Ricketts v. Rooftops: A breakdown of Wrigley rooftop ownership

By Hannah Beery

In the six years since the Ricketts family acquired 95 percent of the Cubs and Wrigley Field, the battle for surrounding outfield rooftop ownership has rarely ceased and the turmoil continues.

One rooftop owner was indicted in March for underreporting attendance and revenue figures to state and local taxing authorities, as well as submitting false attendance figures to the Cubs. The federal case is expected to go to trial in the beginning of 2016.

A 2004 License Agreement requires all rooftop businesses to give 17 percent of their profits to the Cubs, a contract that shifted to the Ricketts with the new ownership. Included in the agreement, the Cubs were prohibited from constructing any barricades that would block the views from the Waveland and Sheffield rooftop seats. The only exception to this is if permission was granted by a governmental authority.

In 2010, the Ricketts found the only loophole in the 2004 agreement and began to lobby the City of Chicago for a multibillion-dollar renovation plan for Wrigley, which would later result in two large outfield video boards, one in right field and one in left field.

The City approved the plan in 2013, causing any cordial feelings between the Cubs organization and the rooftop owners to disappear. Today, only three rooftops on Sheffield are not owned by the Cubs, and two of them have obstructed views caused by the new boards. The Cubs still receive 17 percent of the profits from each rooftop.

The interactive photo below has details on ownership and history of the 16 outfield rooftops:

[field name=”rooftops”]

(View a full-screen version of the interactive photo).

Not pictured because they are out of the photos’ frame:

Sheffield Baseball Club
Owned by Ricketts family
3619 N. Sheffield
Purchased May 2015
This rooftop does not have an obstructed view.

Wrigley Field Rooftop Club
Owned by Ricketts family
3617 N. Sheffield
Purchased May 2015
This rooftop does not have an obstructed view.

Wrigleyville Rooftops
Owned by George Loukas, owner of popular Cubby Bear and Sports Corner in Wrigleyville.
3609 N. Sheffield
No Wrigleyville Rooftops have obstructed views.

Beyond the Ivy
Independently owned
1040 W. Waveland
Beyond the Ivy does not have an obstructed view.

Wrigley View
Independently owned
1050 W. Waveland
Wrigley View does not have an obstructed view.

Photo at top: View from below of Wrigley Field sign and the late Ernie Banks (Hannah Beery/Medill). Interactive photo: (Chicago Cubs)