The Chicago Cubs want to play more night games on the North Side, so they’re asking the city to lift its cap on the number of evening games allowed at Wrigley Field each season.
In total, the team hopes to host 11 more games at night, bringing them to a total of 54, a number management says is the average for most other ball clubs.
The comments were made by Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney who told the Chicago Sun-Times Monday, “We’re one of the few teams that not only has to beat everyone in our division, we also have to beat the city that we play in to try and win games.”
“At some point we’d love to not be handicapped, as no other team in baseball is by the number of night games you play,” Kenney said.
Alderman Tom Tunney said the lower number of night games was negotiated so the field could host concerts in addition to games.
“The ordinance governing evening activities inside Wrigley Field was negotiated by the Cubs, the community, myself and the Mayor's office and has another seven years before it expires,” Tunney said in a statement. “The Cubs have chosen to schedule concerts in instead of night games.”
That claim was echoed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Monday, whose spokesman said in a statement Monday that the mayor “has been clear all along that the Cubs had to be good neighbors.”
“That’s why we refused to force taxpayers to subsidize the stadium work and it’s why there have been restrictions on the number of nighttime events at Wrigley for decades,” Adam Collins’ statement read. “We did increase the number of nighttime events the Cubs could hold, but the team chose to have more concerts instead of more night games and that was their call.”
Fans say they would welcome more evening games, but some residents in the area question whether it’s the best idea.
“I’m happy for the Cubs, but definitely living in the area you have those people who are very obnoxious at 3 in the morning,” resident Amanda Lovelace said.