Even though the Chicago Cubs will fight to win the National League Wild Card Game in Pittsburgh Wednesday, officials in the team's hometown neighborhood are preparing for the many fans that will flock to watch the game.
Some Wrigleyville business owners met with fire and police on Monday to lay out a plan ahead of the rush.
"We're expecting tomorrow to be just like Blackhawks game six," said Zach Strauss of Sluggers World Class Sports Bar. "This is do or die. Gotta win it! And I think we will!"
Strauss said the bar plans on doubling security and clearing out furniture to make the place safe for customers.
Alderman Tom Tunney said Tuesday that bars and restaurants in the Wrigleyville area will have additional security and will use plastic cups instead of glass.
While no additional parking restrictions are expected, police may choose to close streets depending on crowds, Tunney said, adding that officials are advising visitors to use public transportation.
All packaged goods stores have been asked by police to end sales at 10 p.m. for any game that could decide a series, including the wild card game, Tunney said.
“We welcome additional visitors and Cub fans to our neighborhood on a regular basis. We remind everyone to be respectful of our neighborhood and celebrate responsibly,” Tunney said. “The Cubs success is good for the team, our businesses, the neighborhood and our city. I wish them great success in the next few weeks and look forward to many more post-season games at Wrigley Field.”
Police said in a statement that they "have implemented enhancements to the deployment and without going into specific numbers, we're prepared from a resource perspective to keep everyone safe to celebrate a Cubs win."
The security precautions come after hundreds of Chicago Blackhawks fans took to the streets to celebrate the team’s Stanley Cup victory in 2013, breaking down police barricades, setting off fireworks and shattering storefronts. Nearly two dozen people were arrested in the celebration.
The Cubs game begins at 7:08 p.m. CT Wednesday.