Ooops-Cubs short term victory may lead to long term defeat for Ricketts.Leave a Comment
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that vendors of Chicago Baseball magazine, a Chicago Cubs-focused publication that its owners have sold outside Wrigley Field for nearly two decades, may no longer do so on the sidewalks next to the ballpark. Chicago Baseball will now have to stand across the street from the park with other vendors to sell their publication. This enforcement of a 2006 City of Chicago ordinance preventing peddling on the sidewalks immediately adjacent to Wrigley helps the Cubs gain control over the commercial environment around the stadium. Something that the Ricketts family bargained for when they privately funded the stadium’s renovation.
But in Monday’s opinion, the panel of three judges also noted one aspect of the sidewalk ordinance that may backfire on the Cubs. The panel said that the ordinance applies not only to vendors, but to the Cubs’ official vendors as well. Even Cub vendors on the sidewalks next to the stadium on Sheffield and Waveland, which the team owns. “The Adjacent-Sidewalks Ordinance applies to all of the adjacent sidewalks, without regard to ownership—as one would expect if the goal is to reduce congestion and avoid people spilling into the streets to get around obstructions,” the ruling states. That opinion might suggest that the Cubs could have a hard time commercializing Sheffield and Waveland sidewalks that they now own, if they move to do so at any point. This new development may ultimately prevent the Cubs from having their cake and selling it too.