You know how those buildings over the left field bleachers at Wrigley have ads and stuff on them? Well, the Cubs don’t like it all that much. At least when the ads are for casinos:
The Cubs have fired the opening salvo in a dispute against a local casino, erecting two signboards in the back of the left-field bleachers, which would obscure a prominent casino ad in most television shots during game telecasts.
The two large green wooden signboards were erected in the bleachers last week without fanfare. There currently is no advertising on them, but they’re expected to be ready for the 2010 season.
For years that rooftop was home to a prominent Budweiser ad. Budweiser eliminated the middle man back in 2006 and now owns naming rights to the bleachers, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that Bud ads will show up on those boards. It’s unclear whether the board will actually block the view of fans who sit on the rooftops.
I suppose some Wrigley traditionalists may complain about this, but it’s been many, many years since the buildings across Waveland Avenue were owned by simple folk and home to common neighborhood gawkers. Those buildings and the ads, seats and parties on them are big business now, and that business is all essentially riding for free on the back of the Cubs.
The Ricketts family didn’t become billionaires by leaving money on the table, so it’s not surprising in the least that they’re going to do what they can to capture this kind of revenue going forward.