With Illinois’s governor moving the state into Phase 4 of its reopening plan tomorrow, and with Phase 4 permitting outdoor sporting venues to have fans in attendance at 20% capacity, it made sense that this week would be a lot of “so … what does that mean for the Cubs?” Today, we’ve heard from the Cubs and we’ve heard from the Mayor of Chicago, and I’ll tell you up front: it’s still an open question.
On the radio this morning, Cubs Business President Crane Kenney confirmed that the Cubs are hoping to have limited-capacity attendance this year at Wrigley Field, and they are working with medical and health professionals on what that could look like if it ultimately is permitted by the city and state. We know that the state is ready to permit it, but Mayor Lightfoot had been a little less clear earlier in the week, saying only that she didn’t necessarily see fans in attendance right away, but maybe later on.
Today, the Mayor was a little more clear, responding to Kenney’s comments, and noting that detailed conversations haven’t taken place yet with the pro sports teams.
“As I understand it, (Kenney) talked about 8,200 people in the stands at Wrigley. That’s a lot of folks, and it absolutely, obviously exceeds both city and state caps on venues and capacity,” Lightfoot said, per the Tribune. “But fundamentally, whether it’s 8,000 or 800 or 80, there’s got to be a plan for safety. And we’re happy to engage in that discussion with all the sports teams …. I want to be able to enjoy live sports in the stands myself. But we’ve got to do it at a time when we know that that’s appropriate under the public health guidance. And we’re not there yet.”
Not there yet. I think we all already knew that part, but it at least does serve as a reminder that caution will and should rule the day. Yes, businesses and patrons should be able to proceed with certain plans, but ONLY where medical experts indicate it can be done in a way that does not seriously risk community spread. Period.
So, like I said up top: it’s still kind of an open question whether the Cubs will be permitted to have fans at Wrigley Field by the July 24 opener, or at any point during the season. Frankly, I’d point out that it seems like it really is going to depend on the trend lines of infection in the city, which has done very well so far, but obviously things can change quickly.
As for the Wrigley Field Rooftops, as Kenney mentioned earlier, they can be opened already, so you can expect that there will be fans up there when games are played at Wrigley Field.