More (minor) good news on the Wrigley Field renovation plan front, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Tom Tunney yesterday introduced a night game ordinance before City Council, per the proposal agreed to by the Cubs, the City, and Alderman Tunney. If that sounds like a non-story, it is. And that’s why it’s a story: it looks like there was no funny business, and the ordinance introduced is exactly what all sides agreed to last month. Huzzah. Serenity. Progress.
Under the ordinance, the Cubs would see an increased night game limit from 30 to 40, as well as six 3:05pm Friday starts, which could kick in as soon as later this season. The Cubs have agreed that they’ll schedule just 35 night games under this ordinance, leaving them five games’ worth of flexibility for when MLB asks them to flip day games to night games. If the Cubs are good, and MLB requests more than five games are flipped, City Council will approve those flips on an ad hoc basis (up to six additional night games, for a total of 46).
On flipping those additional six games to night games, Mayor Emanuel didn’t sound like he thought City Council should stand in the way if MLB comes asking. That’s because MLB will ask for the Cubs to flip additional night games only if the team is good and in a playoff race.
“If the Cubs are starting to win, I think everybody will be cheering in the city and that will be a good thing,” the Mayor said, per DNAinfo.
Per the Sun-Times’ report on the ordinance introduction, the Mayor sounds very positive that the framework his office put together with the Cubs – which includes the parameters of the entire renovation, including the hotel, the plaza, the JumboTron, and stadium upgrades – will move forward through these necessary processes without issue.
Those other processes – the Planned Development process, with its required committees, zoning approvals, etc. – will necessarily take longer to get to this stage than the night game piece, however.
The night game ordinance could come up for a vote before City Council within 30 to 60 days, at next month’s or the following month’s City Council meeting. It is believed, mostly for political reasons, that the ordinance will pass without any problems. If the Mayor and the Alderman say they want this, the other Aldermen aren’t going to stand in the way.