Normally, Friday or Saturday night games are a no-no; that’s when Wrigleyville restaurants and nightclubs expect their biggest crowds. The exception was OK’d by a City Council committee because of the Cubs’ travel schedule.
The Cubs got the go-ahead Wednesday to play a rare Friday night game on June 18 against the Miami Marlins because the team returns to Chicago late the night before after playing the Mets in New York.
Normally, Friday and Saturday night games are a no-no because they exacerbate parking and congestion problems in Wrigleyville on a night restaurants and nightclubs count on to draw their biggest crowds.
But at the behest of local Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), the City Council’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection agreed to make the one-time exception due to the Cubs’ travel schedule, hoping a better-rested home team would be more likely to defeat the Miami Marlins.
“It’s a pretty simple ask. This is to move a day game that was scheduled for Friday, June 18 to a night game … . We’ve done it in the past on a very limited basis to help accommodate tight travel schedules in the hopes that a well-rested team might get us in the playoffs,” Tunney said.
“The Cubs, traditionally by the night game ordinance, were not allowed Friday or Saturday night games without this kind of exception. … This was done historically because generally, in Lake View and other communities, Friday and Saturday night are the busiest nights for restaurants, theater and other uses that really are necessary to keep these businesses alive. When there’s a game around Wrigley Field, there’s too much congestion and parking issues for other businesses to really survive.”
Prior to the final vote, Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th) asked Tunney how often the ban on Friday night games is lifted.
“Once in a blue moon. Whenever the Cubs make the playoffs,” Tunney joked.
During the Zoom hearing, License Committee Chairman Emma Mitts (37th) held up her hand.
She appeared to be wearing a replica of the World Series ring distributed to Cubs players and personnel after the team won the 2016 World Series, ending a 108-year championship drought that was the longest in Major League Baseball.
“Can you bring one of these back home? With you getting this extra night [game], we’re looking for a win. This is your victory right here. We need a World Series coming from the Cubs,” Mitts said.
Cubs Vice-President and General Counsel Mike Lufrano replied: “That would be terrific. Thank you, Madame Chair.”