City Council committee approves Wrigley Field plaza plan

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A City Council committee approved a plan to allow limited alcohol sales at the new plaza under construction next to Wrigley Field on Tuesday. The full City Council could vote on the measure as soon as Wednesday.

However, Cubs spokesman Julian Green said in a statement Tuesday that the plan puts a "bizarre set of parameters" on the Cubs' ability to operate the plaza.

"On game-days, it forces Hickory Street to build a wall to keep out non-ticket holders, including Chicago residents and tourists who want to enjoy the game-day experience around Wrigley Field," Green said. "It limits the number of events and jeopardizes watch parties during the playoffs which are commonplace at stadiums across the country. Finally, it raises legal questions as to whether it violates a 2013 agreement with the City regulating concerts at Wrigley Field."

Under the agreement, the Cubs will be permitted to operate a new outdoor plaza adjacent to Wrigley Field, with restrictions on hours of operation and alcohol sales.

The tailored approach sets different hours for game days and non-game days, and special events, including farmers' markets, ice skating and movies.

The team will be allowed to hold 12 special events on the plaza annually.

Many people who live in the neighborhood have been fighting back against this outdoor plaza plan for a number of years.

Earlier this month, a meeting between Wrigleyville residents and the team's neighborhood relations manager got a bit heated, as people talked about why they didn't want this outdoor plaza to be built.

"We have families that live here, people who have kids who have to go to school, people who get up early who have to go to work," Lisa Iverson, a Southport neighborhood resident, said.

But the Cubs' neighborhood relations manager, Heather Way Kitzes, said their vision is not a "24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, 365-day-a-year beer garden."