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UPDATE: Wrigley Rooftops Offer 100% Ad Revenue, Ricketts Don't Buy It

The rooftop clubs surrounding Wrigley Field are offering up all the advertising revenue to help fund the renovation of stadium. However, the Ricketts family and Chicago Cubs aren't buying it.

In an effort to convince the Chicago Cubs to not place billboard advertising on Wrigley Field, owners of the 17 rooftop clubs are offering up all the revenue generated from ads on their buildings instead, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) was working on an advertising deal with the Cubs in October so the surrounding club seats wouldn’t have their views blocked by billboards. At the time, it wasn’t clear whether revenue from the ads would be shared with owners of the club seats.

The latest announcement came Friday during a news conference at Murphy’s Bleachers where club owners argued ads on their buildings could generate $17.9 million annually, the Sun-Times says. However, Cubs officials said more money could be generated if the billboards were inside the park, essentially blocking the clubs’ views.

Tunney said he's on board with plans to renovate Wrigley, saying he supports using the rooftop ads as a source of revenue. 

"There are many creative ideas and moving parts that surround current discussions for improvements at Wrigley Field and the surrounding area," Tunney said in a statement. "I am supportive of ideas to help renovate the stadium. The advertising proposal from the rooftops can be part of the larger picture for preserving Wrigley. I remain committed to working with the Cubs and small businesses in the neighborhood.  Most importantly, we will continue to engage our residents in discussions concerning Wrigley Field and their quality of life."

"If the rooftop owners have a new plan, they would be advised to discuss it with the team instead of holding press conferences..."

The push for more advertising is a result of the team’s plan to complete a $300 million renovation of Wrigley Field starting sometime this fall. However, Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney told fans at the 2013 Cubs Convention that if the team isn’t allowed to make a decision without it first being approved by the community, then they want to impose an entertainment tax on residents to help foot the bill.

And Ricketts Family Spokesman Dennis Culloton says enough is enough. They can't move forward with the number of restrictions placed on them by outside forces, and rather than holding press confreneced, the Wrigley club seat owners should think about presenting their plan to the Cubs. 

"The Ricketts Family and the Chicago Cubs want the right to run their business so they can continue to be good stewards of Wrigley Field and save the beloved ballpark for future generations," Culloton said in a statement. "They also want to invest $500 million dollars and create nearly 2000 construction and permanent jobs in Wrigley Field and the neighborhood. None of this is possible with continued restrictions and outside business interests blocking the Cubs from generating revenue being realized by every other team in pro sports.

"If the rooftop owners have a new plan, they would be advised to discuss it with the team instead of holding press conferences because a deadline is fast approaching for the team and the City to move forward," Culloton concluded.

He later told the Sun-Times the Ricketts don't believe the almost $18 million the owners estimate to generate annually from clubhouse advertisements "is real."

While the club seat owners are offering up 100 percent of the revenue, they also cite the 2004 landmark ordinance as a reason why the Cubs can’t construct new billboards blocking their views. A press release, sent to Bleed Cubblie Blue, outlines the group’s reasoning for its decision. 

"The rooftops would forego all revenue generated from the new advertising plan contingent on the Cubs ensuring their current views will remain protected. According to the 2OO4 landmark ordinance enacted as part of a compromise between the City Council, Chicago Cubs, rooftop owners and community groups, the "unenclosed, open-air character" and "uninterrupted sweep of the bleachers," must be protected. Any relaxation of this ordinance, including blocking "the memorable views of the surrounding buildings," violates the current settlement contract and ordinance. Under the rooftops plan, 1OO% of the revenue generated from the new advertising will go to the City of Chicago and the Chicago Cubs to complete renovation plans and address community needs such as additional police, parking enforcement and other services to ameliorate the impact of Cubs games on the community."

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tom rickets January 26, 2013 at 07:32 PM
I love it 100 percent we get. And wrigley doesn't have to put horrible billboards in the bleachers. Cubs make all the money!!! Now let's see if we can get a team out there boys!!!!!
Chad Heilig January 28, 2013 at 03:08 PM
You really think there wouldn't be anyone in the hotel in the off season? C'mon, it's Chicago & people travel to see Wrigley no matter the time of year. Also, it'd be the only hotel (nice hotel) in the neighborhood; don't think it'd be empty during the winter months at all. I think it's crazy for a MLB team to have to go through the all this red tape & the alderman to get additional funding for the team. I love Wrigley, the neighborhood, etc...but it's time to wake up & realize where a huge amount of yearly revenue comes from (thank you Cubs). What if the Rickets family packed up the team & moved elsewhere where they didn't have to beg & plead the alderman to get things done? How many people would be crying about the team leaving, "how could this happen?" I think everyone knew what they signed up for when they moved to the neighborhood, now let's let our team operate like every other team in the majors.
garry albrecht January 28, 2013 at 04:57 PM
I agree. Why should the rooftoppers hold the renovation hostage. The so-called "the memorable views of the surrounding buildings" were destroyed when greedy homeowners topped their roofs with unsightly breachers,
Mike Martinez January 28, 2013 at 08:20 PM
The club owners have been making millions for years and giving very little back to the Cubs or to the city. Now their free ride is in jeopardy so they are offering a few dollars in place of the millions the Cubs could make themselves. The park needs a serious updating that has to be paid for by the Cubs so they should be able to make that money any way they can as long as it doesn't cost the city or its taxpayers a single cent. Too bad roof toppers, the free ride is over. Your greed finally bit you in the butt.
Gunnery Sgt Hartman January 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Anyone who thinks that somehow the Cubs will move if they don't get what they want is insane. The day the Cubs announce they are headed to Schaumburg is the day the White Sox sign a lease on Wrigley. A triple A team would draw 10-15k a game at Wrigley as well. The Cubs have no leverage.

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