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respect wrigleyMoments ago, the Chicago City Council approved – without any debate – the amendment to the Wrigley Field night game ordinance, which will allow the Cubs now to schedule 35 night games per season, with the possibility of 11 more night games per season where required by MLB’s national broadcast contract. The Cubs also get up to six late afternoon starts on Fridays, and an increase to four concerts per year. Previously, the Cubs were permitted just 30 night games, no late Friday starts, and three concerts. The Major League average is 54 night games.

We’ll wait to see what the final version of the amendment looked like – there was a little discontent by the Cubs on some of the precise details – but this is good news. You can see the gist of what this ordinance amendment means for the Cubs here. (UPDATE: Danny Ecker says the Cubs had to take their lumps on the three pieces about which they were annoyed (discussed in that “little discontent” link there). More on that later.)

The night game increase is happening. I know there’s so much build up to these things that the final approval feels hollow, but, yeah, this is it. It happened.

The Cubs get their night game increase, and this bodes well for the rest of the renovation approval process. The first piece is officially in place.

  • Ron

    Whew…

  • tom

    now I can sleep tonight !!!!!

  • Blublud

    This still sucks. The best ordinance would have been the Cubs can play as many night games as the choose.

  • Ben (BG2383)

    I guess I should be happy with a 5 game increase, but I still think that isn’t even close to enough. Hopefully, now that ownership has more clarity they will be able to spend more on the team. Thanks for your diligent coverage of this issue. Your coverage has been 2nd to none on the whole saga.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Ben. And fret not – the Cubs will almost certainly get at least 5 of those 11 extra games every year, so 40 is probably the minimum you’ll see.

  • MichiganGoat

    Joy? One down more to follow. At some point this should become a squel but not with all the headaches so far.

  • OCCubFan

    This is a long, long way from Ricketts being able to run the business like a business. The agreement, including this amendment, reeks of micromanagement. All this for a few extra night games that still leave them far short of what every other major league team has. If someone tried to regulate how you (Brett) ran your blog, you would have long since thrown up your hands in disgust and quit.

    • DarthHater

      Nonsense. Bert runs the blog precisely in accordance with my wishes and never peeps about it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You are not incorrect that this is a “make lemonade” situation for the Cubs.

      • MichiganGoat

        Well we have had plenty of lemons in our history so this should be easy.

  • Oswego chris

    The return of the 3:05 start…ahhh, that takes me back…now if they would just go back to playing Van Halen’s “Jump” at the beginning of TV broadcasts I could re-live the early 80s..

  • mak

    No way the Cubs agreed to let the city in on rescheduling make up games. How would that even work? I can’t imagine that got agreed to in any form.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The Cubs didn’t agree to it. The Aldermen wrote it in.

      We’ll see how it plays out in practice – it’s a rare event, and I tend to think everyone will work together to prevent it from being a serious issue (ditto the cap on Saturday night games flipped by MLB).

      • aCubsFan

        In my opinion the Saturday night tweak to the ordinance amendment has more to do with non-baseball events like concerts and Northwestern football games than it does with MLB flipping a day game to a night game.

        I think the city is trying to limit the times that the football games can be played and punish the Cubs if they go over on the non-baseball events. This would force Northwestern and the Big Ten to play all the games at Wrigley starting at 11 am. This would eliminate ESPN/ABC from having Northwestern as the late afternoon game of the week. You would not see a Northwestern-Illinois game like they had a few years back. It started at 2:30 pm and ended under the lights.

        That would be a great revenue generator, but that seems to be all for not now.

  • Mrcub1958

    Ecker article interesting. Makes you wonder how strong a resolve Ricketts will have if each successive hearing is met with constant hits to what the Cubs want and deserve? When is it enough to say this isn’t the agreement and publically vet options with the suburbs? One can only hope…

  • DarthHater

    Maybe the City Council should also have a role in deciding who pitches in the late innings. Might be worth trying… :-P

    • OCCubFan

      I can see it now. The Cubs starter is at 97 pitches and has just given up two singles to start the 7th inning in a one-run game. Sveum walks to the mound, pulls out his cell phone and calls Alderman Tunney, who in turn consults with the Mayor and the City Council. They finally decide to pull the starter. Then the Council starts debating whether to bring in Marmol or Russell or someone else.

      • cub4life

        I love this, what would normally take between 2 minutes and an inning or 2 will now take 6 months to get a hearing another month or 2 to find out if the starter is taken out or not and then another 6 months to a year of arguing back and forth before a decision is made…..and then they would have to figure out if they (the council) has already traded or released that player. What a great idea for our sport……:)

  • Justen

    Any idea if this is gonig into effect this year? I know the Cubs still have some TBD times set for Fridays so is it fairly likely those will now by 3:05 starts?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes, at least a couple of those are going to become 3:05.

      • Justen

        Are they allowed to switch any Monday-Thursday games that have already been announced as a 2:05 start to night games?

  • Kramden

    I’m wondering if posters understand the basics of negotiation…..

    You ask for the moon knowing you’re not going to get it, but “settle for” what you really needed in the first place. If you asked for what you really needed initially, you’d likely end up with far less.

    Outwardly, the Cub brass is doing the Aw Shucks thing, but they’re probably clinking the champagne glasses for their win within their offices.

    • hawkcub

      Don’t know if their clinking champaign glasses. They did have to jump through ridicilous hoops.

  • HackAttack

    The Cubs negotiated a deal they could live with. Then the city council undercuts it. Seems like a big loss to me.

    • Kramden

      The Cubs likely have some top lawyers on their payroll surrounding Crane Kenney, who’s no slouch in the business end of things himself.

      I highly doubt these guys were unprepared to navigate the gauntlet they went through.

      I have a hard time feeling sorry for them for not getting all that they PUBLICLY stated they were after.

      • aCubsFan

        Oh, I don’t think they were prepared for the last minute tweaks to the framework in the committee meeting, especially one that the city has the right to approve or veto rain out makeup dates. I also don’t think they were prepared to not have the Northwestern football games counted toward their night games for the next year.

  • Die hard

    Wish Mike Royko still alive– he would have crucified the Mayor and Council for allowing the Ricketts carte Blanche … When closing 50 schools and kids going to school hungry and roads and bridges disrepair with gangland violence all time high

    • Cubbie Blues

      You know Die Hard, sometimes you are very entertaining and sometimes you’re just an asshat.

      • Die hard

        What’s an asshat? Should I be flattered or offended at replying to the hypocrisy of King Rahman ? Didn’t hear him say that now all 50 schools to stay open and a sound breakfast guaranteed for every kid who wants it so they can learn.. I have skin in the game as close relatives teach in one of the schools spared … The stories I hear would make you throw up

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Yeah. It’s a shame the city is going to getting all that additional tax revenue to spend on all those areas of need without spending a single dime in terms of investment. That is exactly the sort of fiscal management Chicago has avoided for decades, and that is why the city and state are both in such remarkable states of financial health. Clearly the mayor should model is actions after the fine example displayed in Miami.

      • Die hard

        You’re too young to know that what you just said is verbatim what was argued in favor of the toll roads as being a great source of revenue etc– why still paying tolls? Roads Should’ve been paid off by now

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