SBD/June 5, 2013/Franchises

Cubs Approved For 46 Night Games, But Team Unhappy With Proposed Plan For Rainouts

Chicago city government is seeking control over rescheduling Cubs' home rainouts.
The Cubs "got the go-ahead Tuesday to play up to 46 night games per season at Wrigley Field, start six Friday afternoon games at 3:05 p.m. [CT] and stage four concerts under a deal that pleased neither side," according to Fran Spielman of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. There were "four last-minute tweaks" that concerned the Cubs. The tweaks would "require the Cubs to foot the bill for security and sanitation costs tied to more than 40 night games per season and forfeit a night game after any season that includes more than four 'non-baseball events,' including concerts or college football games." The team was "equally unhappy with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to cap the number of Saturday night games at two per season and give the city 'unprecedented' control over when rained-out games are rescheduled." Cubs Senior VP/Community Affairs & General Counsel Mike Lufrano said, "We hope it can be modified." The Cubs "weren’t the only ones who walked away unhappy after Tuesday’s standing-room-only License Committee hearing." So were Lake View residents, who "raised many of the same arguments that peppered the epic battle over installation of lights at Wrigley." They argued allowing the Cubs to stage up to 56 "night events" at Wrigley "places too much of a burden" on congested Lake View and "materially decreases the quality of life" for area residents. Full council approval "is expected" today. The only question is "what happens if the Cubs don’t get the changes they’re seeking" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/5).

NIGHT VISION: Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green yesterday said that he "doesn't expect these problems to hold up the broader Wrigley Field deal." Green: "The good news is, we're at the table, and we always have been at the table, and the city's at the table. So we're going to continue to talk and make sure we can move forward" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/5). One Cubs official last night said that giving the city control over rescheduling rainouts would be "logistically impossible, and shows the city's complete lack of understanding of how the baseball schedule works." In Chicago, Paul Sullivan notes the city "obviously could not tell other teams when it could come back to Chicago" as some teams "come in only once a year." The Cubs "intend to fight the change strenuously, and MLB is likely to support them on this issue" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/5).
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