With everything going on the last few days and me traveling, I didn't have a chance to post these photos taken by BCB's David Sameshima Wednesday afternoon and evening in the area around Wrigley Field before and after the Cubs' wild-card game win over the Pirates. Here are David's comments on that day's events:
I made two visit to the ballpark on Wednesday: One visit before the game, and I returned just before the end of the game. The neighborhood was just beginning to fill up during my first visit. I had forgotten about the Draft Kings Sports Zone, and surprised to see it open. They even had a music stage set up next to it in front of Gate D. I really wanted to photograph the #FlyTheW display on the marquee. I figured that they would display score updates once the game began. They normally do this during the game.When I returned to the ballpark, I was surprised to see that they were not displaying the score up on the marquee. They still had the #FlyTheW display up. They had removed the jersey from the Ernie Banks statue and had put up barricades around the front of the ballpark. They were also parking Chicago Police Department vehicles inside the barricades in front of the ticket windows. Smart idea. It would keep their cars out of harm's way if the fans took over the street and got overzealous.When CPD started closing down the streets, they also set up a perimeter across the 3500 block of Clark Street, where the majority of the bars are located. Patrons were not being allowed to reenter the block once they left. Another smart idea, to control the crowds once they were out on the street.Once I arrived at the ballpark, I decided to camp out under the marquee. I didn't know what plans the police had, and not be allowed to return to the front of the ballpark. This is why I didn't walk around, to see what else was taking place around the ballpark.I stayed till 11:00 p.m., and the crowd seemed to be behaving. The intersection never got jam packed, and there was room to move around. I was waiting for the display on the Wrigley Field marquee to change, after the win. It never did change.
There will be multiple street closures for Monday's game, and there could be additional street closures if the Cubs win Monday and Tuesday could be a series-clincher. Here are the streets where parking will be prohibited both days:
Clark - Belmont to Irving Park (both sides)Sheffield - Belmont to Irving Park (both sides)Addison - Halsted to Irving Park (both sides)Racine - Belmont to Grace (both sides). *Racine will be used as the Clark Street Alternative CTA Bus Route Cornelia - Halsted to Sheffield (Both Sides)Wilton - Cornelia to Addison (Both Sides)
In addition to that, the city said in an email to 44th Ward residents:
Expect Street Closures between Belmont and Irving Park / Halsted to Southport. At the discretion of the Chicago Police and OEMC Arterial Streets MAY be closed to ALL vehicular traffic. Please have Photo ID and Proof of Residence available for presentation to either CPD or TMA Personnel. While this may be inconvenient, public safety is of the utmost importance.
Finally, the email also noted:
Bars and restaurants will have additional security, both inside and outside of their establishments, and will use plastic cups instead of glass. The Fire Department will be in the area checking for occupancy, overcrowding and fire exit clearance. Packaged Goods stores have been asked by the police to end sales at 10pm for any game that could decide a series (aka clinching games). Delivery trucks will not be allowed near Wrigley in the two hours preceding each game.
So if you're going to the games Monday and/or Tuesday, or if you're just heading to the bars in and around Wrigley Field, please take public transportation, and be cool about things. We don't want Wrigleyville to be noted for some of the bad behavior we've seen surrounding sports-team victories in other cities.