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Epstein: Cubs “humming along” to judge’s tune in rooftops ruling

MESA, Ariz. – Cubs president Theo Epstein said a judge’s decision in Chicago Thursday to deny rooftop owners an injunction to halt construction at Wrigley Field came as little surprise to the baseball operations department assembled in Arizona for spring training.

“The business side has done a great job of executing their plan to make a lot of progress this winter with the ballpark project,” Epstein said of a business operations department that already has suffered numerous delays and missteps in the years-long effort to start ballpark renovations. “And they’re humming along as far as we’re concerned.

“I don’t think that we really considered anything a real significant threat.”

A ruling against the Cubs could have significantly set back a project that the Cubs are counting on – through a large video board and advertising signs — to increase revenues, and by extension baseball operations spending.

“We knew there would be some hurdles that would come up,” Epstein said, “and [business president Crane Kenney and his staff] were confident that they could work through them. And we’re looking forward to seeing some of the improvements Opening Day, knowing that the ballpark is going to be under construction. What we’re really looking forward to is Opening Day 2016 when we get our beautiful new home clubhouse for our players to enjoy.”

It’s something players have been promised for years, and first baseman Anthony Rizzo said he was happy to hear about Thursday’s ruling.

“That’s exciting stuff,” he said. “I know the rooftops have been a part of the history now for however many years they’ve been there.

“But this is going to be new stuff. And the new generation, the new era of things to come hopefully is starting now. And with the renovations of Wrigley, it’s only going to help us players. I think it’s going to make the fan experience a lot better.

“With the tradition of the ballpark still there and the new stuff they’re adding I think it’s just great.”