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respect wrigleyAlderman Tom Tunney yesterday introduced before City Council an ordinance that would permit alcohol sales adjacent to large sports stadiums in plaza areas. The relevance? Well, although it applies to U.S. Cellular Field and Soldier Field, for example, there’s a reason that the Alderman of the 44th Ward – in which Wrigley Field sits – was doing the introducing.

As part of the original Wrigley Field renovation and development plan, the Chicago Cubs were to be permitted certain concessions options outside of the ballpark in the plaza being constructed just west of Wrigley. Presumably, that will include apparel and souvenirs and food, but it’s also going to include the golden nectar of beer. Lots and lots of beer (and wine, if you’re into that sort of thing). You can read more about the proposed ordinance here at Crain’s, and see a copy of it for yourself, as well.

Although the Cubs have said they will not start construction until they’ve come to an agreement with the rooftops that will ensure that the rooftops don’t sue to block construction, it’s a good sign that the political process on ancillary parts of the plan continues unabated. For one thing, political approvals are never a lock, so it’s good to have Tunney on board. For another thing, if there were serious long-term concerns that the construction absolutely could not start in the next couple years (I’m phrasing this in the extreme), the Cubs would have pumped the brakes on this other stuff a long time ago.

As for the beer plaza thing, I dig it. I’ve always been a fan of casual, outdoor beer-ing, and if there are appropriate restrictions in place, it can be fun for all. Apparently you’ll even be able to carry your beer between the stadium and the plaza, so no more inappropriate chugging.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    I can’t see the local bars being too worried about this one. No self respecting major league stadium would sell a reasonably priced drink.

    • JB88

      Well, in fairness, neither do the bars in Wrigleyville, either …

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Heh.

    • Diamondrock

      I do so miss buying beer at Japanese baseball stadiums. 500 yen (about 5 bucks) for an enormous beer served to you at your seat by a pretty girl in hot pants.

      • college_of_coaches

        That’s all I need to hear. Buying season tickets to the Nippon Ham Fighters now.

    • Funn Dave

      Hahahaha good point.

  • chrisfchi

    I wonder if Tunney is getting pressure from the other alderman to get this going (ie the renovations) because IMO, this whole mess is making the city look bad to potential businesses that would want to build in the city.(especially in Mr. Tunney’s ward)

    • AdamAE24

      You give Chicago politicians too much credit.

      It’s more likely for him to get pressure because companies who give other politicians kickbacks aren’t getting paid yet.

      • chrisfchi

        I didn’t want to speculate on why he would be getting pressure to get it done, I just wonder if he’s getting more heat. I live in Chicago, and I know how corrupt these guys are.

  • Cub Fan Dan

    Dont forget the grills! Nothing beats a char grilled italian sausage or brat to go along with that cold beer.

  • The Ghost of Brett Jackson

    This does not seem like something Tunney would be backing…..

  • Rebuilding

    It seems that something – his constituents, campaign donations or Rahm Emmanuel’s boot – sure has brought Mr. Tunney around. Given his prior proclamations about the character of the neighborhood this sounds like something he would have previously been against. That is going to be a rowdy plaza in the summer

    • caryatid62

      I believe this was part of the agreement back in the summer, but is just now being brought to the Council.

  • Jono

    I live for inappropriate chugging

    • CubFan Paul

      We’re Cub fans.

    • RD

      Is Jono on the Alcohol of Fame ballot this year?

      • Jono

        Yeah, but don’t expect me to get in on the ballot

  • Kevin

    Hold on – let’s not get ahead of ourselves, this news has absolutely no bearing on the relationship between the Ricketts and the Rooftop owners which is the main reason for the renovation delay.

    • Rebuilding

      If anything this sets those relationships back. I don’t think Beth Murphy wants that kind of competition

  • Cubfanbob

    Wow thank you city of Chicago for being so gracious to allow the Cubs to sell $7:50 bud lights on their premise (there you go Jon Greenberg).

  • v23

    At first read, I thought Ricketts was being greedy, but then I remembered that it’s $5-$6 for a canned light beer at the bars across the street. Oh, and you have to wait 10 minutes for it.
    I think it’s a cool idea. I just hope a big stand is in front of Murphy’s to divert any business into that place.

    • terencemann

      Yeah, it’s not cheap to drink anywhere around Wrigley or at maybe I haven’t found the right spot yet. Nothing beats beer and batting practice at Sluggers, though.

    • ssckelley

      Do they charge that much all year or just when the Cubs are playing? To me that defeats the purpose of going to a bar before the game, to save money before going into the stadium.

    • praying the cubs get ready to win

      I know the Cubs haven’t done well over the past two years so ticket sales are down, but lets turn things around, lets boycott rooftops and bars like Murphy’s and get our stadium, and the additional revenue to begin competing again. Maybe everyone on BN can encourage eir friends to do the same.

  • Aaron

    If you were a rooftop owners, does PLAZA take potential revenue away from your business?

    “The Chicago Cubs were to be permitted certain concessions options outside of the ballpark in the plaza being constructed just west of Wrigley.”

    After all of the renovations to Wrigley are completed, seeing a game on a rooftop seem may lose alot of its charm. Wrigley Field, the Plaza and hotel with be a big draw. Hopefully when this happens, the team will also be very good.

  • Funn Dave

    There are few pleasures greater than outdoor drinking. Open beverage laws are the bane of my existence.

    • jon

      Agreed. That and rice pilaf.

  • Sect209row15

    My friend owns Yakzees across the street and the regulars stay away on game days because of the increased prices. Almost double from winter prices.

    • Champ Summers

      Some bars have 3 prices – Cubs day games, cubs night games and prices for their regulars.

      • Funn Dave

        Separate prices for their regulars? That seems kind of morally questionable.

  • Charels Bretz

    It’s not just the Cubs i.e. Ricketts or any other Chicago sports team that can be pushing the beer/wine sales, but you could also have distributors (one of the largest in Chicago just happens to be owned by the Wirtz family that just happens to own the Hawks as well), but you also have the unions (delivery drivers are unionized), etc.so a lot more pressure can be coming from large political donors so it possible its not just Ricketts going it alone on this one.

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    I had to chug my Old Style moving from the panel to the game at Cubs Social… I was surprised this was not a thing already.

  • 26.2Cubs Fan

    Is the ordinance only for game days? Or can I dream of a beer fest in the plaza on weekends where the team is on the road? Would be amazing.

    • DarthHater

      The answer is in the Crain’s article that Brett linked above.

      • 26.2Cubs Fan

        I see – on days where “events” are taking place in the stadium. I wonder how that will be interpreted. If there is a season ticket holder’s event going on with a few hundred people in the stadium, they can sell beer in the plaza. They’ll definitely be selling on concert days and if they have any other hockey games.

  • TOOT

    Marc Trestman is a joke. He needs to back to Canada. This is a game the Bears should have won. How do you try a field goal on 2nd down in that situation.

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