Federal judge denies request, Wrigley renovations will continue
The back-and-forth between the Chicago Cubs and the surrounding rooftop owners is beginning to slow, as a federal judge on Thursday denied the request of two nearby businesses. The request was to halt the construction of the right-field video board. The denial allows the Wrigley renovations to continue, and hopefully bringing the dispute to an end in the near future.
The ruling, made by U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall, was made just days before the Cubs will debut the “new” Wrigley, with the new left -field video board ready to go. Skybox and Sheffield and Lakeview Baseball Club–both owned by Edward McCarthy, filed suit in January claiming that the 2,250-square-foot video board would block views and destroy his business.
The lawsuit didn’t include other rooftop businesses whose birds-eye views may be blocked by any signs or the video board in left field.
The expansion will continue, and the Cubs were more than thrilled with the outcome.
"“The Cubs are grateful the court today declined to stop the important work of preserving and expanding the Friendly Confines,” the Cubs said in a statement. “We look forward to moving ahead with the expansion to protect and preserve Wrigley Field for our fans and our team.” h/t Jared S. Hopkins, Chicago Tribune"
The battle may not be over, as an appeal is still possible. Attorney’s for the rooftops couldn’t be reached for comment.
One point that Kendall noted–one that I fully agree with–is how neither side proposed that McCarty’s rooftop businesses could function as bars. If you’ve never been, the bars surrounding Wrigley do very well, and they don’t have a view inside the stadium.
"“Being in close vicinity to the game with fresh air, alcohol, and good food might be sufficient to run a business â€” maybe not the business they are in now â€” but certainly a business.” Kendall said."
The rooftops across from Wrigley aren’t owned by people who bought them with their last few pennies, and won’t survive if the renovations continue. First off, the businesses won’t fold. A barstool in a packed bar near the stadium? Or a rooftop patio with food and beer, and the sounds of the game within earshot–even without a perfect view? Not a difficult choice.
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Yes, the cost of going to a baseball game has reached astronomical levels, and the Cubs want to control the money spent on its team. But at least in the case of the team, it’s THEIR product they’re selling. Not someone else feeding off that just by being in close proximity.
I said it from the very beginning, the team should be allowed to do what’s necessary to improve their product without the input of their neighbors.