The Chicago Cubs scored a major victory Wednesday in the organization's long-running battle with the nearby Wrigley rooftop businesses when a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought against the team by two of the businesses on Sheffield Avenue.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall dismissed all nine counts within the suit filed in January by Skybox on Sheffield and Lakeview Baseball Club. Among their allegations were that the team had violated its decade-old revenue-sharing agreement and that the 2,250-square-foot right field video board would block their views into the historic stadium and destroy their businesses.
The Tribune article goes on to describe the background to the dispute, which I've written about many times here and won't repeat, and Judge Kendall's ruling boils down to this:
Kendall did not side with the rooftops in their interpretation of a key sentence within the contract — one dealing with "any expansion" of Wrigley Field. She wrote that the new video board installed in Wrigley met the definition of expansion. She also wrote that the sign was permitted because a government body had granted its approval, another provision outlined in the agreement.
Since the Wrigley bleacher expansion project is now essentially complete, I would think this should end any possible further litigation of this type. The article also included this statement from Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney:
"We are very pleased with the court's decisive ruling today," Kenney said in a statement. "Judge Kendall's opinion confirms the bleacher expansion does not violate our rooftop agreements, as we have maintained from the outset. We also appreciate that with this chapter closed, everyone's focus can continue to be on the field, where it belongs."
The article goes on to note that the Ricketts family has bought interests in six rooftop businesses this year. I would expect those kinds of acquisitions to continue.
Now the Cubs can get on with more important business: winning postseason baseball games.