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Cubs Ask Judge To Deny Rooftop Owner Temporary Restraining Order

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It's just 46 days until baseball will be played at Wrigley Field.

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Cubs players will begin reporting officially to Mesa for spring training Thursday. While that's going on, Cubs lawyers will be in court in Chicago responding to an "emergency request" from some rooftop owners for a temporary restraining order to halt construction at Wrigley Field:

Their request for a temporary restraining order is an intermediate step. The rooftop businesses also want an injunction that would block the team from permanently installing a scoreboard in front of them.

But the Cubs said there is no emergency. They argue that the rooftop businesses have known for more than a year about outfield signs that could obstruct their views and waited too long to file the emergency request.

The team also said that since the first home game isn't until April 5, there is no immediate threat to rooftop businesses.

A hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday in federal court in Chicago. A lawyer for the two rooftop businesses declined comment on the Cubs' filing.

We've had much discussion on this topic here and as the Tribune article states, the focus of this dispute is over the clause in the 2004 contract between the Cubs and rooftop owners that stated:

"The Cubs shall not erect windscreens or other barriers to obstruct the views of the Rooftops, provided however that temporary items such as banners, flags, and decorations for special occasions, shall not be considered as having been erected to obstruct views of the Rooftops.

"Any expansion of Wrigley Field approved by governmental authorities shall not be a violation of this Agreement, including this section."

The Cubs' court filing stated that the videoboard and other signs are part of the expansion and that they have been approved by governmental authorities, thus the Cubs are in compliance with the contract. Needless to say, rooftop owners disagree, and that's the focus of the request for the TRO.

Here is a link to the Cubs' 34-page filing asking for the TRO request to be dismissed. It's quite detailed and includes references to dozens of other previous legal cases. As always, I'd be interested in hearing from attorneys who post here with your legal view of this filing.