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Cubs And Rooftop Owners Agree, But...

if you think this is the last to be said about this ongoing battle, I think you have another thing coming.

The Cubs and the rooftop owners have apparently hammered out a tentative agreement to their longstanding dispute, in which the Cubs will get some cash for each rooftop admission, and the rooftop owners won't stand in the Cubs' way of expanding the bleachers, as long as their views are left alone.

The Cubs say, rightfully, that the rooftop people are charging admission for a product they do not own.

The rooftop owners claim the Cubs didn't care until they started charging, which is also true.

But this agreement isn't final, and not all the owners have signed it, and it must still be approved by a federal court.

Some broadcast reports have implied that this is the final stage before a bleacher expansion, and that isn't true either. For a bleacher expansion, city approval -- far from certain -- must be obtained. The Sun-Times article linked above says that Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), the alderman in whose ward Wrigley Field is located, "first wants to see how the neighborhood and the Cubs handle a proposed 12 additional night games."

These were supposed to be phased in over the next three seasons, starting in 2004. That deal was shelved last month, but could be revived. No game times are listed on the Cubs' website, though some tentative times were published in the Cubs' in-house fan magazine "Vine Line" this month.

In any case, that implies it could be at least three years before any bleacher, or other, expansion to the ballpark would be approved. Frankly, I'd just as soon they left it just the way it is. The Sun-Times article states that the Cubs could net as much as $2 million a year, and that's without the Cubs having to invest a cent.

You'll hear much more on this in the weeks and months to come.