The Chicago Cubs have put plans in motion to serve alcohol during later hours at a new outdoor plaza near Wrigley Field.
Paperwork was filed with Chicago’s Liquor Control Commission to serve alcohol until 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends, bypassing a vote in City Council entirely.
The plaza on the northwest side of the field is billed as a year-round attraction that can hold more than 4000 people.
44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney expressed serious concerns about the sale of alcohol so late, in such a large area.
"We've never approved something that big, with that aggregation of people drinking in the whole State of Illinois, if not the country," Tunney said. "It's a unique situation and I don't think there's a comparison. I know there isn't in the city."
But the Cubs insist late-night alcohol on the plaza won't be a problem, applying for a standard patio license granted to other bars and restaurants around the city.
"We're looking for the same type of allowances that any bar or restaurant along Clark Street or, for that matter, across the city of Chicago can have," said Cubs spokesman Julian Green. "What the alderman is trying to seek is an undeveloped playing field. And we're looking for a level playing field."
By applying for an outdoor patio liquor license, the team would not have to get city council approval to move forward. The team hopes to open the plaza late this summer.