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respect wrigleyWith a rapid change in tone from a Wrigleyville community leader, it has become even safer to assume that the Chicago Cubs will get the night game portion of the renovation framework, as agreed to by the Cubs, the Mayor, and Alderman Tunney, and introduced before City Council last week.

Lakeview Citizens Council President Will DeMille told Crain’s reporter Danny Ecker that he feels like the increase to 35 scheduled night games, with flexibility to increase that to 46 when MLB requests it, and the addition of six 3:05pm starts on Fridays, is an inevitability at this point.

“While people may not like the number of night games and concerts that are proposed in the ordinance, I think some folks are becoming resigned to the fact that it’s part of the framework,” DeMille told Ecker, adding that he gets the sense that the 3:05pm Friday starts are cemented in as part of the framework. “We may have to make lemonade out of a lemon on this one.”

DeMille told Ecker that his group will have to instead focus on other issues, including security and parking.

All in all, it’s a good sign, if you had any lingering concerns that the night game piece of the framework would not clear the necessary procedural hurdles. If DeMille, who had been a very vocal opponent of these changes, has resigned himself to the fact that it’s going to happen … well, it’s going to happen.

The increase in night games, and the later Friday starts, should increase Cubs revenues by way of ticket sales, concessions, and the anticipated TV deal, and should help, slightly, with the Cubs’ players body clock issues. Irrespective of the renovation, to which the nights games are admittedly only loosely tied, the increase in night games is a very good thing for the Cubs.

The night game ordinance is expected to be voted on at the June or July City Council meeting.

  • oswego chris

    Umm…I really don’t like the “Lemonade out of Lemon” analogy this dude made…he should have said something like

    ” I guess the “boom” we endur, will have to be more of an economic boom”
    ” I guess there will be more Gold in this property, and someone’s gonna have to mine it”
    or less subtle

    “Sh@#! They may really call our bluff first…and move”

    just some random thoughts and opinions…oh, and I must admit I don’t follow this that closely, but are there like 48 different groups being represented her?

    • Cubbie Blues

      No, more like 49.

      • MichiganGoat

        or 99 but the night games ain’t one

        • BluBlud

          Hit it

  • JB88

    Brett, have you followed things close enough to know what would happen, say, if the Cubs had a 3:05 p.m. Friday start that MLB wanted to have as a night game. Under that scenario, would the Cubs lose that 3:05 game plus use up one of the 11 flip games or would they then have the flexibility to move a different Friday game to a 3:05 start?

    Also, out of curiosity, what is your sense on how much MLB is going to work with the Cubs to add 11 additional night games to the Cubs’ portfolio? I have had this sort of sneaking suspicion that Bud and MLB is going to help the Cubs’ coffers by pretty much requesting an extra 11 Cubs night games per year.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      MLB is definitely going to get the Cubs to that 40 mark just about every year (the Cubs will schedule 35, and the ordinance will give them up to 40 when MLB asks; then, over 40, they have to get special permission, up to 46). Above 40, though, I tend to think it will really only come in the case of a successful Cubs team that MLB believes will benefit the overall MLB brand by featuring in more night games. The Cubs haven’t been that team since 2008.

      To the first question, it’s a good one that I don’t believe anyone has answered explicitly yet. My guess is that, in that event, the Cubs would indeed lose that 3:05 game and it would be considered one of the 11 flipped games. For that reason, I suspect that the Cubs would resist those Friday flips. That said, are there many nationally broadcast MLB games on Friday nights? Seems like that would be a pretty weak TV night. I know they’re adding a bunch of national games in the coming contract, but I’d guess that Friday is probably the least popular night for televised games. So maybe it won’t ever really come up.

      • Ivy Walls

        National broadcast games are Sunday afternoon (TBS) Sat afternoon (later), and Sat night FOX, Sunday night (ESPN), Monday night (ESPN) and then there is the MLBN that could qualify as national broadcasts, they are all over the place.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Indeed. I think those are expanding in 2014, though, with the new national contracts.

      • JB88

        I appreciate your detailed response.

        As for the substance of the first paragraph, I think you underestimate the TV-worthiness of Cubs baseball. With the interleague series, I could easily see any Cubs-AL East or AL West games at Wrigley getting a night game, Cubs-White Sox, Cubs-Cards, Cubs-Dodgers, Cubs-Giants, and possibly Cubs-Braves all likely fit that bill also. IOW, no matter how good (or bad) the Cubs are, the Cubs are and likely will always be must see TV nationally for many fans.

        As for the Friday flips, you are probably right on both accounts. I suspect that the Cubs are aiming more for those Sunday night games anyway.

        • BTC

          I may have missed something, but why would it count against the 3:05 start? I would agree that it would count towards the 11 flippable games. Why would it be any different then a game starting at 1:20 that got flipped?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            If the Cubs had a remaining Friday they could reschedule to 3:05, I’m sure they’d be allowed to do it. Problem is, the Cubs really only want to do the Friday 3:05 thing in late-May, June, and July. Only so many home Fridays to go around.

            • BTC

              Oh okay. That makes sense then.

  • Featherstone

    When the bulldozer of of Chicago Politics says move, you’d best get out of the way.

  • Ivy Walls

    Looking at Cubs 2013 schedule, they have 11 home Friday dates, where six would be 3 oclock start, if you looked at they also have 6/8 Sat home games at 3, and 2 at 6 and 2 at 12 remaining. I bet you will see that of the 14 home Sat dates, they will 6 home dates of Fri/Sat 3 home starts. That leaves 70 dates remaining. Take 14 home dates of Sun and you are down to 56 dates, Now if you have 35 night games scheduled where the Sat night dates are let us say requested by MLB let us say 4-6, (want to bet it is an annual thing),

    That leaves 35/50 remaining dates that are night games on weekdays. Further figure in weekday get-away dates, which this year are five, so that would have been required, so now there are 10 dates remaining where day ball of the Wrigley tradition.

    I bet that after the renovation and all this Cubs revisit this and permanently move the night games to 46 each year, leaving five dates in April as day ball.

  • Matt

    Maybe I’ll move tithe coast and “resign,” myself to the hurricanes that refuse to stop showing up. Or Pompeii and complain about volcanoes. Perhaps Antarctica and lament the chilly weather.

    • DarthHater

      You penguins get the hell off my lawn!

  • Matt

    * to the

  • Die hard

    If true then Ricketts may be kicking self for not asking for 60 night games before the community wakes up to fact been hoodwinked

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