Historically, the Cubs play their Friday home games at 1:20pm CT, and their Saturday games at some point in the early afternoon. When they installed lights at Wrigley Field in the late-80s, the team agreed to have only a small number of night games throughout the season, which limitation has included Saturday night, on which the Cubs can have night games only if they are part of a national broadcast.

It sounds like the Cubs might be looking to change those two typical start times.

The Cubs are polling season ticket holders and area residents about start times for Friday and Saturday games. Essentially, the Cubs are asking folks how they’d feel about later starts on Friday (moving from 1:20 to 3:05pm), and more night games on Saturday.

The ostensible argument for later Friday games is to accommodate more folks who’d like to come from work. For Saturday night games, it’s to alleviate neighborhood congestion earlier in the day (things can get jammed up in the area as early at 10am for a noon start).

The real reason? Well, I mean, I’m sure it has a bit to do with bringing more folks to the game, which is about generating more revenue. No complaints here, as I’d definitely be in favor of later Friday games (just feels like a nice way to settle into the weekend, but without taking up all of Friday night), and I’m fairly ambivalent on Saturday night games versus day games. Further, I’ve always been a proponent of fewer day games for the Cubs, because I buy the theory that it puts Cubs players at a disadvantage relative to their competitors.

So, I’m inclined to say that, were I responding in the poll, I’d go with “yay” on later Friday starts, and “whateves” on Saturday times.

What do you all think?

  • jason

    eh, sorry but I love day basbeball.

    I mean what’s better than being lazy on a saturday afternoon watching the cubs???

    • jason


    • notcubbiewubbie

      what’s better is a winning team that is not at a disadvantage because they have to ask permission to play their games when they want to.

  • Spencer

    Isn’t this something that has to be cleared with the city and Wrigleyville?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The night games, yes. I assume the Cubs are collecting data to be armed with when they try to do just that.

      • John

        I’m pretty sure that the Cubs agreed to not play 3:05 games as part of the expansion of night games a few years ago. They used to play 3:05 games on Friday all the time and it was fantastic but the neighbors didn’t like coming home at 5:30 and not being able to find parking. I’d be shocked if they came back.

        • BN”Legs:

          Actually, the Friday day games were at 2:20 until 2005 when they changed them all to 1:20. There is something called the “Wrigley Field Neighborhood Protection Plan” that reads as a complex contract that sets out how many and when the Cubs can have Night games. Friday and Saturday night games are prohibited unless dictated by national MLB schedule or something otherwise outside of the Cubs control.

          But I agree. I LOVE day baseball and nothing beats leaving work early on a Friday to go the ballgame on a nice Spring/Summer day. A 2:20 or 3:05 game would just make my live a little easier (and my employer happier that I end up staying at work longer on Fridays during baseball season :-) )


  • SoCal Cubs Fan

    I agree with you Brett. The Padres have a series of 3:45 games and it is fun to get off work and head to a game and burn off some steam. I do like the day baseball on Saturday though. A few night games would be ok.

  • JB88

    As a former resident of East Lakeview, I would have been heavily in favor of moving day games to the night. I used to hate trying to do any errands on Saturdays during the summer as Belmont, Irving Park, and Addison would all be ridiculously backed up and unfortunately, without an easy means by which to get to the high way or most of the bigger box stores, it made navigating that neighborhood ridonkulous.

    • BN”Legs:

      With all due respect to you and others currently living in the area around the ballpark…Wrigley Field was there LONG before you were and you knew what you were getting into when you bought/rented there. I have so sympathy for residents of the area that move there and then start complaining about the congestion like it just magically appeared.

      I lived in the area in my mid 20’s and rather enjoyed the hustle and bustle during game days. You just have to plan accordingly. People that want a less congested area to live should not move into a highly congested area in the first place.

      • Pat

        Except that prior to 2003 or so, the area wasn’t nearly as congested. Since then crowds have averaged three million or so yearly. 84 was the first time they ever cracked two million and from then until 98 the average was around 2.2 million per year. So it isn’t necessarily the way it was when people moved in.

        • BN”Legs:

          When you move into a neighborhood that surrounds a ballpark and then complain that the ballpark makes your life inconvenient, I have no sympathy for you…

          • Pat

            When you sign an agreement saying that, in exchange for more capacity, you will restrict your business to certain hours and then complain that it is no longer convenient, I have no sympathy for you…

            Oh, and the neighborhood doesn’t need sympathy as they have the law on their side.

          • Pat

            When you sign an agreement saying that, in exchange for more capacity, you will restrict your business to certain hours and then complain that it is no longer convenient, I have no sympathy for you…

            Oh, and the neighborhood doesn’t need sympathy as they have the law on their side.

            If I had to guess, the neighborhood isn’t going to concede anything further until the Cubs make good on their last set of promises (which included parking as part of he triangle parcel).

            • Pat

              Not sure why that double posted

        • terencemann

          The other thing is that a lot of the original Wrigleyville businesses have moved out or been pushed out by leases. The bars and restaurants there now are, imho, more likely to pull people into the area than they once were. It’s been a pretty symbiotic relationship and there’s no reason to think it can’t continue to be if both sides are willing to make compromises. What’s the inflation-adjusted value of a home in that area now compared to 20 years ago, even with the recession?

  • Joel

    Totally for it!

    I do like day games, but didn’t Kerry Wood even say that it puts the Cubs at a disadvantage. If he is willing to say it than who can argue. I agree with you Brett saying that a 3:05 start is a nice way to start the weekend without taking up Friday night entirely and I’ve always loved night games. Makes the atmosphere more inviting to me. Going to Miller Park and Busch Stadium for night games and it just seems way more inviting in terms of watching the game under the lights whereas day games seems like not everyone is truely paying attention. They let their attention wander. Yes there hasn’t been much to pay attention to, but in terms of the future lets hope there will be.

  • cubs1967

    later Friday games-absolutely.
    Sat-NO; leave the weekends for the day so families can attend and not have it be a large outdoor bar……..the nites games should be pushed during the week. not weekends.
    Mon-thurs-all nite.

    that would be ideal. i can already hear tunney crying how this is not fair. (he needs to go).

    • hansman1982

      I think Fri night games are a must – get people to come out to the game to buy tons of beers at giant markups.

      Saturday could be split between day and night – Families always have Sunday games to go to.

  • Mrcub1958

    As a 22 year season ticket holder of four box seats, here’s how I responded in the comments section.

    “I expect that we play the same number of night games commensurate with other NL teams. Period. I think decisions should not include factors aligned to an amusement park with attractions, a selfish neighborhood, or nostalgia. Rather, the decision should be based solely on factors that contribute to winning the World Series (revenue, team travel, summer heat, etc.). I pay solely for the latter.”

    • RichP

      I agree 100%

  • jason

    Monday night games are fine and so are thursday.

    leave the rest for day games

    • Joel

      half the time thursday games are day games though cause it might be get-away day and might have to travel for an away weekend series

  • CubsFanBob

    I told them in the survey yes on both accounts. Hell I even asked for Friday evening games and wrote in to give us a parent / kid only bathroom.

  • RichP

    I’ve always been in favor of more night games period,but late afternoon games would be an excellent compromise. I usually work a lot in the summer,so I rarely get an opportunity to see a day game.
    An interested note. I read an article yesterday that the Cubs,in an effort to put an end to scalping abuse, had pulled the season tickets of 1000 season ticket holders. To me this is huge. Allegedly it was determined that these STH’s have been holding the seats specifically for the purpose of scalping. I can see if a ticket holder sells off tickets when they can’t make a game,but many live out of state,and never attend games. Kudos to the Cubs. So now,1000 season tickets are going to hit the market. Any thoughts?

    • BN”Legs:

      Yippee. Not I can move up 1000 spots on the season ticket waiting list…oh wait, there are still 40,000+ people ahead of me :-(

  • CM

    I’m always amazed by the fact that the residents of Wrigleyville need to factor into any decision involving the Cubs. Wrigleyville is Wrigleyville because of the Cubs. Anyone living there or moving there knows this to be a fact. It is not as though someone magically threw up a stadium in the middle of the night and said, “hey from now on, several times a week in the summer there will be an extra 40-100 thousand people here in the neighborhood.” Newsflash to businesses and residents, your revenue and property values are directly related to the Cubs being there. Certainly there are some trappings to it related to parking, traffic movement etc, but what massive metropolitan area doesn’t have that? Plus, it’s not as though traffic in Chicago is free flowing 24/7 when the Cubs aren’t in town or in the off season. Note to home buyers considering a property purchase in Wrigleyville. The Cubs play there for a few months each year. All those awesome bars, restaurants and shops that make the neighborhood so attractive to live in are there for a reason. And to all of the residents that have been there for a while, there’s a reason your property values have increased immensely since the 90’s, and have probably held steady comparitively even in the housing downturn, and it has nothing to do with the granite countertops you had installed.

    • RichP

      Preach brother,you’re preaching to the choir. If it weren’t for the Cubs,Wrigleyville would be a ghost town,an economic third world neighborhood. I think the Cubs needs to buy a whole block near Wrigley field,and tear the buildings down to provide parking. That would appease most of the reservations to more night games by the Wrigleyvillians(Wriglyvillians?Wriglyvillanians?). Having to take a bus from Devry is a drag for fans,and the parking at Taco Bell,or other local spots is astronomical in price. I can see were the locals would be mad coming home from work,and not being able to get a parking spot,but there has to be a solution to allow the Cubs to be more competitive by adding more night games.

      • Ed Wiese

        I dont know where you live. But if u are in Chicago and dont feel like fighting traffic and finding a parking spot, might I recommend the EL?

        • RichP

          I live in Woodstock. Far Norhtwest suburbs. No el access.

    • mak

      Just to play devil’s advocate… it’s not like Wrigleyville is the only Chicago neighborhood where businesses thrive. To say that without the Cubs, Lakeview would become a ghost town, well, is fundamentally flawed. Lincoln street between fullerton and diversey is jam packed thurs-sunday, the 6 corners in bucktown, etc. And the residents in those neighborhoods have just as much say as what happens in there.

      Now, should you move to Wrigely if you don’t like crowds? Probably not. But the landowners in the city are closely affected by adjacent property. Without restrictions, their property becomes less valuable, as it becomes less desirable to live in. Not easy to understand if you aren’t in the city.

      • CM

        I live in L.A. and have a house in Wicker Park as well, so I’m rather familiar with bustling metropolitan life. I bought my place in Wicker Park just before the upswing (in anticipation of it) hoping for just the traffic and packed nature you are talking about. And when it happened, I sure as hell didn’t bitch about there being more people around and less parking, because the value of my home was leaping upward. I live pretty close to the ocean here in L.A. and in the summer, we get literally thousands of extra people in a very small area everyday but guess what? I expect that because I live by the beach. I don’t believe that Wrigley would be a “ghost town” per se without the Cubs, but to think it would even be in the stratosphere of what it is with them is ridiculous. There’s an old saying, “don’t buy a cat and then be mad that it isn’t a dog”. Every single individual that has moved to or lived in Wrigleyville for the last fifty years, unless they are blind, knows there is a massive structure called Wrigley Field at the corner of Clark and Addison and if they aren’t aware of the perils of said structure then most likely they shouldn’t have been able to get a mortgage or sign a rental agreement in the first place.

        • mak

          I think there’s a difference between understanding your neighborhood before you move there, and having a say on what happens in your neighborhood. Wrigelyville residents move there with the knowledge that night games are limited to 30 something times a year.

  • mr.mac

    3:05 Friday games would be amazing! I do enjoy Saturday noon games, however.

    • Leo L

      i definately enjoy the day games. prefer the day games especailly with the kids . I have to come from out of town but close enough to make it a day trip so i prefer teh day games on weekends including friday. I prefer the night games with just the wife. a mixture of the two would be great. i like the idea of 3 pm games on friday. go to a game. have late dinner and meet friends afterward and stettle into the wekend that way if i decide to stay in Chicago.

  • Jim

    3:05 day games on a Friday would create such traffic (car and CTA) in the area it would instantly become an instant drawback for both those attending the game and the Wrigleyville residents. The later Saturday games would be a good idea, but the Friday day games would be a nightmare.

    • CubsFanBob

      Actually it may help traffic on Friday’s. Typical Friday game finishes around 4pm. All of that foot and car traffic hits the 5pm / summer hour traffic. A 3pm game would mean most fans are hitting Wrigley between 12pm & 2:30pm and not leaving till closer to 6pm or after.

      I live a few miles west of Wrigley down Addison. Trust me day time weekend games log jam everything within a 3-4 mile circle of Wrigley.

      • Cub Fan Dan

        Agreed Bob. I think it would help traffic rather than hinder. I would think some fans attending 3:05 Friday games would leave the park at 6pm-ish but many would stick around to have a few pops on a Friday night at wrigleyville establshments (Cub fans tend to do that). Those fans leaving the area well after 6 (with a designated driver, of course),

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    Just keep Sunday day games and I’m happy.

  • Ed Wiese

    I could see having a few Friday night games. Some teams on the West Coast schedule all night games, even the last game of the series. As it is now, sometimes our CUBBIES dont get back on on Friday until 1 or 2 am, then they have to play at 1:20. I see a potential problem right there!

  • Spriggs

    As an out of town Cubs fan, I would be totally in favor of Saturday night games. It would mean more TV games that wouldn’t be blacked out because of Fox.

    Also in favor of late Friday – which would make getting to Friday games on time a possibility. It’s almost impossible right now to get on a plane on Friday morning and get checked in at a Chicago hotel, then hop on the L in time for the game. So my weekend Cubs vacations usually have to start a day early (more expensive and more work vacation time),

  • Sully

    I think the Cubs have been way too nice to the neighbors. I’m not saying they should be total a-holes but come on. They knew Wrigley was there when they moved in and that nite baseball would most likely happen at some point. I love day baseball but more nite games would totally help our Cubs.

  • mysterious4th

    I would be all for later games on Friday and Saturday . It was always harder to get to the weekend games when I lived outside the city. It involved getting up early (usually Friday was reserved for drinking practice for cub games on the weekend)I always liked the idea of later games on Friday and Saturday. I would feel bad for them if they had a late afternoon or night game that was delayed or went into extras and they had to come back on Sunday and play a noon or 1pm game. That would make for some tired cubs (and fans like me that usually go for weekend sets)

  • Goldcoast cub

    Because I lived in east lake view a few years ago I still get the community newsletters. I responded for more late games on both accounts. I also buy into the more day games are a bad thing for the players, and that was part of my comment to the cubs.

  • die hard

    Would only make sense if mandatory Sat day night doubleheaders which would allow maintaining tradition of parents bringing young kids to games and avoid beer drinking rowdiness…young kids need to be accomodated as who else will be future fans…..then let the beer drinking 20-40 crowd take over the Sat night games…In fact, should be no beer sales on Sat day games…cater to the young families….would be a win win

    • Dr. Percival Cox

      Ticket prices need to drop substantially if families are going to frequent the ballpark again. That’s a pretty serious long-term problem.