Talks over the $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field have come to a screeching halt. The meeting held yesterday between the Cubs, owned by investment banker Tom Ricketts, and the 17 rooftop owners broke down after the rooftop owners demanded that a large video scoreboard planned for left field be moved to one of the nearby rooftops. In addition to the heated negotiations of yesterday's meeting, the owners of 17 rooftop bleachers surrounding the 100 year old Wrigley Field have filed a defamation suit against former Cubs finance consultant Marc Ganis, who they claim made false allegations in an interview with the Sun-Times last year. The action filed in the Cook County Circuit Court seeks $50,000 in compensatory damages and names the Cubs as a "respondents in discovery". A move aimed at stalling the pending renovations? Julian Green, spokesman for the Cubs released a statement saying,
"We have worked hard to reach a resolution with our rooftop partners which would have helped preserve their views, including reducing the number, size and location of our signs. Unfortunately, they opted yesterday to reject the proposal and file this lawsuit."
For now, the big question is whether the Cubs can legally proceed with installing the rooftop sign, or if the rooftop owners will escalate more legal action against the Cubs. According to the suit, the rooftops currently pay $2.5 million a year to the team.
· Wrigley talks stall amid rooftop owners' lawsuit [Crain's]
· Wrigley Field deal 'fell apart' at stormy session with Cubs, rooftop owners [Sun-Times]
· Previous Wrigley Coverage [Curbed Chicago]