Chicago Sun-Times
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Signs of a deal? The rooftop owners'-eye view of Wrigley

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Once again, owners of the rooftop clubs around Wrigley Field are in a skirmish with the Cubs.

This time, it's over a Cubs renovation proposal that could include billboards blocking the sight lines from the rooftop clubs, which have become successful businesses.

The clubs have offered an alternative: erecting the signs on their own buildings and letting the Cubs keep all the revenue, except for a portion set aside for the community. Watch a video showing what they say the signs would look like here.

As the Sun-Times has editorialized, any compromise must work for the Cubs.

Here's why the rooftop owners say their proposal would meet that criterion.

- The rooftops are a fabric of the Wrigley Field experience and bring in fans.

- Advertising on rooftops has been a familiar sight since the 1930s, including the "Baby Ruth" sign atop Murphy's Bleachers.

- If the clubs are put out of business, 250 people will lose their jobs.

- A September 2012 by the Platt Retail Institute estimated potential annual revenue from digital signs at Wrigley Field at $17,933,574.

- The city would lose tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue if the clubs shut down.

So far, the Cubs haven't warmed to this offer, at least not publicly. One provision they don't like is a proposed extension of the contract with the rooftop clubs of up to 30 years. But the administration would like to see something get worked out.

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The rooftops also currently give the rooftops 3.5 to 4 million in royalties.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Frisbie published on January 26, 2013 4:24 PM.

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