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Wrigley Field's New Plaza Will Face Labyrinthine Beer Regulations

By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 13, 2016 8:29PM

Rendering of Wrigley Field's open-air plaza by night (via the Chicago Cubs)

When Wrigley Field's outdoor plaza opens at long last, it will serve beer and wine at hyper-specific and varied hours, according to a Sunday announcement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Rahm and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), Wrigleyville's alderman, have both put their support behind this plan, enshrined in a labyrinthine new package of regulations going up for a vote in City Council this month.

“This agreement is a win for the Chicago Cubs and their fans, and a win for the neighbors who live near Wrigley Field,” Rahm said in a statement.

In other words, it's a compromise between locals (who don't want Wrigleyville to get too rambunctious, even though that ship has frankly sailed) and the Ricketts family, owners of the Cubs and the plaza (who want to sell booze basically all the time, because... money).

It's unclear whether the Cubs see it as a "win," though. Cubs spokesman Julian Green declined to give the Tribune a detailed reaction Monday, but he told the Sun-Times on Saturday that "[n]one of these terms are reasonable."

Nevertheless, Rahm seems to believe in himself and his rules. (Per usual.) "[Y]ou got to be able to take yes for an answer," he told the Tribune of the new regulations. The Cubs "expressed what their bottom lines were, and we have an agreement on that."

The regulations have been through various iterations since negotiations on when (and whether) the plaza could sell booze first began in 2013.

Here's where the regulations currently stand:

* The plaza can only sell wine and beer. No liquor.
* During Cubs day games, the plaza can sell wine and beer until one hour after the game ends.
* During Cubs night games, the plaza can sell wine and beer until the game ends (and no later).
* Only Cubs ticket-holders can enter the plaza on game days.
* Cubs games aside, the plaza can also host 12 "special events" throughout the year, defined as events with 1,000+ attendees and/or wine and beer for sale.

The outdoor plaza is part of an overhaul of Wrigley Field and its environs, which began in earnest in 2014, and won't wrap up until at least 2018.