Recently, the Cubs revealed a plan to restore Wrigley Field; part of what the Cubs want from the City of Chicago in exchange for paying for that plan themselves, is a relaxing of restrictions on advertising within the ballpark.
Whether this will happen remains to be seen, but a group of owners of the rooftop clubs that have views into Wrigley from Waveland and Sheffield Avenues held a news conference Friday to make an offer regarding possible advertising on their rooftops.
What they offer is to install "digital advertising signs" -- exactly what these would be isn't specified -- on their rooftops, which the group claims could generate "$10 to $20 million in annual revenue." Here's the catch, if you want to call it that, via a press release from the group:
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.
Essentially, the rooftops are offering free space for the Cubs to advertise and pocket the money from that revenue (or allocate some to the city), in exchange for allowing them to continue to have their views into the games (and the revenue they pull in for those, with the exception of the 17% of that revenue that goes to the Cubs under that 2004 agreement).
Could this work? Maybe. The Cubs have not yet issued a response to this offer. I'd like to hear what you have to say.