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Wrigleyville bars are packed. How is the city of Chicago going to keep people away from Wrigley?

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The ballpark is a magnet anyway... and starting Friday, ballplayers will be inside. This could cause all sorts of issues.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

MLB players are supposed to report to their teams for the beginning of “summer camp” on Wednesday, and first workouts are happening Friday.

Incidentally, not only does MLB have an official “summer camp” logo, they got it sponsored:

What I want to know is this: What procedures does the city of Chicago have in place, if any, to prevent people from congregating on the streets surrounding Wrigley Field when these practice sessions are going on, even though no one can go inside?

I ask this question largely because of this article, which spoke of long lines of maskless people outside Wrigleyville bars when they re-opened this weekend.

Crowds waited in long lines with little to no adherence to the 6-feet social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some people said they do have worries about the pandemic and are concerned they’re part of the problem as cases rise throughout the country — but others said they’re young and wanted to get out during the summer.

“Young and wanted to get out during the summer.” Does that indicate any concern for fellow human beings?

The photos accompanying that article show almost no one wearing masks. This is, in my view, an invitation for the spread of the novel coronavirus. The city of Chicago and state of Illinois have done a pretty good job of controlling the spread, but things like this could easily cause backsliding and Gov. JB Pritzker says he won’t hesitate to move back a phase in the state’s re-opening if necessary:

“As more aspects of the economy open and more person to person interactions take place, there are many more opportunities for the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday. “The virus hasn’t gone away. And when people aren’t wearing face coverings and gathering in large groups and not practicing physical distancing, they’re getting sick, and some are dying. And I mean people of all ages - senior citizens, those who are in their 40s and 50s and 60s with pre-existing conditions, and yes, even young and perfectly healthy people have lost their lives to this terrible new disease that we still know so little about. That’s why I’m not afraid to protect the people of Illinois by moving a region back to an earlier phase. If we see a surge ours will not be one of the states that takes no action in response to a return to the peak.”

The Governor is correct, in my view, and to return to the point of this article, I am very concerned that people could gather in large groups just to be “part of baseball,” even if they can’t actually go into Wrigley Field. This could be especially true this weekend, which is a holiday weekend.

I would like to see the city limit access to Waveland and Sheffield Avenues adjacent to the park, so that people don’t simply gather there just to be “close to baseball.” Closing Clark and Addison is more problematic considering they are major through streets, but there ought to be some control over how many people can gather on that side of the ballpark, too, especially given what was noted in the linked article above.

And this is before a single game has been played, and that won’t be for another three weeks. You can bet people will try to gather outside Wrigley at that time — that is, if further outbreaks of COVID-19 don’t shut baseball down entirely before then.

I hope the city of Chicago will be proactive about keeping people from gathering around Wrigley Field when the Cubs begin practice sessions this weekend. If they don’t, they risk having more spread of the coronavirus.

Lastly, it was announced Monday that all Broadway shows are being suspended through the end of 2020. Here’s yet another reason it’s reckless to even think about having fans in MLB ballparks this year.