Head of Wrigleyville rooftop owners sounds off

Head of Wrigleyville rooftop owners sounds off
August 19, 2013, 10:45 am
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Tony Andracki

Beth Murphy may not be an athlete, but her name will go down in the Cubs history books all the same.

Murphy, owner of Murphy's Bleachers at the corner of Waveland and Sheffield, spoke to the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan recently about the ongoing debate of the Cubs' proposed renovations to Wrigley Field.

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"We've been described, the Cubs owners and the rooftop owners, as the big jerk vs. the little jerks," Murphy laughed. "I understand that."

Murphy is leading the charge for the rooftop owners fighting to keep their cash cows intact and unaffected while the Cubs hope to add a Jumbotron in left field, among other renovations.

The rooftop owners entered a 20-year agreement with the organization in 2004 and with Murphy at the helm, maintain the neighborhood is the main appeal for fans and tourists coming to Wrigley Field, not the ballpark itself.

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"Tom Ricketts has said many times, "Just let us operate our business,'" Murphy told Sullivan. "But part of that [business] is not adhering to property lines, and I think that's kind of a basic in property laws. He bought what he bought...I've said many times, back in the '80s, the Tribune could have bought so much property in this neighborhood.

"What I think they would have done if they had bought Sheffield or Waveland is just knock it all down and build parking lots. They were saved from themselves by the neighborhood because if this was surrounded by parking lots, it would be pretty much like (U.S.) Cellular Field. I don't think anybody would be coming here."

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Check out the rest of Sullivan's feature on Murphy and the rooftop owners. Well worth a read.