Alderman 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.