Pointing out the terms of their agreement, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is objecting to the Chicago Cubs‘ desire to schedule more night games at Wrigley Field.
Earlier this week, we noted that Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney stated that the team wants the city to loosen its restriction on night games. An agreement relating to the ongoing renovations to Wrigley Field allows the Cubs to schedule 35 night games, and permits an additional eight nationally televised games. Even when combining both the games the Cubs can schedule and those taking place on national television, the figure still comes in below the league average of 54 evening dates per season.
Emanuel, however, does not believe the city should lift its restriction and says that the Cubs should fulfill their ongoing agreement. He pointed out that the team does not have to share revenue from evening events such as concerts with the league, but the Cubs have countered that the current arrangement still puts them at a disadvantage in comparison to their competitors in Major League Baseball and other Chicago venues. More from The Chicago Sun Times:
“They could do more night games, but they didn’t want to do it. The reason they don’t want to do it — Crane Kenney himself said — [was] because they could make more money in the same way they decided to spend more money on skyboxes rather than on security and then ask the taxpayers to pay for that choice,” the mayor said.
“No. You make those choices. You live with the consequences of the choices. That’s how this works.”
Cubs spokesman Julian Green responded to the mayor’s rejection with a renewed argument for 11 more night games.
“Having to choose between a night game and a concert puts us at a firm disadvantage compared to other teams in major league baseball and other venues in our city,” Green wrote in an email.
The revised ordinance that includes the cap on night games was first agreed to in 2013, and has another seven years left before it expires. The Cubs received expanded videoboards, extended development (including a new building and park at the triangle site next to the ballpark), and more as part of the plan to renovate Wrigley Field.
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