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Tunney Proposes Plan For Wrigley Field Rooftop Clubs To Hang Ads

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 18, 2012 2:20PM

Photo Credit: Erwin Araos

While plans for renovating Wrigley Field remain in limbo, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) is proposing a plan that would allow the rooftop clubs surrounding the Friendly Confines to hang advertising above their rooftops.

Tunney told the Sun-Times the plan, which would require a change in the ordinance allowing rooftop clubs to do business, is “breaking [new] ground” and could be mutually beneficial for both the rooftop clubs and the Cubs. "My job is to try to forge a solid relationship with the businesses that need Wrigley and Wrigley needs the businesses. It’s a symbiotic relationship. I’m trying to navigate that,” said Tunney.

But it would be more beneficial for the rooftop clubs, which have had problems in recent years filling those seats as the Cubs’ fortunes have declined. Rooftop club owners are also the primary source of Tunney’s campaign cash, accounting for 10 percent of all the funds he’s raised since he became alderman nine years ago—a symbiotic relationship, indeed.

Gold Coast Tickets owner Max Waisvisz, who owns the Sheffield Baseball Club, Wrigley Field Rooftop Club and Ivy League Baseball Club, told Chicago Real Estate Daily’s Danny Ecker revenue was down 12 percent last season. Rooftop clubs are contracted to funnel 17 percent of their revenue to the Cubs, so the advertising proposal is obviously a way for them to make up for the lost revenue.

Tunney wouldn't tell the Sun-Times if the Cubs would get a piece of the advertising pie, if the plan is approved. Tunney has also expressed reservations with the stalled Wrigley renovation plan proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that would allow the Cubs to raise revenue for renovating the ballpark by relaxing its landmark status so the team can leverage sponsorship and advertising agreements. Tunney said rooftop club owners are afraid the Cubs would erect ads that would obstruct the clubs’ views of the game.