Judge denies rooftop owners’ request to stop installation of Wrigley signs

(Chicago)  In a win for the Cubs, a federal court judge on Thursday refused to grant a request by the owners of a pair of Wrigley Field rooftops to stop the team’s installation of outfield signs that would block their valuable view.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall ruled that the “vague possibility” rooftop owners could be injured by the Cubs installation of the signs isn’t enough to issue a restraining order against the team, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

During a four-hour hearing on Wednesday, lawyers for the two rooftop businesses, Skybox and the Lakeview Baseball Club, reiterated their arguments that the Cubs’ plans violate both a 2004 revenue sharing agreement they signed with the rooftop owners, and federal anti-trust laws.

They argued to the judge that if she didn’t issue a temporary restraining order banning the Cubs from installing the signs until a fuller hearing of the issue next month, the rooftop businesses will not be able to sell tickets to corporate clients who plan events months in advance, and that they therefore will not survive.

“Without the views they have nothing to sell,” attorney Thomas Lombardo said.

But lawyers for the Cubs repeated their arguments that the Cubs have the right to install the signs, and that the rooftops could continue to argue their case in court while the signs are installed.

Cubs attorney Andrew Kassof denied the Cubs were attempting to create an illegal monopoly over rooftop pricing, telling the judge that the “the point is to renovate Wrigley Field to generate revenues to make a better product, get better players on the field and win a World Series.”


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