The Cubs got the nod on Wednesday to play a rare Friday night game on June 18 against the Miami Marlins, as the team returns to Chicago late at night after playing the Mets in New York.
Normally Friday and Saturday night games are banned as they worsen parking and congestion issues in Wrigleyville when restaurants and nightclubs count to draw their largest crowds.
But at the request of local Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), City Council’s licensing and consumer protection committee agreed to make the one-time exception due to the Cubs’ travel schedule, hoping a better-rested home team would be more likely to defeat the Miami Marlins.
“It’s a pretty simple question. This is to move a daytime game scheduled for Friday June 18th to a night game …. We have done this in the past on a very limited basis to help accommodate tight travel schedules in the hope that a well-rested team could get us into the playoffs, ”Tunney said.
“The Cubs, traditionally by the Night Games Ordinance, were not allowed to play Friday or Saturday night games without that kind of exception. … This was done historically because in general in Lake View and other communities, Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest evenings for restaurants, theater, and other uses really needed to maintain these companies alive. When there is a game around Wrigley Field, there is too much congestion and parking issues for other businesses to really survive. ”
Before the final vote, Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th) asked Tunney how often the ban on Friday night games is lifted.
“Once in a blue moon. Every time the Cubs make the playoffs,” Tunney joked.
During the Zoom hearing, Licensing Committee Chair Emma Mitts (37th) raised her hand.
She appeared to be wearing a replica of the World Series ring distributed to Cubs players and staff after the team won the 2016 World Series, ending a 108-year championship drought that was the longest in the Major League Baseball.
“Can you take one home?” With you getting that extra night [game], we are looking for a victory. It is your victory here. We need a World Series from the Cubs, ”said Mitts.
Cubs vice president and general counsel Mike Lufrano responded, “That would be great. Thank you, Madam Chair.