Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Cubs should erect a Jumbotron in front of the Lakeview Baseball Club . . .

. . .and tell Anthony Racky to keep his money.

A story in today's Chicago Sun-Times reports that Anthony Racky, who owns the Lakeview Baseball Club, is withholding his 2008 profit sharing payment from the Chicago Cubs because he claims a Jumbotron erected for the NHL's New Year Classic blocked the view from his rooftop club on January 1.

We can understand why he would withhold a payment for that particular event, however the profit sharing payment he is withholding is from the 2008 baseball season and it was due on December 31, 2008, a day before the New Year Classic. No where in the article does Mr. Racky claim that there were any problems during the 2008 season.

In 2004 owners of rooftop clubs across the street from Wrigley Field and overlooking the ballpark agreed to pay the Cubs 17% of their gross revenues for the next 20 years. The Cubs/Major League Baseball are entitled to this compensation because they own the intellectual property rights to their games. It should be noted that radio and TV broadcasters pay hefty fees for the rights to carry professional and college sports.

If the Cubs didn't reach an agreement with the rooftop owners they would have been well within their rights to put up barriers in an effort to block the view from the clubs. Furthermore it would be reasonable to assume that the Cubs are losing money in this deal, for if they put up billboards and Jumbotrons the potential revenue generated could dwarf the income from the rooftops. Windy City Watch feels the rooftop owners have a good deal and should honor it, if it were up to us the Cubs would have been entitled to a percentage of all revenues generated by rooftop owners in the years prior to 2004. . .with interest.

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