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The Park at Wrigley Joins Opening Day Festivities

The Park will officially open April 10.

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November 2015 Wrigley plaza night rendering
Courtesy Chicago Cubs

The Cubs will play their home opener at Wrigley Field on April 10 and celebrate last year’s World Series Championship with the first banner-raising ceremony in the history off the National League’s oldest ballpark. In case you didn’t think that was exciting enough, Wednesday the team announced that they will also officially open the Park at Wrigley (the official name of what we’ve been referring to as the Triangle Plaza on BCB) on the same day at 10 a.m., keeping a promise from Cubs Con that the park would be open by opening day. Tom Ricketts and his family will be at the opening ceremony. Here’s everything you need to know about that opening ceremony and first activities at the Park at Wrigley.

November 2015 Wrigley Plaza day rendering
Courtesy Chicago Cubs

The Park at Wrigley will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on opening day. While the Cubs have not released a schedule for Monday’s events, they have promised one will be posted here when it’s available. Due to Alderman Tom Tunney’s city ordinance limiting events in the Park, it appears that non-ticket holders might not have access to the park after 5 p.m. This is due to a city ordinance that mandates the Park only be open to ticket holders two hours prior to the start of the game on game days, however, even Tunney admitted he was unsure what to expect on April 10. From the Sun-Times:

“I don’t think we really understand how the plaza is going to work and the enthusiasm for the Cubs when they enter that field,” Tunney said. “The rules say two hours before, you need a ticket. Opening day is crazy around the ward anyway. There’ll be plenty of police there. But I still think it’s not fully baked.”

Without offering specific numbers, Tunney said he has been assured that the number of Chicago Police officers assigned to Wrigley will be “like the early playoffs” at least for the first week. There will also be “roving” street closures, he said.

If you, like me, are planning a trip to Wrigley for Opening Day festivities take special note of the last paragraph and be sure to give yourself extra time getting to the park. They made this same point at the 44th Ward meeting earlier this month: the first week of the season will be treated like the early playoffs for purposes of parking, street closures and security.

At this point in time it’s unclear if Clark and Addison will remain open. The Cubs have made additional requests to close them due to security concerns, and Mayor Emanuel hasn’t publicly confirmed that element of the security plan. Also from the Sun-Times:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city is still working on the Wrigley security plan. He refused to say whether he was prepared to grant the Cubs renewed request to shut down Addison and Clark on game days after last week’s terrorist attack in London strengthened the argument for it.

“This is not the first opening day that both Wrigley and the city of Chicago have done. We’re gonna make sure that everybody can enjoy it and be secure,” the mayor said. “Don’t worry about the details of it. We’ll get that to you at the right time. Just know . . . that there’s gonna be a security plan — not just for opening day, but for the season.”

We also got some more information on the retail tenants in the Park and you can explore the space virtually here. The Park at Wrigley will be the permanent home to a two-story Cubs store, a Starbucks Reserve coffee bar, a Jostens jewelry shop (whose opening coincides with the ring ceremony on April 12) and a yet to be named tavern.

The first non-Cubs event at the Park will be “Craft and Cuisine” on May 13 and 14. According to the Cubs email to Wrigley neighbors:

This ticketed event will feature food offerings from renowned Chicago restaurants Girl & the Goat, Yusho, West Town Bakery, Smoke Daddy, Crosby’s Kitchen and Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Chef demonstrations will include Paul Kahan from Big Star, Stephanie Izard from Girl & the Goat, Matthias Merges from Yusho, Chris Teixeira from West Town Bakery and more.

Tickets for that event range from $49 to $79 and can be purchased here. Upcoming events will have similar spaces on the Park at Wrigley homepage.

There are already a series of recurring events for the neighborhood, including music lessons for children hosted by Old Town School of Folk Music and movie nights in the Park hosted by the Music Box Theatre. DNAinfo gives us a better look at that film line-up below:

June 14: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
June 28: "The Jungle Book"
July 12: "Rookie of the Year"
July 26: "Ghostbusters"
August 9: "Sandlot"

Additionally, there will be a Thursday farmers market starting June 15 hosted by Green City Market and Crate and Barrel. That farmers market may be a sore spot for some in the neighborhood as it will conflict with the Southport Corridor’s Low-Line market according to the same DNAinfo article.

Last, but certainly not least, the Park at Wrigley will be home to the Cubs’ first World Series Trophy. There will be a dedicated trophy room for visitors. This is a great option that makes the iconic trophy accessible to visitors on non-game days and ensures Cubs fans will be able to view this long-awaited prize year-round.

Chicago Cubs Victory Celebration
Javy with a long awaited trophy
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

While April 10 will certainly be a busy day jam packed with Cubs events, it seems fitting that this new era for the Cubs in the neighborhood will begin with the Championship Banner being raised. Opening Night, April 10, can’t get here fast enough.