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Tunney Proposal Says Cubs Could Sell Beer On Plaza

The 44th Ward alderman, who's been seen as a critic of Cubs proposals, has proposed an ordinance that would allow the Cubs to make money on liquor sales at the Cubs' new outdoor plaza.

Courtesy Chicago Cubs

Well, this is interesting:

The Chicago Cubs would be able to sell beer and wine in their new plaza outside Wrigley Field under a proposal introduced today by Wrigleyville Ald. Tom Tunney, 14th.

The "sports venue plaza liquor license" would allow alcohol to be sold in a plaza next to any Chicago sports stadium with capacity above 30,000, so Tunney's plan could potentially apply to Soldier Field or U.S. Cellular Field as well.

The license would allow beer and liquor to be sold in a sports plaza directly adjacent to the stadium from 11 a.m. until midnight on weekends and until 11 p.m. on weeknights. It also would permit the sales during events on non-game days like the concerts or ice skating programs the Cubs have talked about for the plaza west of the park. Under the terms of the ordinance, special events with "equipment that electronically amplifies sound" could be held in sports plazas.

The proposal also would make it legal for fans to carry alcohol out of the ballpark and into the plaza.

This proposal would likely be a big money-maker for the Cubs, as alcohol sales are one of the biggest profit-makers for any sports franchise. Tunney has often opposed things that the Cubs want that he doesn't feel are in his ward's (or, his campaign contributors') best interest, so you'd think this is something he must have vetted with neighborhood groups beforehand.

Or not. Sometimes I wonder about Tunney's motives and motivations; selling alcohol in an outdoor plaza would likely require more police presence on game days. It's also clearly an effort by the Cubs to get some of the business that goes into the Clark Street bars and keep it on the premises.

It will be interesting to see what sort of commentary comes out on this proposal, and whether it passes -- though I'm guessing Tunney wouldn't have introduced it if he didn't think it would pass.