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The city of Chicago and the Cubs have a deal for this year’s player parking structure

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And they got this done weeks before Opening Day!

The player parking structure being put up in April 2018
Al Yellon

For the last several years, Cubs players have been parking underneath a tent that’s been set up in the location of the old Blue Lot, which is north of Waveland Avenue and west of Seminary Avenue — basically, north and west of the firehouse that’s across Waveland from the ballpark.

In past years this area has been a bone of contention between the Cubs and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who claims it’s made things complicated for residents of Clifton Avenue, the block west of the parking tent, to get into their homes and garages. Last year the city and the Cubs didn’t come to an agreement until very close to Opening Day. The photo at the top was taken April 6, 2018, just three days before the scheduled home opener.

Now, I can report to you that Ald. Tunney’s office and the Cubs have come to an agreement on player parking that is expected to be approved at a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting tomorrow, Friday, February 15.

Here’s how it’s going to work, according to this page on the 44th Ward website:

Alderman Tunney has been working with the Cubs and various city departments to put together an improved plan for the Blue Lot that does not include a tent. While those conversations have been complicated, we have arrived at a compromise plan that is ready for community review.

The Cubs propose to build a covered structure over the southern portion of the lot for player drop-off with the northern portion of the lot uncovered. There will be new fencing and landscaping on Seminary and they propose to keep the fencing along the alley at the same location – leaving a 12 foot alley for the Clifton neighbors. This is an interim remedy while a more permanent solution is worked out.

There was a meeting on February 5 at which further details were worked out, noted at the link above, which also includes maps and renderings of the site. Basically, a more permanent structure than a tent will be built on the south half of the lot, with the north end being left open, and a 12-foot alley will remain on the west of the structure so that the residents on Clifton Avenue can have access to their garages.

It’s nice to see a deal made between Ald. Tunney and the Cubs, one that has apparently satisfied everyone, and it will be in place, says that link, before the Cubs home opener April 8.