As to not come out looking like a liar, Wrigleyville 44th Alderman Tom Tunney and the City of Chicago have come to terms on hosting a Wrigleyville Block Party during three key weekends this summer. The festival kicks off when the Chicago Cubs host the New York Yankees this week.
Tom Bever the Director of Community Outreach for the 44th ward initiated talks earlier this season with the city and the Chicago Cubs office.
"The original request was for a three-day festival with full-time closure of Sheffield," Bever said. "No other street event in the 44th ward has a street closed for three days. If you're opening the door to that, then you're opening the door to a lot more requests for new festivals.
The initial plan was to close down Sheffield between Addison and Waveland, but was comprimised to just the Wrigleyfield property. The event will feature live music, interactive entertainment, and overall festival fun. The festival will be held on game days between the hours of 11am-8pm in the purple and red parking lots on the west side of Wrigley.
"The Cubs' original proposal was to close Sheffield, and it met with pushback from the community," said Bever, "Our office didn't see the community benefit in closing down the street, that's why it was modified to doing the event on private property."
"As it is, the alderman is not open to the idea of creating new street festivals. This compromise was acceptable."
Even with dealing with strawbossing from the Alderman, Bever said that the office will monitor the three weekends to determine the feasibility of future events.
Closing off the Sheffield street between the Wrigley four corners isn't new to the city. During the Northwestern v Illinois football game the street was closed off and nicknamed "Wildcat Way" on Nov. 20th of last year. Encouraging the Cubs and executive vice president and marketing officer Wally Hayward.
This could only mean good things for the Wrigleyville community and Cubs organization as a whole. With ticket sales slumping and general interest in the Cubs dwindling due to poor play and the economy as a whole, this undoubtedly should bring some intrigue and fan support to the northside.
"Working with (Ravenswood Event Services), we've been able to put this festival on our property to help our fans enjoy new experiences at and around Wrigley Field," Hayward said. "'Wildcat Way' worked out so well when we ran that with Northwestern and Illinois that we felt for our prime games during the height of summer that this would be a great experience for us as well as our fan base."
There will also be a block party for the St. Louis Cardinals (Aug 19-21,) and Chicago White Sox (July 1-3) Crosstown Classic Series. Make sure to note that these games are "marquee," as they are the highest marked price tickets available for the season.
Hopefully with this bump in intrigue on the northside the Cubs can find a way to turn it around and give the patrons something to cheer for that actually has to do with baseball.