Cubs Might Not Get Their "Way"

Alderman says Cubs might need to reconsider street festival plans

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Cubs might have a tough time getting the go-ahead to turn Sheffield Avenue into a street festival called "Cubs Way" for three of the biggest series of the year.

    "We're at almost a saturation point with entertainment," said Ald. Tom Tunney (44th).

    Not Everyone a Fan of Cubs' Street Festival Plan

    [CHI] Not Everyone a Fan of Cubs' Street Festival Plan
    The Cubs might have a tough time getting the go-ahead to turn Sheffield Avenue into a street festival called "Cubs Way" for three of the biggest series of the year. (Published Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011)

    A similar idea was a big hit for the Northwestern-Illinois football game at Wrigley Field last November, but Tunney said it’s a different ballgame during the summer.

    "The weather worked in the fact that it was pretty controlled," he said.

    The team wants to block off the street on the east side of Wrigley Field for the Yankees series in June, the Sox series in July and a Cardinals series in August. They would sell food and drinks and have interactive exhibits for fans.

    Many merchants around Wrigley said they'd be on board as long as they can participate, something they were not invited to do at the Northwestern game.

    "We’re hoping it would be more neighborhood involved. Maybe we’ll have a booth out there and just have it more of a Chicago feeling," said John Long from Murphy’s Bleachers.

    He also hopes bigger crowds during the games will lead to bigger crowds in the off-season.

    "We're here 365 [days a year]. They're here 81, so having people come back outside of baseball would be great for us too," Long said.

    The Cubs agree.

    "We obviously can only fit 41,000 plus here at Wrigley Field, but there's a lot of people and a lot of excitement around those big series," said Wally Hayward, the Cubs Executive Vice-President and chief of sales and marketing.

    Hayward's selling it as a family festival.

    "Everything from a first pitch, a take me out to the ballgame call that kids can do, maybe jumping machines," he said, throwing out ideas.

    But that's exactly who Tunney said he's looking out for.

    "I’m talking about the residents who live and walk, and walk their dogs, and stroller moms," he said. "Why would we do this? What community benefit would we have?"