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The Cubs go into the rooftop bleacher business

May 21, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

For years the buildings just outside of Wrigley Field have charged admission to people to sit on the roof and peer into the ballpark during Cubs games. Five or six years ago the Cubs got all litigatey about it, and ended up settling with the building owners and accepting a cut of the rooftop gate.  Despite that, the relationship has been rocky, with the Cubs objecting to some of the building owners’ rooftop advertising and, more recently, hatching plans to put up Wrigley Field ads that would block the view of the neighbors.

We’re in a new era, however, because now the Cubs are actually investing directly in at least one of the rooftop businesses which had been struggling due to lack of an operator.

I’m no real estate expert or anything, but I wonder if, in this down market, it wouldn’t be a smart play for the team to try and take over some of those buildings, turning them into team owned seating.  At the very least, you figure that they could use these tough times to try and muscle a bigger portion of the take out of these guys. 

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