't realize is that while the quality of the team is important, more importantly is the accessibility of signage and advertising to TV cameras. This is why the Cubs are standing head strong on having the Jumbotron and the Budweiser sign just outside the outfield wall."

    Jeff, I think you put that very well, and it's something no one is really saying/understanding. Of course, many people are complaining about ads in general; but what gets blasted over the PA at games during every break and between innings? Ads for Luna, Bud, whatever companies are having outings that day, etc. Wrigley is replete with advertising as it is, but people are complaining about the medium through which those same ads are displayed.

    But the complaining goes away when the additional revenue generates more money for better players and facilities. And at the heart of the matter is the idea of being able to operate the team without restrictions, or at least without as many restrictions. I'm not talking about breaking pacts, but rather about the concept of being able to do what is best for the team and the product, which actually helps the rooftops too.

  • In reply to JeffK:

    What if RTO tie finalizing their deal to Shark's extension? Then it's all FUBAR. =)

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    I don't think the Samardzija thing is all about money. He wants NT and to win. One of those is definitely not happening.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Yes, Shark wants a no trade clause, but at the same time he wants to be paid as a #1 but he clearly thinks too highly of his talents. He's definitely not a #1. I'm happy with the FO of holding firm of not giving into Shark's demand for a NT.

  • As Jean Luc would say..'make it so'.

  • He is a 3 with a 1 attitude. Pay him like a 3. 3's don't get NTC.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Tom ... I totally agree with you.

  • In reply to JeffK:

    I know, I'm just going along with you.

  • All of the images of right field so far have been a "Wrigley Field" (obviously phony; it is going to say Budweiser) open sign similar to the Toyota sign in left. However, if the idea really is to swap a beer bottle for that, the rooftop owners have an obvious beef (and I don't mean an Al's).

  • A Guinness sign would be better.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Actually an Old Style sign would fit Wrigley ambiance best. I suppose that it is appropriate that as Wrigley Field becomes more like all the other parks of the day, that their beer signs do to.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    But the rub is that Budweiser paid for an exclusive marketing agreement, and Old Style is now banned from Wrigley. The only possibility if there is a 315 (formerly 312) beer sign.

    But as this blog points out, the point is to get revenue, not like when I decorated a bicycle to look like a bus with Blatz beer signs.

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