The Roofs Are Caving In

By Chris Rewers on Monday, August 16, 2010

This was an interesting story in the Tribune regarding the shaky financial ground of the Wrigley rooftop business.

It's no surprise that the demand for rooftop tickets has diminished with the fortunes of the team. That's life.

The economy is partly to blame, but if the Cubs were winning on a more consistent basis, I believe the rooftop owners would be having a far easier time finding customers.

The most interesting angle of the story was the speculation that the Ricketts family may be setting its sights on buying all of those buildings.

Ownership of the rooftops would enable the Cubs to collect all of the revenue, would give the Ricketts family more of a stake (and more clout) in the neighborhood, would enable the Cubs to offer corporate clients a "more modern" suite alternative, and possibly enable the Cubs to install a jumbotron (gasp!) which would create millions of dollars more in revenue while getting around landmark regulations.

A slumping economy is the best time for the few with deep pockets to invest in real estate because values are depressed.

If such a scenario plays out, the Ricketts would win, the building owners would win, and the fans would lose with the Ricketts family enabled to operate the baseball equivalent of a 19th century Pullman.

Posted Monday, August 16, 2010 by Chris Rewers
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