As crews wrap work on Wrigley Field ahead of tonight’s Cubs home opener, news has emerged that the Ricketts family — owner of both the team and ballpark — has again strengthened its portfolio of neighboring rooftop operations with the acquisition of the Brixen Ivy located at 1044 W Waveland. The property joins three other rooftops that were purchased by the group earlier this year, bringing the total number of Ricketts-controlled rooftop interests to no less than ten. According to Crain’s, these ten properties plus the Down the Line Rooftop at 3621 N Sheffield (in which the Ricketts family holds a financial stake) will operate under the WrigleyRooftops.com umbrella.
Wrigley Field’s rooftops have served as de facto extensions of the Friendly Confines for a number of years, especially with Sheffield and Waveland Avenues closed to vehicular traffic during games. An initiative to increase security has seen the addition of new metal detectors plus a recent push by ownership to see the game-time street closures extended to both Clark and Addison. In addition to creating a secure perimeter around the park, a shutdown of Clark and Addison would also bolster plans to allow open containers of alcohol in an upcoming revamped plaza that would be bordered by both streets.
In a radio interview reported by the Chicago Tribune, US Congressman Mike Quigley articulated his support of closing these two busy thoroughfares while the stadium is in use. On the back of the Brussels terror attacks, Quigley identified the 42,000-seat stadium as a "soft target" given the park’s proximity to the public way. Many Chicagoans, including representatives from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, have been less supportive of the idea since it would likely halt traffic in a neighborhood that is already snarled during Cubs home games.
- Ricketts family buys 10th Wrigley Field rooftop [Crain's]
- Quigley wants streets closed around Wrigley Field to deter attacks [Chicago Tribune]
- Ricketts Family Now Controls Majority of Wrigley Field Rooftops [Curbed Chicago]
- Wrigley Field archives [Curbed Chicago]