When I was putting together yesterday’s article on the Cubs’ season ticket price decrease, one thing stood out to me on next year’s schedule. The headline here should help you guess what that is:
That’s right. A scheduled Friday night home game at Wrigley Field, specifically 7:05 p.m. on Friday, July 14 against the Boston Red Sox.
I have written on this topic. A lot. In fact, this is the 11th different article here on this topic since July 2017. The city ordinance forbidding night games on Fridays is anachronistic and out of step with modern life, both in the city and in baseball. Besides that, multiple Friday night concerts have been held at Wrigley Field and there is literally no difference between having a huge crowd at Wrigley for a concert on a Friday and having a baseball game. (If anything, the baseball crowd will be less rowdy.)
The timing of this Friday night game is interesting — it follows the All-Star break, which means everyone who plays in that Cubs/Red Sox game will have at least two, and possibly four days off before it happens. In the past I have suggested that the Cubs should be allowed to have Friday night home games when they have a night game in another city on the Thursday before — but that scenario does not exist on the 2023 schedule, at all. In the past, as I have chronicled in that StoryStream linked above, there have been a handful of occasions when the city has given permission for a Friday night game at Wrigley in that situation. Why not just allow that any time it happens?
Further, 2023 will be the 35th anniversary of the first Wrigley Field night game. While it’s possible that some neighborhood residents have been in Wrigleyville that long, the overwhelming majority of folks there have moved there since there’s been night baseball at Wrigley. There’s no reason to have the night-game ordinance anymore, in my view. The Cubs pay for neighborhood cleanup, police protection is good and zoned parking leaves parking spaces for residents.
In my opinion, the night game ordinance should be repealed and the Cubs should be permitted as many night games as they want. In practice that would probably be somewhere between 45 and 50 a year. That way, they’d still have enough afternoon games to maintain the “Wrigley day game” tradition, while still having a home schedule comparable to the 29 other teams. Now that Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) is retiring and a new alderman will take office next spring, perhaps that can happen.