SBD/November 27, 2013/Facilities

Alderman Introduces Proposal Allowing Cubs To Sell Beer, Wine In New Wrigley Plaza

Alcohol sales outside Wrigley Field also would be allowed for non-game events
Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to the City Council that would allow the Cubs to "sell beer and wine in their new outdoor plaza connected to Wrigley Field," which could increase team Owner the Ricketts family's "competition with neighboring bars," according to John Byrne of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The ordinance is "supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel" and would "allow alcohol to be sold in a plaza next to any Chicago sports stadium with capacity above 30,000, so it could apply to Soldier Field or U.S. Cellular Field as well." But the "focus is clearly on historic Wrigley Field and the Rickettses." The proposal states that alcohol "could be sold in a sports plaza directly adjacent to the stadium" from 11:00am CT until midnight on weekends and until 11:00pm on weeknights. Sales would "be allowed during nongame events like the concerts or ice skating programs the Cubs have talked about for the plaza to be built west of the park." The proposal also would "make it legal for fans to carry alcohol out of the ballpark and into the plaza, and into the park from the plaza." Emanuel has "largely supported the plan, citing the family's commitment to pay for the renovations." Emanuel's Dir of Communications Sarah Hamilton said that the mayor "backs the liquor license proposal"(CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/27).

UNHAPPY FANS: In Chicago, Fran Spielman writes the new outdoor plaza ordinance is the "latest in a string of City Hall concessions to the team that have prompted Wrigleyville residents to call Emanuel the 'Cubs’ most valuable player'" in '13. The Chicago Plan Commission last week "infuriated Wrigleyville residents by authorizing the Cubs to take an additional 10 feet of street and sidewalk to enlarge the stadium footprint to accommodate wider aisles, more concessions and a larger Budweiser deck" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/27).
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