Cubs should be allowed to expand Wrigleyville’s biggest saloon

SHARE Cubs should be allowed to expand Wrigleyville’s biggest saloon

The Cubs want fans to do more of their drinking at a Wrigley Field outdoor patio instead of at Wrigleyville bars. (Kevin Tanaka/ For the Sun-Times)

The Cubs want to own the planet and then charge you to live in it. That’s no secret. If they can make a buck off something, anything, they’ll do it. When you say jump, they don’t ask how high, they ask if you want to buy naming rights to the leap.

So no one should be surprised that the Cubs want to sell booze at an open-air plaza adjacent to Wrigley Field. And no one should be surprised that Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) is trying to block a liquor permit for the outdoor patio. He wants to protect Wrigleyville bar owners whose businesses would be affected by the new endeavor, though that’s not how he’s framing it.

“If you look at the rules for the patio license they requested, they could stay open from 11 a.m. to midnight and allow people to drink all day and all night during the game and after the game,’’ he said. “That’s a public safety issue.’’

The indignation from Tunney is misplaced. Cubs fans drinking before, during and after games? You mean the way they do now, without a Wrigley open-air plaza? They can drink at a Wrigleyville bar before the game, drink inside the ballpark during the game and then drink after the game at another establishment.

The Cubs want to gobble up the profits that others have been making off them for years. We know this from the protracted rooftop wars. Rooftop owners pirated Cubs games, the franchise fought it, the two sides reached a financial agreement for a percentage of the proceeds and the team finally bought many of the buildings.

Same thing here. The Wrigleyville bars are there because of the Cubs, not the other way around. The Cubs want their beer money. This is different from their failed efforts to get Clark and Addison streets closed on game days under the guise of heightened security concerns. The real intent was to have more space to sell more merchandise and concessions.

The Cubs look at you, the fan, as a human being with feelings, loyalty and disposable income. And, trust me, not in that order. But they’re right here, the same way they were right with the rooftops.

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