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The Cubs And Angels Bring The 2016 Season Opener 1 Day Closer

I can't wait for next year. You can't wait for next year. It's closer than you think.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last month, when the Cubs announced their 2016 schedule, Opening Day was set for April 5 in Anaheim:

The Cubs will open their 141st season at the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, April 5 with the Wrigley Field opener taking place the following Monday night, April 11, against the Cincinnati Reds.

That was confirmed, apparently, by this pocket schedule the Cubs handed out during several home dates in September:

cubs 2016 schedule

Quietly, with no fanfare nor press release (likely because the Cubs were kinda busy with something else over the last few weeks), that's changed. The Cubs website's schedule for April 2016 now shows Opening Day against the Angels will be Monday, April 4, with another game April 5, then an off day April 6 before they open a four-game weekend set against the Diamondbacks in Arizona.

You'll note the schedule also shows a Sunday, April 3 date with the Angels in Anaheim. That's an exhibition game, so 2016 will provide not only the first-ever interleague opener, but the first Opening Day played against the same team in the same ballpark as a practice game the day before.

So if you're planning on going to Anaheim, you can now see the Cubs play three games there instead of two, though the third one won't count in the standings (and will be sold at regular-season prices even though it's an exhibition game).

And if you were counting down to April 5 for the 2016 season opener, you can adjust your countdown to one day sooner -- just 160 days from today. The complete spring-training schedule is not yet available, but figure the Cubs' first spring game will likely be March 2 or 3, about 127 days from now.

Sooner than you think, Cubs baseball will be back.