Mayor Emanuel Not Into Cubs' Idea of Extended Work at Wrigley Field (UPDATES)

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Mayor Emanuel Not Into Cubs’ Idea of Extended Work at Wrigley Field (UPDATES)

Chicago Cubs

respect wrigleyAlthough it sounds like the Cubs haven’t made a formal request just yet, their possible plan to work around the clock at Wrigley Field, in part to ensure that the left and center field bleachers are ready by May 11, didn’t much in the way of support from the Mayor today.

Rahm Emanuel, who is currently in a run-off election to remain in the Mayor’s Office, told the Tribune and the Sun-Times that the ordinance limiting construction from 8am to 8pm is “absolutely clear.” The Cubs haven’t yet made a request to allow 24-hour construction, however, according to the Mayor. But, well, the tone he conveys in those Tribune/Sun-Times pieces is not that of a guy who is going to be supportive of inconveniencing the voting constituency right now.

So, we’ll see if there’s fallout from this, and if there are any further delays.

As some of you have noted during today’s pre-sale of Cubs tickets, bleacher tickets are not available until the June 11 game. That could be read as a tacit acknowledgement that there’s a chance the bleachers – any of them, not just right field – will not be open until June. [Edit – As Hawk notes in the comments, bleacher tickets are available for one May game – and only one May game – on the 29th. Strange.]

UPDATE: That was fast. The Cubs have responded to the Mayor’s comments, and you can see their official statement here:

So, it sounds like the Cubs have a fairly limited request, and – given all of the circumstances – the request strikes me as pretty reasonable. Let’s see if they can get this extension of the time.

UPDATE 2: And it looks like the Department of Buildings is saying no to the Cubs’ request (Crain’s). The Cubs wouldn’t be asking unless they thought they needed the extra time to keep things on schedule, so now we await the fallout. Given how hot pre-sale tickets appeared to be today, I can’t help but wonder if there is going to be a real revenue impact attached to not having bleacher seats available for a couple months. Just as an example: if there are about 5,000 bleacher seats that the Cubs would have otherwise sold over a 10-game period (season ticket holders are relocated or refunded, so they count, too), that’s 50,000 tickets in ten games. At approximately $60 in total revenue per ticket ($45 per ticket, plus $15 in concessions – conservative estimate), that’s $3 million in lost revenue over just 10 games. That assumes sellouts, which probably won’t be happening in April, but this is just to give you a ballpark idea.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.