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It's Happening: Wrigley Rooftops Sue Cubs

A lawsuit has been filed. How far it goes, we'll have to see.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This is what we've been waiting for, seemingly for two or three years: a lawsuit filed by Wrigleyville rooftops against the Chicago Cubs:

Businesses owning and operating two Wrigley rooftops sued the Chicago Cubs and team chairman Tom Ricketts in federal court Tuesday, accusing the team of breaching the terms of its revenue-sharing contract, engaging in deceptive business practices and acting in violation of anti-trust laws.

The businesses own the three-story buildings and rooftop businesses at Lakeview Baseball Club at 3633 N. Sheffield and Skybox at Sheffield, at 3627 N. Sheffield. The majority owner is Ed McCarthy, a commodities trader, although there are other investors.

In their 58-page filing, the businesses allege that the Cubs violated the federal Sherman Antitrust Act that prohibits monopolies; violates the revenue-sharing, 20-year agreement the team signed with rooftops in 2004.

I'm not a lawyer, obviously, and I wouldn't want to make any comment on this from that standpoint, other than to say that it's been mentioned numerous times that arbitration, not lawsuit, is supposed to be the way any disputes between the Cubs and rooftop owners should be settled. I don't have access to the lawsuit itself; if you're a lawyer and you can find it and reference it here and weigh in with any legal opinion on it, I'd welcome that.

This is clearly a developing story:

A Cubs spokesman said the team would need to review the lawsuit before commenting.

My feeling (and completely non-legal viewpoint) is that this suit isn't going to go anywhere either, and it might be an opening salvo fired by this rooftop owner in the hope that the Cubs will pay something as a settlement, or perhaps buy him out. The two buildings in question are the ones on either side of the one in the photo above with the billboard. The Lakeview Baseball Club is to the left of the billboard building in the photo; the Skybox on Sheffield building is to the right.

As always, we await developments.