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respect wrigleyMore (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.

  • Spriggs

    Nice.

  • cjdubbya

    SERENITY NOW!

  • mak

    I’ve always liked the Friday 1:20 start. Hoping we keep those.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’ll still be the case for most of the Friday games – but the six 3:05pm starts will probably be in June and July.

    • Spriggs

      The only thing I like about the 3:05 starts is that it allows out-of-towners like me the chance to get there in time for the game without spending an extra night at a hotel. It’s almost impossible for me to fly in on Friday (when I lose 2 hours), check in to a hotel, and make it to a 1:20 game. But otherwise, I don’t like them.

      • mak

        That’s fair. But I love taking a half day on Fridays and heading right to the ball park from work (or killing the afternoon by listening to the game at work). In the latter scenario, the CTA is already clear by rush hour.

  • http://@itsmerossw Ross Wallace

    I think the key player right now is the Mayor. He wants to use this as a huge victory during his reelection campaign (he said no public money and the cubs got no public money). Without his influence and continuous pressure to get these measures passed, we would be looking at a different story.

  • DarthHater

    I’m a little confused about this business of ad hoc city council approval of MLB requests to flip night games beyond five. I thought those requests from MLB sometimes come as late as the day of the game in question. Is it realistic to expect that the city council could/would act fast enough to approve such a request?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Great question: there’s some, like, advisory panel or something that can act on a moment’s notice. “City Council,” in that instance, is just shorthand.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, typically, a governmental body has an executive committee that is pre-authorized to act on matters that require immediate action. I hadn’t thought about that.

        • TaxCat

          I thought there was wording which would allow the corporation counsel to act on behalf of the city council.

  • http://@itsmerossw Ross Wallace

    I’m a little surprised to hear a couple people say they are not in favor of Friday 305 games. You guys didn’t really clarify why you are not in favor, I’m interested to hear.
    As local I love it. Allows me to take a half day and still make it to the game. Even if i don’t go I will still be able to watch the final innings during happy hour.

    • mak

      See my response above. Can take a half day and catch 1:20 game. CTA could be messy with a 3pm game and rush hour on Friday (which tends to run on the early side of 5 on Fridays).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      What about traffic on the way home from work? That seems to be people’s biggest grouse.

      (To which I say … when are you coming home? Seems like a 1:20 could be just as bad on a Friday, and probably worse.)

      • mak

        I *think* that the biggest traffic issue is the “reverse commute” or traffic coming into the city in the evening. The later the game, more cars are coming into the city later in the evening. Having cars leave the city after a 1:20 is probably less concerning than cars coming into the city right before/around rush hour.

  • DShea

    I wonder if those night and weekend season ticket holders will now have those 3:05pm Friday games as a part of their package. I’m assume they are not a part of that package because they start before 5pm, but I guess we’ll find out.

  • sven-erik312

    I love the 13:20 starts. The game starts here in Sweden at 20.20. Perfect, 12.20 starts are even better!
    Play ball!

    • corey costello

      So that’s roughly 7pm, your time?

      • cubsnivy56

        12+8=20…..8:20

  • Ed Wiese

    3:20 starts would come in handy after we have to catch a flight back from the West Coast!

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