Chicago Cubs News

Cubs’ Tom Ricketts purchases trio of Wrigleyville rooftops

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In a long-anticipated move, Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has purchased a trio of Wrigleyville rooftops – one owned by James Lourgos and partners and the other two property of George Loukas, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The relationship between the franchise and some of the rooftop owners took a turn for the worse in recent years; stemming from the installation of the Toyota sign beyond the left field bleachers four years ago and worsening yet again after the Wrigley Field renovation project picked up steam.

"The acquisitions reflect the Ricketts family’s desire to control more of the dollars Cub fans spend during the season as well as end a long-running feud with rooftop owners. The family would like to buy more of the 16 buildings with rooftop businesses that line Waveland and Sheffield avenues."

The renovation plan, which has four phases, is in full-swing, with both the left and right field bleachers undergoing a complete overhaul that will not be complete until mid-May 2015. The plan calls for the installation of a video board beyond the left field seats and other signage throughout the ballpark that would block the views of several nearby rooftop businesses.

Ricketts purchased the team back in 2009 for nearly $850 million – but by that point in time, the organization and the rooftop owners association were already in the midst of a deal spanning two decades – which would expire in 2024. The deal dictated the rooftops give 17 percent of their earnings with the organization and, in return, the club would not block the views of rooftop seats.

The properties acquired by Ricketts include 3643-3645 N. Sheffield Ave., 1032-1034 W. Waveland Ave. and 3639 N. Sheffield Ave.

Next: Cubs avoid arbitration with several key players

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