Owners of the Wrigleyville rooftop businesses pitched a profit-sharing billboard scheme to the Cubs Friday morning but struck out after the organization dissed the plan.
“We don’t think their numbers are real,” said Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts.
The Sun-Times reported the organization argued the Wrigleyville rooftop owners' plan wouldn't make a significant impact with broadcast views, and said there would be less revenue from the placement of the rooftop sings since they wouldn't be visible in the shots of televised games.
"We would give 100 percent of the revenue to the community and the Chicago Cubs," said Murphy Bleachers Owner Beth Murphy according to ESPN. "The Cubs, we presume, would be using it for their renovation project and the community would use it for neighborhood protections such as more police and things that benefit our neighborhood. The rooftops, in return, request we just stay in business."
Representatives of the clubs had high hopes for the pitch, saying it was a better alternative to the Cubs organization's original plan, reports the Tribune. The team's idea, first proposed in their multi-million dollar renovation plan, was to put up signs in the outfield that would likely block the views from the rooftops and hurt their businesses.
Per the terms of the plan, the rooftop association believed the billboards had the potential to net between $10-20 million annually, reports ESPN. The revenue would be split between the Cubs and the city, while the rooftop owners encircling the Friendly Confines would get nothing but a goose egg from the advertising.
“We have an agreement with a few more years left. We have a right to defend our position,” said Cubby Bear owner George Loukas. The owner's association said if the team blocked the rooftop views—essentially killing th business—it would violate the 2004 ordinance that landmarked historic elements of Wrigley Field as well as 20-year agreement between the Cubs and the rooftop owners.
Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the stakeholders, "I've asked all the parties involved to finish this up. We all have a stake in getting it done. It is not done till all the parts fall in place."
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