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OFF BEAT: Wrigley rooftop owners object to 'carpetbagger' moniker


It seems that one of the byproducts of working with a baseball team that hasn’t won a championship in more than a century is a vocabulary that occasionally borrows from the distant past.

The owners of rooftop bars and viewing paddocks overlooking Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, claim in a lawsuit filed earlier this week that a sports consultant working for the team defamed them by calling them “carpetbaggers” in a January 2013 Chicago Sun-Times article, according to a report by Courthouse News.

In the Sun-Times’ article, Marc Ganis, a stadium financing consultant hired by the Cubs to facilitate negotiations with city officials for a $300 million proposed renovation of the team’s 100-year-old ballpark, lamented the city’s resistance to plans for a 650-square-foot sign on top of the right field wall. The sign would effectively block views into the park from the roofs of privately owned apartment buildings across North Sheffield Avenue, which over time have been converted into lucrative bars and party spaces.

Mr. Ganis was quoted in the Sun-Times article as accusing city officials of “protecting carpetbaggers stealing the product paid for by others for their own profit and, thereby, stopping a $300 million investment, 2,000 permanent jobs and 800 construction jobs along with tens of millions of new city taxes.”

The owners have asked a Cook County Circuit judge for punitive damages and a declaratory judgment against Mr. Ganis and his company, SportsCorp Ltd., for defamation, false light and invasion of privacy, according to Courthouse News.