Chicago Cubs Blast New Restrictions on Team's Ability to Sell Alcohol

Neighboring businesses don't want the competition.


David Ohmer / Flickr

The Chicago City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday that will allow the Chicago Cubs to sell certain alcoholic beverages at an outdoor plaza next to Wrigley Field. But before you get too excited, baseball fans, know that the decision comes with a plethora of rules and regulations—and the Cubs organization is none too pleased about their final shape.

The ordinance only permits vendors to sell beer and wine, and those drinks can only be purchased while there is an event at the stadium or plaza and cannot be consumed away from these locations.

Another restriction is a limit on the number of non-baseball events the plaza can hold: twelve, with no more than five of them being concerts. A permit is required for each, and only those with tickets to the event can access the open common.

Finally, plaza events cannot be held after 9 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays during the school year. This year, that is a period of 283 days.

To borrow from the late sportscaster Harry Caray, holy cow.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the ordinance was a compromise between the Cubs and those who live around the ballpark, adding that "the City of Chicago will be better off as a result of all sides coming together."

But Cubs spokesman Julian Green sharply criticized the rules: "What's been regarded as a compromise puts in motion a bizarre set of parameters which further restricts us from operating the plaza as an asset that's accessible to the entire community," he said in a statement.

Green also said the new rules regarding concerts could violate a contract between the Cubs and the city from 2013, when the team's owners launched a $750 million project to renovate Wrigley Field and the surrounding area.

The Cubs are right to call these new rules, which force the Cubs organization to maneuver around a series of obstacles to providing guests a good time (the sole reason for the team's existence!), bizarre. Moreover, there's a bootleggers-and-baptists aspect to the move: Local bar owners voiced concerns earlier this month regarding the possibility that the plaza might sell beer at lower prices than they do.

Thankfully, the ordinance is only in place for three years, giving both the Cubs and local residents the opportunity to draft an actual compromise.

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  1. Uh, you didn’t think the Windy City would give you everything you wanted, did you? When as a bureaucracy ever fully washed their hands of an situation when they could more difficultly impose restrictions?

    1. Fist,

      What do you make of the “non Alt-Text” link provided by Mr. Thomas with his article?

      1. I just assumed it was a virus and clicked it.

      2. If ever there was a picture that deserved alt-text it was that one.

        1. Specifically I’m thinking it should have been “Booze, broads, and bullshit. If you got all that, what else do you need?” – actual Harry Caray quote

  2. How are they ever going to retain Jake Arrieta if they can’t peddle more booze to alcoholics?

  3. But at least the children will be safe, right?

  4. “Local bar owners voiced concerns earlier this month regarding the possibility that the plaza might sell beer at lower prices than they do.”

    If your bar charges more for beer than a baseball stadium, fuck you.

    1. Fucker beat me to it. Posting anyway, because nyaaaah.

      Local bar owners voiced concerns earlier this month regarding the possibility that the plaza might sell beer at lower prices than they do.

      Unpossible. Clearly, these are not sportsball fans.

  5. the plaza as an asset that’s accessible to the entire community,

    It’s not a community asset, it’s just a private business. SELLING BOOZE. Yeah, I’m not a fan of limiting private businesses, and I don’t like any stupid “war on alcohol” but the Cubs have known since Day One that any request to expand their alcohol-selling footprint would be met with this kind of opposition.

    The Cubs are happy to have to city strongarm street peddlers selling Cubs-related merchandise, but then when the restrictions come their way they throw a temper tantrum. Fuck ’em and the double-standard they rode in on.

    1. Protectionism is only fair when it’s me being protected!

    1. It’s got to be mind-blowing to folks like CNN writers that some gays have the audacity to wander off the plantation.

      1. Oops that was meant for the “gays against guns” link.

        1. I knew what you meant. Any why did the ‘’ infographic stereotype gays as bearded, tank-top, tight-jean wearing svelte men?

  6. “You want to fuck with us now that we’re winning games, Chicago? How does the name ‘Las Vegas Cubs’ strike you?”

  7. On the other hand, if I was a business who’s tax dollars helped fund my competitor’s gigantic stadium, I’d be pretty willing to slight them in any way possible too.

  8. As one who lives within 8 blocks of Wrigley, I am supportive of these regulations. As soon as the Ricketts family purchased the Cubs, they immediately started re-negotiating all the agreements that the team had made with the community, including taking of public property to expand the stadium, additional night games and concerts, more liberal guidelines for alcohol sales, etc. Already, commutes home for folks that live in the neighborhood have increased dramatically (due to more night games), and far more drunk fans peeing in our neighborhood.

    …and stay off my lawn!

    1. …far more drunk fans peeing in our neighborhood.

      …and stay off my lawn!

      *pisses on Ryan60657’s lawn*

      1. Do it. Do it now! Piss all over his lawn like it’s an elevator owned by Cave Johnson.

    2. …stay off my million dollar lawn!
      Ya, unless you have lived there over 90 years STFU.They didn’t just plop a baseball stadium where there was once a cute little bistro.
      And your commute? Are you driving through one of the most congested clusterfucks in the city? STFU!

      People like you are the worst kind of hypocrites, you want to live near the stadium and say you live in wrigleyville and then get pissed off about all the baseball games.

  9. RE: Chicago Cubs Blast New Restrictions on Team’s Ability to Sell Alcohol
    Neighboring businesses don’t want the competition.

    Look, this is the People’s Republic of Chicago.
    Only monopolies are allowed in order protect the unwashed masses from the ravages of capitalist excesses.
    One only has to look at Detroit to see how wonderful socialism is working out.

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