Cubs Night Game Articles
Deal set on night games
Cubs, city reach tentative accord
By Gary Washburn
Tribune staff reporter
February 7, 2004, 2:24 PM CST
The Daley administration and the Cubs have reached a tentative agreement
that would permit the team to phase in additional night games at Wrigley
Field starting in the 2004 season, City Hall sources reported Friday.
Under the accord, the Cubs—now limited to 18 games per season under
the lights—ultimately would be granted permission for 30 by 2006,
the sources said.
In return, the team would fund a variety of initiatives designed to address
game-related problems, ranging from congestion to litter.
The neighborhood protections would be in place in time for the approaching
2004 season, when the team would be permitted to play 22 night games.
Four additional night games totaling 26 would be allowed in 2005 and another
four in 2006, according to the tentative agreement.
Although schedules have been printed and other preparations for the upcoming
season have been made, sources said it still may be possible to alter
starting times to accommodate the four additional night games.
The neighborhood protections include operation by the Cubs of a remote
parking lot—designed to cut traffic in the area immediately around
Wrigley and additional refuse pickup paid for by the team. The Cubs also
would create a $1 million fund that would be used to remedy any future
problems identified by community leaders.
Failure by the team to live up to its end of the bargain over the first
two summers would give local leaders influence to deny implementation
of the last four permitted night games to be phased in for the 2006 season.
Sources said the tentative agreement came late Friday at a City Hall
meeting. In attendance were Sheila O'Grady, Mayor Richard Daley's chief
of staff, plus Cubs representatives and aldermen from the wards surrounding
The Cubs are owned by Tribune Co., which also owns the Chicago Tribune.
Ald. Thomas Tunney (44th), whose ward includes Wrigley, confirmed that
the tentative deal had been reached. Neighborhood leaders were to be provided
a summary by e-mail Saturday in advance of a Monday meeting of a blue-ribbon
committee composed of local leaders.
"Our hope is that after two years of negotiations people are satisfied
with the neighborhood protections," Tunney said. "There is a
feeling that there is a majority of people who are supporting this plan,
but we really want to build an overwhelming consensus."
A joint meeting of the City Council's Budget and License committees was
scheduled to consider the agreement on Tuesday. Assuming approval, it
would go to the full council for final consideration at a meeting scheduled
For the last several years, community groups from the neighborhoods surrounding
Wrigley have pressured City Hall to ensure that traffic congestion, fan
rowdiness and other game-related problems be remedied before the city
allowed more night games. Meanwhile, team officials have said the added
revenue from additional night games would provide funding for the list
of neighborhood improvements.
In a related development, the Cubs and 10 of 13 rooftop businesses surrounding
Wrigley reached a formal agreement in late January settling their legal
Copyright © 2004, The
retrieved April 9, 2004
Pact allows Cubs to phase in 12 night games
February 7, 2004
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
After years of contentious negotiations, the Cubs and City Hall finally
cut a deal Friday to phase in 12 more night games at Wrigley Field after
the team agreed to several minor concessions demanded by Mayor Daley.
The agreement means the Cubs could phase in the first four additional
night games by the 2004 season, even though season tickets already have
been sold. Single-game sales don't start until Feb. 27.
The Cubs had been limited to 18 night games each year. Friday's deal
ups that to 30 within three or four years. The schedule, which still must
be hammered out, will either add four night games in three consecutive
years, or four games in the first two years and two games in each of the
next two years.
The Cubs will present the agreement to the neighborhood Monday night
at Wrigley's Stadium Club. It is expected to be approved by a City Council
committee Tuesday and the full council Wednesday.
Exactly how and when the first new night games will be shoe-horned into
the schedule won't be decided until after full council vote, sources said.
To nail down the agreement, the Cubs agreed to adjust their yearly contribution
to a neighborhood protection fund for inflation, according to sources.
Daley also convinced the Cubs that arbitration should be the primary,
if not only, vehicle to resolve future disputes with Wrigleyville neighbors
if the team doesn't live up to its promises. The mayor argued such disputes
don't belong in the courts, the sources said.
The life of the agreement was whittled from 15 years to 12 at Daley's
Community leaders and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), whose ward includes the
ballpark, were thrilled that the long-running night game saga finally
was coming to an end. They needed the deal to get locked in place this
year to get the Cubs to fund community protection plans that are not funded
in Daley's hard-times 2004 budget.
''I'm ecstatic,'' said Jim Ludwig, president of the Lake View Citizens
Council. ''It's great. Obviously, it's long overdue. All the protections
can go into place. We've got a happy customer in the Lake View neighborhood.
Remote parking will be beefed up. There will be tons of good things.''
The protections include improvements in neighborhood traffic congestion,
sanitation and parking. The Cubs agreed to establish a $1 million fund
for that program.
''I feel very positive,'' Tunney said of the deal. ''Our concern is
to have the neighborhood protection in place for this season. Without
an agreement, we would have had minimal protections. I'm anxious to move
this process forward. We've got to concentrate on having a winning team.''
The groundwork for Friday's deal was laid late last month. A City Council
committee approved limited landmark status for Wrigley without so much
as a peep from the Cubs. That was significant because Cubs president Andy
MacPhail and baseball commissioner Bud Selig at one point joined forces
to oppose the landmarking. The Cubs went so far as to hint that Wrigley's
future was endangered.
The limited scope of the landmark designation allowed the Cubs to add
200 premium seats in three rows behind home plate. The seats will sell
for between $200 and $250 apiece, bringing the Cubs an extra $3.2 million
in new cash each year. The Cubs also will get $1.7 million a year thanks
to a deal cut with rooftop owners, who agreed to fork over 17 percent
of gross revenues in return for their view of Wrigley.
The new night games add yet another revenue stream, with more money
expected from television ads and boosted attendance. More night games,
depending on when they are scheduled, also could give the players a break
from the summer heat -- an issue ballplayers have said for years works
against the Cubs.
MacPhail declined to comment on the deal Friday. But sources said the
team decided it can live with the changes imposed by Daley, who now can
save face after blocking a night-game deal months ago.
The deal also means the Cubs have checked off yet another item on a
to-do list that included dealing with the rooftops, adding the premium
seats, increasing night games, building 2,000 more bleacher seats and
constructing a restaurant, garage and Cubs Hall of Fame on adjacent property.
The latter two projects still remain, but the pressure to add seats
immediately has eased with the new revenue.
Contributing: Shamus Toomey
Retrieved April 9th, 2004
Wrigley night games rise from 18 to 22
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Updated: February 16, 7:58 PM ET
ESPN.com news services
CHICAGO -- The Cubs will be allowed to increase their night games at
Wrigley Field from 18 to 30 per season by 2006 under an ordinance approved
Wednesday by the Chicago City Council.
The limit will increase to 22 this year, 26 in 2005 and 30 in 2006 under
the ordinance, approved by a 42-0 vote.
The Cubs announced Monday that the added night games for this year will
be: June 8 vs. St. Louis, Aug. 11 vs. San Diego, Sept. 8 vs. Montreal
and Sept. 28 vs. Cincinnati.
hose games, originally scheduled to start at 1:20 p.m. CT, will start
at 7:05 p.m. CT.
The plan also includes provisions requiring the Cubs to spend more money
to address congestion, litter and other game-related problems in the residential
neighborhood that surround the ballpark, which opened in 1914.
"This is a win situation for all," Chicago Mayor Richard M.
Daley said. "It shows you when you work together things can be accomplished."
Daley had opposed an earlier version of the plan but gave his endorsement
to the version approved Wednesday.
The Cubs are the last major league team to play the majority of their
81 home games in the afternoon. Lights weren't added to Wrigley Field
The Cubs had been pushing for more night games, saying they would generate
more revenue. But many residents in the apartment buildings and homes
directly across the street from the ballpark and nearby fought it, saying
more night games would mean more traffic, congestion, rowdy behavior and
The City Council was expected to vote later on a plan to give landmark
status to Wrigley Field. The Committee on Historical Landmarks and Preservation
recommended a plan that would make the ballpark a landmark but still allow
for some changes.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.