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updated: 1/25/2013 12:30 PM

Wrigleyville Rooftop owners make pitch to save views

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  • Members of the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association, responding to a proposal by the Cubs calling for the city to lift some landmark restrictions as part of a plan to renovate Wrigley Field, have come out with their own proposal. They want to see digital signs installed to raise revenue for the Cubs, city and community in exchange for protecting their views of the historic ballpark.

      Members of the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association, responding to a proposal by the Cubs calling for the city to lift some landmark restrictions as part of a plan to renovate Wrigley Field, have come out with their own proposal. They want to see digital signs installed to raise revenue for the Cubs, city and community in exchange for protecting their views of the historic ballpark.
    Associated Press/2010 file

 
Daily Herald Report

A week after Chicago Cubs officials unveiled their $300 million plan to renovate Wrigley Field over a five-year span, members of the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association revealed a proposal that they believe will generate millions in revenue while protecting their view of the historic ballpark.

The rooftop group wants to see digital signs on their properties that would generating $10 million to $20 million in annual revenue toward improvements to the community, providing additional revenue for the city of Chicago and renovating Wrigley Field.

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In exchange for the revenue, the rooftop members want the Cubs to ensure their current views will remain protected.

They pointed to a 2004 landmark ordinance enacted as part of a compromise between the city, the Cubs, rooftop owners and community groups that calls for the "unenclosed, open-air character" and "uninterrupted sweep of the bleachers" to be protected.

Under the proposal by rooftop owners, 100 percent of the revenue generated from the new advertising would go to the city and the Chicago Cubs to complete renovation and address community needs such as additional police, parking enforcement and other services related to the impact of Cubs games.

"We believe this common sense plan is a win-win for the community, rooftops, City Hall and the Cubs," said Beth Murphy, Murphy's Bleachers/Rooftop, Wrigleyville Rooftops Association. "My late husband and I fought hard for the landmark compromise years ago and the community leaders I've spoken with universally believe our plan makes more sense since it puts the Wrigleyville community first, not just one business."

As part of their proposal to spend $300 million to renovate Wrigley Field, Cubs officials have said they want relief from certain landmark restrictions to generate more money to put toward the project.

"It will be a sad day if the thousands of baseball fans who come to Wrigleyville to see a game from a rooftop have their view blocked," said George Loukas, Cubby Bear/rooftop owner. "We're part of a larger community and have invested over $50 million to upgrade our operations following our 2004 settlement contract. The proposal outlined by the Cubs violates our contract that was negotiated in good faith before a Federal Magistrate Judge. We have a solution where everybody wins, while the approach offered by the Cubs will close neighborhood businesses and put our more than 250 employees out of work."

For a video on the advertising plan, please click here.

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