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Cubs owners buy 3 more Wrigley Field rooftops, now own over half

Written by
Nick Kotecki
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Another year, another season of Wrigleyville land-grabbing for the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs. The family's venture company Greystone Sheffield Holdings nabbed up three more rooftop locations surrounding Wrigleyville this week, reports Crain's.

These purchases bring the Ricketts' family portfolio to nine of the 16 rooftops on Sheffield and Waveland avenues surrounding Wrigley Field. The family also has a financial stake in Down the Line Rooftop, located at 3621 N Sheffield Ave, which it is suing for the ability to purchase. In 2015, the Ricketts family bought six rooftops.

The three new properties are all on the same street, including the Beyond the Ivy buildings at 1010 and 1038 W Waveland Ave, and 1048 W Waveland Ave, the location of the Sky Lounge Wrigley Rooftop. As of this writing, the amount paid for these buildings has not been disclosed. Public records show 1048 W Waveland Ave was last purchased in 2004 for $1 million.

Since the Ricketts family purchased the Cubs, they've been embattled with rooftop owners over line-of-sight rights, specifically the ability to erect signs and video billboards that may obstruct rooftop views for fans watching outside the ballpark. Prior to their purchase of the Cubs in 2009, a revenue-sharing agreement was reached with the team and rooftop owners in which the rooftop businesses would be able to sell tickets to Cubs games so long as they paid the team 17 percent of their pre-tax revenues. According to Crain's, this produced about $2.5 million annually for the Cubs.

Coupled with the new purchases, this revenue-sharing program goes hand-in-hand with the relaunch of wrigleyrooftops.com, a site where fans can purchase rooftop tickets at Ricketts properties, including the Sports Corner rooftop. The new site allows fans to browse the views available from each rooftop and gives live updates on tickets available to buy. Each rooftop can accommodate up to 200 people. The cheapest tickets are $65 but are guaranteed to rise, especially if the Cubs are World Series favorites as Vegas oddsmakers have predicted.

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