The Chicago Cubs want to play more night games on the North Side, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel said no to the team's request Wednesday.
According to the mayor, the Cubs were offered the chance to have more "evening opportunities," and instead of using those opportunities on additional night games, they chose to host concerts at Wrigley Field.
"They could have used it for night games, but then, they would have to share it with Major League Baseball," Emanuel told the Chicago Sun-Times. "The concerts they keep all for themselves like they do the beer on the plaza."
In total, the Cubs were looking 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.
"You make those choices, you live with the consequences of the choices," Emanuel said. "That's how this works."
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.”
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.