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Cubs Want More Night Games

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 25, 2009 5:30PM

2009_03_wrigley_night.jpg Safely away from Chicago, Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney mentioned the team's desire to play a total of 50 night games, an increase over the current 30 allowed in an agreement between the club, the city and the local Wrigleyville residents. Speaking to the Marco Island (FL) Sunrise Rotary Club, Kenney explained, "Players like a routine," and that additional night games would relieve the players of playing day games after arriving from road trips in the early-morning hours. In 2009, the Cubs have just one game that falls into that category -- their home opener on April 12 following a night game in Milwaukee.

So it is really about the players and their precious sleep? The team gave this same excuse for wanting to lift the ban on Friday and Saturday night games last August. Or is it really about increasing revenues? With a new ownership group about to take the helm and revenues down across baseball due to cut backs in sponsorships and advertising, it's not surprising that the club would be looking for new revenue streams. We imagine that those prime time commercials sell for more than a 30 second spot mid-afternoon. And we can only imagine the boost to beer concessions that 20 more night games would provide.

What the team wants may be a moot point, however. The Cubs' current agreement caps games under the lights at 30 through 2015, and 44th Ward Alderman Tim Tunney says he'll fight any attempts to change this number. After Kenney's words made their way to worried residents, the Cubs tried to allay their fears. Last night, Cubs VP Mike Lufrano told Lakeview residents, "We're not looking for anything this year."

Photo by The New No. 2