Wrigley's Neighborly Affairs

Cubs are suing one resident and crashing another’s party

Wrigley Field may be known as The Friendly Confines, but it's certainly not making any friends with its neighbors.

Anthony Racky, owner of the Lakeview Baseball Club, had been withholding his profit-sharing payments for 2008 in protest. He wanted compensation for a Jumbotron allegedly blocking his view of the NHL's New Year's Day Winter Classic and a promise that there would be no future visual impediments.

On Tuesday, the Cubs filed a breach of contract lawsuit in federal court.

"We wish we didn't have to do this. It's unfortunate. But we try to treat all rooftops the same and unfortunately, he's chosen not to pay for 2008," Mike Lufrano, vice-president of community relations, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

"We can't let one rooftop not pay. It wouldn't be fair to the other rooftops – nor to us. We have to have payment for 2008, and he has to agree to abide by the same agreement as the other rooftops."

As the Cubs battle with one rooftop owner about the sights, Wrigley will be offending some of its neighbors with sound.

When Wrigley Field announced that it would be holding three concerts this summer—two for Billy Joel and Elton John and one for Rascal Flatts—nearby residents claimed it violated their agreement to limit concert events to two nights per year.

However, Alderman Tom Tunney (44th Ward) has sided with the Cubs for now and will ask the City Council's License Committee to approve his ordinance for a third Wrigley concert.

"They'll have an extra one this year. We'll go back to the drawing board," Tunney told the Chicago Sun-Times. "And if these concerts are not successful, there'll be no more concerts. They may not have one next year."

The Rascal Flatts' Saturday night concert also conflicts with the neighborhood's popular Summer on Southport festival. However, Tunney has said that if festival attendance suffers and the local event loses money, he's "working on a contribution" from the Cubs.

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and "between blogs" blogger, needs to have a word with his own music-blasting neighbors.

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