I was able to attend the 2010 Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field Annual Advisory Community Meeting, held Thursday night at the new Chicago Police 23rd District Station. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Ballhawk, during the meeting. Here are some of my notes, from the meeting.
The only Cubs representative was Executive Vice President, Community Affairs/General Counsel Michael Lufrano. 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, along with 46th Ward Ald Helen Shiller and 32nd Ward Ald Scott Waguespack were also present. Officials from various city departments were also on hand. I would guess that there were around 80 residents in attendance.
Here are some of the 2010 figures that Michael Lufrano had for the meeting. 18 million dollars was paid to the city amusement tax. The remote parking facility, at DeVry University handled 52,000 cars. They averaged 370 cars, per game. The bike valet service handled 8,500 bicycles.
No concerts have been scheduled yet, for this year. The Cubs are interested in pursuing some type of event, like the Wildcat Way, during the recent Northwestern football game. This would take place this season, during the Yankee, White Sox and Cardinal series. This would involve a street fair type event, blocking off the 3600 block of Sheffield, outside Wrigley Field. This would be a 3 day event, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Later Ald Tunney would comment that the Wildcat Way concept is still under discussion, but that he did not think all 9 days would be approved.
Here are some figures from the Transportation Management Agency. 48 traffic aides are used, per game. 50 aides were used for the Northwestern football game. 46 aides at one of the concerts, and 47 at the other.
Now some figures from the Chicago Police Department. Note that these are only figures for the night games, which was the main topic of the evening. For the 29 night games, last season, there were 39 arrests, 478 administrative notice violations, 480 contact cards written, 16 moving violations, 2,176 parking tickets and 1,189 tows. In addition, the Dept Of Revenue representative stated that they wrote 5,142 night game violation parking tickets.
The Dept of Transportation official explained that a new "Interconnect" system would be in place on Irving Park Road, by opening day. This new traffic light system should increase traffic flow, for fans leaving the game. In addition, a change made late last year will continue this season. 2 lanes of westbound traffic will be available on Irving Park, from Clark Street to Ashland Ave, after games. Normally this stretch of Irving Park has only 1 lane, in each direction.
The city will also be replacing the yellow wooden barricades used on certain blocks, to explain the Cub's Night Game Parking Restrictions. The city has found that many of these barricades end up vandalized, or missing, during the season. The city even spotted one of these barricades for sale on Ebay. The city will be posting sign posts, featuring large yellow signs instead. They will be two piece signs, so the lower portion can be replaced each year with new night game dates.
There was a discussion about changing the wording on the residential zone parking/Cubs night game no parking signs. This came up because of some confusion on the parking restrictions, during concerts at Wrigley Field. The current signs only reference Cubs night games, but not special events like the recent concerts. One city official commented that this has been discussed. Something along the line of using the term "Wrigley Field Events" or "Stadium Events" instead. The city estimated the cost of changing all the street signs in just the 44th ward (Zone 383) would be $98,000. This cost estimate doesn't include the signs in the other wards that are part of the night game LV-2 parking zone.
One resident did bring up the subject of the Addison Park On Clark project. Alderman Tunney responded that his understanding is that this project will not be moving forward this year.
One last note. The official from the Dept of Streets and Sanitation wanted to thank the Cubs, for their assistance during the recent blizzard. The Cubs let the city dump snow in their Green (Parking) Lot. I am not sure which lot that is. The city official explained that the next closest option was driving over to Wilson Ave, at the lakefront. This saved the city around half an hour in driving time, per truck. The city dumped 250 semi truck loads of snow, in the Green Lot.
I'll let Ballhawk chime in, or correct, anything I missed. Maybe Ballhawk will comment on the question he asked, at the meeting. He also had the honor of asking the first question. I hope this explains what occurs at these meetings.