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Cubs to add more night games; beer plaza in question

New Wrigley Field

The Chicago City Council approved a plan to allow the Chicago Cubs up to 43 night games at Wrigley Field — including a guaranteed 35 — but held off approving a ballpark-side plaza where beer and wine would be sold.

Any changes to the operations at Wrigley Field are dependent on two powerful entities signing off on a plan: neighborhood residents and Ald. Tom Tunney, who represents Wrigleyville. In recent months Tunney has transitioned from being a staunch advocate of neighborhood desires (who would love to go back to 1987 and remove the lights from Wrigley Field) to a more impartial legislator willing to work out issues with both sides. This has come up in planning for Wrigley Field renovations; without Tunney’s help it’s doubtful Chicago leaders would have signed off on a controversial renovation plan that will certainly impact the blocks surrounding the ballpark. And the plan to add more night games is the result of compromise: the team will be allowed 35 night games, and if national networks request a time shift, eight more night games could be added.

Still, the City Council held back on approving a new plaza where fans attending Cubs games and other Wrigley Field events could buy beer and wine outside the ballpark and bring it into the ballpark. This impact the neighborhood, but more importantly it impact local bar owners who fear a decline in business because many fans will head directly to Wrigley Field. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Tunney — whose office wrote the ordinance put aside the Council today — will take another run at refined ordinance in an attempt to please all.

Rendering courtesy Chicago Cubs.

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