wrigley plaza

The sky is blue, the grass is green, and the Cubs are sparring with Alderman Tom Tunney in the 44th ward of Chicago.

As the world turns.

Back in the beginning of May, the Chicago Cubs reportedly applied for an outdoor liquor license for use at the planned plaza outside of Wrigley Field. While procedural in nature, the liquor license application was actually met with a fair amount of concern and controversy.

The application came after “talks broke down” between the Alderman and the Cubs. The Alderman hoped to limit and restrict when, where, and how frequently alcohol can be consumed on the plaza, and the Cubs felt that they were being treated unfairly in relation to other businesses in the surrounding area. The application, then, was a sort of a “we’re moving forward anyway” move by the Cubs.



In response to the Cubs’ application, Tunney revamped his plaza proposal, and you can read all about the changes at DNAinfo. The new proposal extends plaza hours to 10:00 pm Sunday – Thursday and 11:00 pm Fridays and Saturdays. The extension represents a theoretical compromise that falls between what each of Tunney and the Cubs had previously proposed.

Among the most notable and restrictive aspects of the proposal: only people with tickets to games or shows that day would be allowed on the plaza. In other words, if you were thinking of hanging at the plaza during a Cubs game to which you didn’t have a ticket, Tunney’s proposal would prohibit you from being there.

Additionally, the new ordinance would allow only for beer and wine to be sold, and creates new limits for special events. More specifically, Tunney’s new proposal would limit the plaza to eight (non-baseball) special events per year for the first two years (although, there’s indication that some events could technically last up to fifteen days (like a festival)). According to Cheung, the Cubs would still have to apply for a separate “public place of amusement” license for each one of these events.



Some other bits from the proposal include restrictions like (via DNAinfo):

  • Alcohol can only be sold on the plaza two hours before Cubs games or concerts, and through the seventh inning stretch.
  • The plaza will close 45 minutes after concerts and night games.
  • Wrigley Field concerts will be prohibited on weeknights during the school year from Labor Day through June 15.

In the end, Tunney wants to protect the neighborhood, the Cubs just want to be treated fairly like the other businesses in the ward, and it sounds like both sides are still open to continuing the dialogue. In most ways, both sides are doing right by themselves and these sort of things just take time. Negotiations are negotiations after all.

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.


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