The next small step in the Wrigley Field renovation and development plan re-approval process took place yesterday, with City Council’s License Committee signing off on some plan tweaks. You can read about the details in a variety of places, but this Sun-Times piece pretty much hits it all.
The biggest change signed off on drops the Cubs’ allowable number of night games from 46 to 43, but provides the Cubs for the flexibility they need in actually scheduling those games (rather than having the city micromanaging things). The Cubs also agreed to provide 1000 free offsite parking spots with a free shuttle to games, and agreed to pay fines if concerts go past an 11pm curfew.
Not addressed, however, was the recently-introduced plan to allow alcohol sales at the planned plaza just west of the ballpark. That plan has been tabled for now, to allow for more community input. It doesn’t sound like the situation is as contentious as other community-related items have been in the past, but the Cubs and Alderman Tom Tunney both seem open to working on the particulars. One issue is when alcohol can be sold at the plaza on non-game days. Another issue is simply providing the right contours for the provision of alcohol near stadiums, since it’s an entirely new thing for Chicago (remember, this could impact other teams’ stadiums, not just Wrigley Field).
The Cubs and Tunney both have an interest in making the plaza something that draws folks to Lakeview year-round, so I anticipate something will get done in plenty of time for the plaza to actually be constructed over the next few years.
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