August 25, 2017.
Mark it down in your calendars, for that’s the night the Lady Gaga will be visiting Wrigley Field for a concert.
But if she’s not your particular flavor of entertainment, that’s OK. The Cubs are hosting more concerts at Wrigley Field this year than they have in quite a while.
By an ordinance passed in 2013, the Cubs can schedule up to 35 night games OR night events per season, plus four major concerts inside the park that don’t count towards that total, and eight additional night games that don’t count towards that total if they are requested by MLB for national broadcasts.
So far this summer, the Cubs have scheduled 9 concerts and 29 night games, meaning there’s room for one more night event, a game or a concert. And it looks like the Cubs will hit that limit soon, opting for another concert.
According to Danny Ecker at Crain’s Chicago Business, Lady Gaga’s show in August is the ninth concert scheduled – in addition to acts like Green Day, Billy Joel, and James Taylor – and one more may be on the way:
Updated: Cubs now say they have one night game slot open this year, will "likely" add a 10th concert. https://t.co/cpBn51ifH9
— Danny Ecker (@DannyEcker) February 8, 2017
Indeed, Cubs spokesman Julian Green told Ecker that there is “likely” one more concert in the works, pushing the Cubs to the limit. But, given the article’s estimate that each concert nets the Cubs about $1 million, which is apparently more than the difference they get from a night game (over a day game), opting to max out concerts is not much of a surprise.
In fact, that’s probably been at least one factor in the Cubs pushing for more night events in recent negotiations with the city, and why the total number of events has tripled over the past three years (Read more about the current and past night event deals between the Cubs and the city at Crain’s Chicago Business).
We’ve said it before: more revenue into the organization, after expenses, means more money available to baseball operations.
But adding more non-baseball night events at Wrigley Field is not without potential complications.
Consider, as Ecker points out, now that the Cubs will soon reach their limit, they may have their hands tied when it comes to rescheduling rainouts. Without any more night openings, the Cubs will be forced to reschedule rainouts as day games, which can negatively affect the players of a team that already has as many day games as any team in baseball.
And if there are no days available to reschedule games, the bank of future night events will be drawn from. That may well be something that happens this year – it’s all a bit of a gamble.
But, hey, if things break right, the Cubs can earn as much as $10 million in extra cash, and we can all jam out to ‘Poker Face’ while dreaming of next year’s free agent class.