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Chicago approves additional Wrigley night games; Cubs still not happy

Wrigley Field 2014

The Chicago City Council passed a plan to add more night games annually at Wrigley Field, but the Cubs and neighborhood leaders aren’t happy with the compromise.

The plan passed by the council yesterday is basically what we reported was in the works earlier this week: The Cubs can schedule up to 35 night games a year, up from the current 30, plus at least five more if MLB schedules the team for national broadcasts. (Not as far-fetched as you might assume once Fox 1 starts scheduling national MLB broadcasts in the future.) The team will have the power to reschedule six Friday games this season to 3:05 p.m. from 1:20 p.m. Nonbaseball events like concerts or football games would count toward the night-game limit, and Friday and Saturday night games would be limited to two per season.

You know it’s a pretty good compromise when neither side is happy with it. Neighborhood residents don’t like the addition of any night games — they’d like to see a return of the William Wrigley era, of course — and the shifting of Friday game times. The Cubs ownership don’t want to cede any control of the schedule to the city (if a night game is cancelled, the city will choose the make-up date) and aren’t happy that non-football events count toward the night-game limit. Still, considering how contentious this discussion could have been, that the agreement was approved after no debate says something.

Of course, this is just one step in the city approval for the Wrigley Field renovation plans. The team’s proposal to add more signage to the Friendly Confines will need to pass through city review committees and is sure to provoke some heavy opposition from rooftop-bleacher owners.

Rendering courtesy of the Chicago Cubs.

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