Cubs officials are a little upset with the city after what they say are unique restrictions put on the new Park. “Despite local political objections and unique restrictions that made this project far more risky and expensive, the Ricketts family never wavered in their support of the vision of the Park at Wrigley,” said Crane Kenney, president of baseball operations and Hickory Street Capital. City officials insist the any restrictions in place are because the park is a new concept for Chicago. “We want to make sure we’re crawling before we walk and before we run,” said Ald. Tom Tunney (44th). “We definitely have some concerns about how [the plaza] is going to be managed — especially on game days — and that’s why it’s restrictive.”
The team and city have been battling over the Park ever since the concept was just an idea. Last year, after stalled negotiations the team applied for an outdoor patio liquor license for the plaza instead.
The success of the team has worried some local business owners. As a business it makes sense for the team to try to make a profit wherever possible. Sam Sanchez, owner of John Barleycorn and Old Crow and secretary for the Illinois Restaurant Association, says, “All we’re asking for is an even playing field so we’re able to work and have the same opportunities.”
The entire plaza’s capacity ranges from 4,000 to 6,000. This does not include the future restaurant that will be in the plaza. Currently only ticket holders can access the plaza on game days. The team hopes that someday everyone will be able to enjoy the plaza without restrictions.
By Michael Obrecki