The Cubs announced they will play their home games on the rooftops across from Wrigley Field. The move is designed to solve the team’s two most pressing problems, namely, the revenue sharing peccadillo with the rooftop owners and the necessary but much-blocked renovation of Wrigley Field.
“While the Cubs are playing on a roof across the street, we can concentrate full time on renovating Wrigley,” Cubs president Tom Ricketts said. “The owners of roofs not hosting a particular Cubs game that day or night can continue to make their money selling rooftop seating and pay the Cubs 17% of their receipts.”
Ricketts said the Cubs will play on the rooftops in sequential order along Waveland and Sheffield Avenues and move from roof to roof, playing each of their remaining home games. “Fan Appreciation Weekend” at the end of the season will consist of games-in-progress relocating from rooftop to rooftop after one, two or three innings to facilitate equal numerical distribution of home games played among the buildings.
“Advertising signage that ordinarily faces inside the ballpark will be turned around, and the brand new Jumbotron will be installed in all its glory, and that also will be turned 180 degrees towards the rooftops,” Ricketts said.
Although there are risks inherent in playing baseball on the top of a three-flat apartment building, the Cubs are prepared to meet those risks. “We’re paying a lot more in insurance this year,” Ricketts said. “We know, for example, that a player chasing a deep fly ball or diving into foul territory to make a catch is likely to be on the disabled list for an especially long time as a result.”
Ricketts adds that the rooftop initiative will last until the deal between the Cubs and the rooftop owners ends after the 2023 season.
By Rob C. Christiansen