The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox will open their respective home schedules within the next week, and the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications is advising fans to be aware of new security measures around both ballparks.
In a joint statement issued by OEMC and Aldermen Tom Tunney and Patrick Daley, city officials discussed new parking restrictions, security procedures at both ballparks, and specific enforcement initiatives that the city is undertaking to ensure the safety of fans.
“With opening day finally here, we join Chicagoans in wishing the Cubs and White Sox well and remind fans about the safety measures in place, as well strict enforcement of parking and public intoxication restrictions to help minimize impacts to nearby neighborhoods and businesses,” OEMC Executive Director Gary W. Schenkel said in a statement.
Both ballparks will open their gates 30 minutes earlier than usual on their respective Opening Days for fans to get through enhanced security procedures. Metal detectors have been mandated across Major League Baseball at all ballparks, and both U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field will have the devices in place for their games.
According to OEMC, fans will not have to remove their belts or shoes at security checkpoints, but they will have to take their cell phones and cameras out of their bags and pockets in order to pass through the metal detectors.
The city of Chicago will also be heavily enforcing laws against underage consumption and purchase of alcohol, and will strictly enforce laws regarding public intoxication, according to the agency.
The city is also encouraging fans to use public transportation options, but also listed services that both teams will offer this season. White Sox fans looking for parking can park at McCormick Place’s Garage C for the opener on Friday against the Cleveland Indians, and they will have a free shuttle service to and from the garage.
As for the Cubs, their remote parking location is at Basic Wire & Cable, located at 3900 W. Rockwell. Free shuttle service is provided between the parking lot and Wrigley Field by the team before all night and weekend games.
The Cubs, White Sox, and Chicago Transit Authority websites all offer more information about the new procedures, which will first come into force Friday for the White Sox opener. The Cubs will hold their Opening Day contest on Monday night against the Cincinnati Reds.