While the 2007 NL Central Division Cubs enjoyed a well-earned rest today, the Sun-Times Fran Spielman reports that Wrigleyville rooftop club owner Tom Gramati and the Tribune Co are in conflict over his club’s view of the Friendly Confines. At issue, Gramatis owes 17% of his gross take for selling rooftop seats with unobstructed views of Wrigley. Says the Trib’s Mike Lufrano, “If it was good enough for all the other rooftops, it’s hard to make a case that one rooftop should be different.”
Then again, if your view included a memorial to drunken obesity (pictured) and a 2007 outfield view of Jacque Jones, Gramatis may have a point.
(The Trib plays hardball: pay the 17% or they will refuse to obstruct Gramatis’ view of this)
Reports Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times:
Won’t the Tribune Co., owner of the Cubs, look petty digging up a hatchet that was buried four years ago?
Lufrano said, “I hope not. I hope people will understand we’re trying as hard as we can to reach an agreement that’s fair to everybody. If it was good enough for all the other rooftops, it’s hard to make a case that one rooftop should be different.”
Gramatis could not be reached for comment. If he doesn’t pay up, views from two of his rooftop clubs — at 3617 and 3619 N. Sheffield — stand to be blocked by dark decorative banners hung from three or four poles positioned a few feet apart in foul territory along the right-field line.
Four years ago, the Cubs and the rooftops struck a deal after an acrimonious dispute that saw the team put up wind screens to obscure their views and file a copyright-infringement lawsuit designed to put the private clubs out of business.
Rooftop owners agreed to pay the Cubs 17 percent of their gross revenues for the next 20 years, or $1.7 million based on a 2003 take of $10 million. In exchange, the Cubs agreed to market the rooftops and adjust the compensation rate downward if views were adversely affected by a 2006 bleacher expansion, which didn’t happen.