As part of the Wrigley Field renovation and development project, the Ricketts Family is constructing an open-air plaza on the triangular-shaped property immediately west of the ballpark. The property was formerly used for parking, and now will be home to the Cubs’ subterranean clubhouse, which is due to be available to the players by Opening Day. Above that clubhouse will be the plaza, which the Cubs are hoping will be open at some point during 2016.
In November, the club released updated renderings of the plaza, which will be home to concerts, farmers markets, community activities, as well as eating, drinking, and shopping. I must confess: I am a big fan of walking around outside with friends and having a beer, so I’m really looking forward to the plaza.
To that end, Alderman Tom Tunney will soon introduce an ordinance to City Council regarding the particulars of when the plaza can be utilized, and when folks can and cannot be boozing. You can read the details here in the Tribune, and here in Crain’s.
Although beer and wine can be sold in the plaza leading up to a game, per the ordinance, alcohol won’t be sold during games, or for an hour afterwards (presumably to encourage post-game patronage at the local bars and restaurants). I doubt that’s what the Cubs were hoping for, given that the plaza figures to be an event location for folks who want to be near the ballpark (maybe even watching on a big screen) but don’t have a ticket to that day’s game. With the various other interested businesses in the area, though, and with the drinking being done in a huge outdoor space, I’m not surprised that there are limitations in the proposed ordinance.
We’ll see what the final version of the ordinance says whenever it is ultimately passed, which could come as soon as next month.