Judge denies rooftop owners motion to stop Wrigley Field construction
The rooftop owners claimed that their businesses will suffer if the Cubs continue their $375 million renovation to the stadium.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall wrote in a 35-page opinion that the rooftops "have cried foul" but haven’t proven that their businesses will face closure if the Cubs put up a 2,250-square-foot video board in rightfield.
The rooftop owners sued the Cubs in January claiming that the team Cubs attempted to create a monopoly by fixing ticket prices and violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, which bans restriction of interstate commerce and competition in the marketplace.
Kendall said that the home games are usually secondary to the party atmosphere going on the rooftops during the games and rejected at rooftop owners claim of an antitrust violation by the Cubs. Major League Baseball is exempt from any antitrust laws.
"One might argue ... that the patrons who go to the Rooftops do not really go to watch the game at all, and when they do, they see very little of it anyway," Kendall wrote. "Being in close vicinity to the game with fresh air, alcohol, and good food might be sufficient to run a business -- maybe not the business they are in now, but certainly a business."
The Wrigley Field expansion also includes plans to put up a 3,990-square-foot video board in left-centerfield and the rebuilding of 5,000 bleacher seats. The left and centerfield bleachers are expected to be ready by May 11, with the right field bleachers following in June.
"We look forward to moving ahead with the expansion to protect and preserve Wrigley Field for our fans and our team," the Cubs said.
- Scooby Axson