Mayor Rahm Emanuel will attend Game 7 of the World Series. | AP file photo

Emanuel to fly to Cleveland for deciding Game 7 of World Series

SHARE Emanuel to fly to Cleveland for deciding Game 7 of World Series
SHARE Emanuel to fly to Cleveland for deciding Game 7 of World Series

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be in Cleveland tonight, hoping to see the Cubs beat the Indians in Game 7 to win the World Series for the first time since 1908.

Emanuel planned to take a mid-day flight to Cleveland and be at Progressive Field for the exciting conclusion of a World Series that has seen the Cubs overcome a three games to one deficit to force a deciding Game 7.

The mayor’s wife, Amy Rule, grew up in suburban Cleveland and is already there with her family.

“Amy went to the game [Tuesday] night with her family, and the mayor watched the game at home with their daughters. But today he’s flying to Cleveland to meet Amy, and he will be spending the evening with family and friends in Cleveland to cheer on the Cubs,” the mayor’s communications director, Adam Collins, wrote in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“They received their tickets from friends and family, not from either team. He will be back in Chicago tomorrow morning.”

During the first two games of the World Series in Cleveland, Emanuel stayed home while his wife and daughter cheered on the Cubs from the stands at Progressive Field.

“If I went to Cleveland, I would have to see my father-in-law. So, I decided to stay here,” Emanuel said with trademark sarcasm that revised an old mother-in-law joke.

By going to Game7 with tickets from “friends and family,” Emanuel will avoid a repeat of the controversy the Cubs created by letting aldermen, the mayor and state lawmakers whose districts include parts of Chicago buy playoff tickets at face value for games at Wrigley Field.

Last week, Chicago aldermen vented their anger about the Cubs’ decision to yank the lucrative offer in the middle of the World Series under pressure from the city’s Board of Ethics.

The ethics ordinance prohibits city employees and elected officials from accepting gifts worth more than $50. The difference between the face value of Cubs playoff tickets and the “commonly understood fair market value” exceeds that $50 limit, the board said.

The ruling that infuriated City Council members said the mayor and aldermen can accept the offer, only if their “personal attendance is to enable them to perform an official, appropriate, ceremonial duty or action, such as publicly welcoming the crowd or making a speech, throwing out the first pitch, marching with the color guard or standing with other elected officials on the field.”

There also must be a “clear and direct connection” between the official’s attendance and performance of such ceremonial duty or action and the nature and location of the event itself,” the memorandum states.

“This could include the mayor as the representative of the city itself and the alderman of the ward in which the venue is located as the representative of the citizens and businesses in the vicinity,” the memorandum stated.

Faced with those restrictions, the Cubs yanked the offer made three years after the City Council gave the team the go-ahead to rebuild Wrigley and develop the land around it and less than four months after the Cubs won the limited right to sell beer and wine on an open-air plaza adjacent to the stadium.

Emanuel has tried to remain above the fray in Cubs ticket controversy.

“It’s not whether an elected official goes to the World Series, it’s that the Cubs are going to go to the World Series. That’s what matters,” the mayor said last week.

Now the priority is for the Cubs to win the World Series and end a 108-year wait that stands as the longest drought in the history of professional sports.

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