Wrigley Rooftop Refusing to Pay Cubs 2008 Money

Sheffield owner mad about Winter Classic JumboTron, and here we go again

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    One rooftop owner is complaining that the JumboTron forced him to give his customers their money back.

    Every offseason, the Cubs have an issue with a rooftop owner. Someone wants to change some advertising. Someone wants a larger cut of something. The Cubs want to build something somewhere, and the rooftop owners don't like it. For a place as synonymous with relaxation as Wrigley Field, the people who surround it sure seem high strung. (Then again, it is their livelihood. "High strung" describes most of us at work.)

    This year is no exception to the Cubs/Rooftops fued. Upset about a JumboTron that blocked his rooftop's view during the Winter Classic, Anthony Racky, owner of the Lakeview Baseball Club -- the one with "Eamus Catuli"; you know, that one -- is withholding his 2008 revenue sharing payments from the mother club. Uhoh:

    "If they want us to live up to the agreement, we want them to live up to their side," Bach said. "It's not about the money. It's about the fact that we paid for an unobstructed view."

    Profit-sharing payments for 2008 were due Dec. 31. Asked why Racky was the only one of 17 rooftop club owners to withhold payment, Bach said, "We have a history of standing up to the Cubs. If this rooftop hadn't stood up to the Cubs 20 years ago, there wouldn't be any rooftops."

    The dispute is about the JumboTron Wrigley Field grounds crew installed before the 2009 Winter Classic on Jan. 1. Because Racky's view was obstructed, the people he sold rooftop seats to were unable to see much of the game, and he had to offer them a free trip to Wrigley this summer to make up for it. He wants the Cubs to pay the difference.

    If that's the only money we're talking about, it's probably a pretty minor sum. The Cubs -- and presumably Racky -- could both cover the damages pretty quickly. Instead, though, let's have a very public fight through the media, and maybe force Wrigley Field to put up those weird view blockers they used a couple of years ago. Yeah! That's always fun!

    Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.