Wrigley rooftop owners want judge to reconsider case against Cubs

The rooftop businesses that struck out in court are asking for an extra inning with the Chicago Cubs.

Skybox on Sheffield and Lakeview Baseball Club filed court papers Wednesday, asking U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Kendall to reconsider her decision to dismiss their lawsuit against the team and asked permission to file an amended complaint.
The two businesses — owned by commodities trader Edward McCarthy — requested Kendall to allow them to amend claims related to antitrust violations by the team in its pursuit of acquiring rooftop businesses. In throwing out the lawsuit last month, Kendall had cited Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption, long upheld by the Supreme Court, and that the Cubs cannot be limited in how they distribute their product.

McCarthy’s businesses — which also filed for new counsel — hope to argue that the exemption would not apply because the six rooftop businesses acquired by the Ricketts family this year aren’t directly owned by the Cubs. They wrote they want “to clarify the nature of the antitrust theory and the relevant market, as well as to include in the record the correct corporate identity of the party who has been seeking to monopolize that market.”

“The amendments will clarify that … the market alleged is not based on the market for Chicago Cubs baseball tickets, but is a market for views into an arena from outside the arena. For the same reason, the Rooftop Businesses are not selling a ‘brand’ but are selling views, food and drink, and an entertainment experience, involving not only Cubs games, but also other entertainments.”

The two rooftops cite a multilayered ownership structure of the rooftops purchased by the Ricketts family and their relationships to the Cubs. They said that such information was not available when the lawsuit was filed in January, and point out how Cubs attorneys withheld it during legal proceedings.

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