An ordinance regulating the proposed plaza next to Wrigley Field was approved by the Chicago City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection Tuesday, although the Cubs claim the measure limits the area's potential.
Under the plan, the Cubs will now be allowed to operate the plaza next to the stadium. The ordinance restricts hours of operation and alcohol sales on the plaza.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel lauded the ordinance’s passage Tuesday.
“This is a significant step forward on a reasonable agreement that will allow the Cubs to offer new opportunities to their fans, while maintaining a high quality of life for those who live in the neighborhood,” Emanuel said in a statement. “This is further proof of the progress that is possible when you choose compromise over combat and the City of Chicago will be better off as a result of all sides coming together.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, Cubs executive Mike Lufrano told officials before the vote that the ordinance "places limits which will lessen the promise of this plaza." Lufrano also said the team envisions a family friendly plaza and hoped the ordinance would remain a work-in-progress.
Under the plan, beer and wine would be sold until one hour after day games end and until the end of night games. If there is a rain delay, sales would be cut off by 11p.m, the Tribune reported.
Additionally, the Cubs would be allowed to hold up to 12 other events in the plaza, including five large concerts. Alcohol sales would be cut off one hour before the end of events, which would run no later than 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The plaza would only be open to ticket holders for games and events and would be required to close 45 minutes after the end of a game or event.
To be considerate of parents and children during the school year, there is a provision in the legislation that prohibits the team from holding concerts at the stadium from Labor Day to June 15. Other events between Sunday and Thursday during that time are required to end by 9 p.m.
According to the Tribune, Cubs spokesman Julian Greene brought up the possibility of legal action after the vote, claiming the concert ban might violate the city's 2013 agreement with the Ricketts family, who own the team. The agreement launched the family's $750 million renovation of Wrigley Field and its surrounding area.
Ald. Tom Tunney, who first introduced an ordinance for the plaza in 2013, unveiled the updated plan earlier this month.
The Cubs called some rules unfair, namely the caveat that only allows ticketed patrons in the plaza during games. The team originally envisioned a plaza that could possibly available 365 days a year.
On Tuesday, Tunney said the revised plan includes input from the mayor, the neighborhood and the team.
If passed, the ordinance would lapse in three years.