Skip to content Exclusive: see the Wrigley Field-rooftop owners contract

May 29, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT

Wrigley Rooftop

The fight between the Chicago Cubs and the rooftop owners is likely to end up in court. The basis for that case would be the contract between the rooftop owners and the team, which takes a cut of the revenue those owners get from allowing people to drink beer and hang out on the roof while looking into Wrigley Field. The Cubs’ renovation plans would, the rooftop owners argue, interfere with the views and thus breach the contract.

That will either be negotiated or litigated. In the meantime, Dave Kaplan of — the first one to report on the contents of the contract a couple of months ago — now is the first to publish the actual contract here.

Go check it out so you too can see how people who have conflicting interests yet contractual relationships can find themselves on the brink of war.

  1. yankeessuckameanone - May 29, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Why don’t these cry babies just build higher stands to see over obstacles to view the field.

    • mreezybreezy - May 29, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      Article 6.1 of this contract actually makes this seem like it’s a possible avenue to explore. There are more than likely laws that prohibit building that high, but what’s to say they couldn’t rewrite the law so that Ald. Tunney and his merry band of leeches couldn’t build higher and allow the Cubs to build a new stadium? Everyone wins.

  2. jerze2387 - May 29, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    If the rooftop owners were pocketing all the profits, id say the cubs havd a right to shut them out. BUT, since the cubs have been taking a cut, and also have a contract, they should have to honor it just as much as the rooftop owners had to honor giving a cut. Theyve paid their part, now the Cubs have to hold up their end.

  3. jm91rs - May 29, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    I’ve always found this arrangement odd, but just seeing the picture posted here makes me think the cubs could fork over some money to make at least some of these stands / buildings taller (as long as the structure beneath it could handle that) to see over the new boards they’re putting up.

  4. IsThird - May 29, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    The last sentence on 6.6 seems to be cut and dry in the Cubs favor.

  5. 4cornersfan - May 29, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Under sections 5 and 6 it is pretty clear that if the Cubs want to renovate the way they want they are going to have to buy out the remainder of the contract.

  6. 18thstreet - May 29, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Can a knowledgeable person answer a few nonsarcastic questions for me?

    (1) Who gets to sit in those rooftop seats? Are they available to the general public, or do you have to have a friend who lives in the building get you access?

    (2) If they’re available to the public, how much do they cost?

    (3) Why would someone prefer to sit in seats that far from the field when seats inside Wrigley Field are (in my opinion) pretty reasonably prices?

    • hk62 - May 29, 2014 at 3:46 PM or

      Go there – to get the answers, and as a baseball fan with a long standing dislike for the Cubs, you’d have to pay me to watch a game from one of those roof tops. In the park, different story.

    • raysfan1 - May 29, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      The website has ticket prices and tries to explain why someone might prefer that to being inside the park. Not me though.

    • DJ MC - May 29, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      Originally, it was a neighborhood thing. You would literally go up there with a folding chair and a cooler and watch the game just like you might watch a sunset from your building roof anywhere else.

      Then, like so much about Wrigley Field, once it became part of the popular culture it become something where the public wanted to get up there, and the building owners started first charging, then later building special facilities for watching the games.

      Now you can buy tickets, and I believe some areas are rented out like most ballparks rent suites.

    • jlovenotjlo - May 30, 2014 at 7:18 AM

      It’s more of a party than anything. The rooftop ticket generally includes an all you can eat and drink special to go with it, and any good Midwesterner loves an all you can eat buffet.

      • 18thstreet - May 30, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        How much does it cost? I mean, at Camden Yards (where there is good food), I could eat a lot of good food for, say, $60 plus $20 worth of beer. Now, I’m a skinny guy, so let’s say that any good Midwestern would spend $100 on the food.

        The seats themselves are worse than the seats at the park. I don’t get it.

  7. hk62 - May 29, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    4.3.c combined with 6.6 – Cubs Win, but they get 50% of their Royalty payments back (from point the contract started) – Cubs have to get the work done in 8 years from start date though, that might be an issue.

  8. RoyHobbs39 - May 30, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    If there are that many people taking in that view, why don’t they sell some ad space above the stands on top of the roof?

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