Cubs, Wrigley rooftops spar in 7-hour hearing to halt signs

In their court battle Monday with the Cubs, two Wrigley rooftop businesses have said the team’s 2,250-square-foot right field video board will block their views into Wrigley Field. In turn, they say, bankruptcy is possible, as is foreclosure on their buildings, before becoming insolvent.

But Cubs’ attorney Andrew Kassof said team manager Joe Maddon asking his “5-year-old son to play shortstop” was more likely than foreclosure given the businesses’ finances.

Kassof, of Kirkland & Ellis, told U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall that the two businesses, Skybox on Sheffield and Lakeview Baseball Club, are in position to “weather the storm” should the businesses face any financial duress after signs are installed. He described laborious foreclosure proceedings but also pointed to how the mortgage lender and borrower themselves both involve the businesses’ controlling owner, Edward McCarthy.

Kassof’s description came near the end of a seven-hour hearing for the rooftop businesses’ request for a preliminary injunction, which seeks to halt installation of the video board and any signs that would block their views into the historic ballpark.

Kendall did not rule Monday but promises to do so “as quickly as possible.” Monday’s discussion echoed an earlier hearing in which Kendall rejected the rooftops’ emergency request to stop the video-board installation.

The Cubs have contracted with Anheuser-Busch InBev for a sign on top of the video board.

Other rooftop businesses whose views also may be blocked by any signs or the video board in left field are not part of the suit.

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