respect wrigleyYesterday, the night game ordinance amendment that would allow the Chicago Cubs to schedule more night games at Wrigley Field as part of the renovation funding plan was approved by City Council’s License Committee. The ordinance amendment, for which you can see the nitty gritty details here, will now move before City Council, and could be voted on as soon as today’s meeting (which is happening right now).

Great, right?

Well, mostly. But there have now been some changes to the ordinance with which the Cubs don’t agree, and that they don’t believe were part of the original framework agreed to by the Cubs, the Mayor, and Alderman Tom Tunney.

According to Crain’s Danny Ecker, who attended the License Committee meeting yesterday, the Cubs have an issue with three changes:

1. The latest version limits the Cubs to two night games per year on Fridays or Saturdays, but the Cubs would only be having Friday or Saturday night games when MLB asks them to flip day games to night games pursuant to the national TV agreement. So, if MLB asked the Cubs to flip a third Friday or Saturday game, the Cubs would be put in the position of having to defy MLB or violate the city ordinance. That doesn’t seem very fair, and the Cubs would like to see that remedied before the ordinance amendment is finalized.

2. The City has the right to veto the Cubs’ chosen dates for rescheduled games (i.e., rainouts). On that one, I can understand why the City would want that power, but it’s fairly impractical given the nature of MLB scheduling. With travel issues and the infrequency of common off-dates, the Cubs/MLB are pretty limited in days they can use for makeups. If the City vetoes a couple of them … then what?

3. Non-baseball events in excess of four count as “night games.” Although the specific issue here is a touch unclear, as it’s been known from day one that the Cubs were going to get an increase in concerts from three to four, I suspect the problem is football games. If the Cubs wanted to have a fall night football game at Wrigley Field, after already having four concerts during the summer, that football game would count against the night game limit for the next season. There may be a piece of this that I don’t yet fully understand, but it seems like having to stick to four concerts and then day football games in the fall isn’t so unfair to the Cubs.

Ecker’s piece also includes a number of quotes and reactions from yesterday’s meeting.

City Council meets today at 10 am, and the night game ordinance could be discussed and voted upon, even if the Cubs aren’t yet thrilled with the contours.

  • Colocubfan

    The people on that city council must have egos the size of Lake Michigan!

  • caryatid62

    Cue the “CUBS SHUD MOVEZ TO ROZEMOUNT!” chorus in 3….2….

  • kgd

    I’m confused on point 3. I thought something like a football game wouldn’t count against their night game totals.

    “Events expected to have less than 15,000 people in attendance (an increase from 10,000) don’t count as “night games.” This does not refer to a drop in Cubs attendance, mind you. This is talking about other sporting events that are expected to have a lower draw (Northwestern sports, soccer, etc.).”

    • kgd

      Never mind, I misread.

  • Jon

    Fuck the Chicago City Council. These people need to be sterilized.

    • Brett

      Yeesh. That’s a bit far.

      • Jay

        Maybe, but this is the only city that actually thinks it should have a major say in how a PRIVATELY owned sports team gets run. This whole thing where the city thinks it should be involved in rainout reschedules just illustrates how skewed their whole perception is.

        • hansman1982

          They know that they now have the Cubs over a barrell.

        • Jon

          Provided a rained out day game isn’t being rescheduled to a night game, it’s absurd and unreasonable to think the City should have any type of veto or say when that game can be rescheduled. It’s none of their damn business.

  • Jim

    If the Cubs do away with concerts all together, can they get more night games? I never understand this. I am sure it is about revenue, but the way the outfield grass looks after these concerts is abysmal! I am all for moving the team in case anyone is looking for my vote…

    • Brett

      No. Concerts are a separate item.

  • Dougy D

    Move! Screw it.While Wrigley is a part of why many of us fell in love with the Cubs as a child, it is not the same Wrigley as it once was. I won’t go in to my rant against advertisements all over the place, but if they are going to do it, why not do it where they can maximize the profits of it rather than getting bent over by a bunch of slimy Illinois politicians.

  • aCubsFan

    Football is a huge issue for the Cubs because just like MLB controls when games are played The Big Ten Conference together with ESPN and The Big Ten Network controls when Northwestern plays.

    So, if Northwestern is requested to play a night game, or even the late afternoon game of the week which typically start at 2:30pm, and it was originally scheduled to be played at Wrigley, due to the ordinance changes the Cubs and Northwestern would have to weigh whether to violate their TV obligations to the conference or violate the cooperation agreement between the Cubs and Northwestern by moving the game to Ryan Field which would cost Ricketts and the Cubs revenue. Especially since any event scheduled to start between 2pm and 6:30pm are considered to be night games and count against next year’s Cubs’ season night games.

  • Nelson

    just move or it will be 100 more yrs

  • TommyK

    Here is the press release the Cubs should release today: “By its vote, the City of Chicago has indicated that it does not want the Cubs. By their comments, the residents of Wrigleyville have indicated that they do not want the Cubs. There are many cities in the Chicagoland area that do want the Cubs. We will begin speaking with them and evaluating our options.” I am sick of the Cubs getting pushed around when they hold the ultimate trump card. The Red Sox were planning to move and, guess what, they got what they needed to stay. The Cubs would too if they were willing to play a little hard ball..

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