Cubs unveil plans for free remote parking for up to 1,000 cars
By Fran Spielman City Hall Reporter March 17, 2014 5:06PM
The Cubs on Monday said they had secured a parking lot at 3900 North Rockwell Street. The lot will have parking for up to 1,000 carsand fans can ride a free shuttle from there to Wrigley Field. | Associated Press Photo
Updated: April 19, 2014 6:25AM
The Cubs on Monday delivered on a promise to provide free remote parking for up to 1,000 cars for fans attending night and weekend games to ease traffic congestion around Wrigley Field.
The new remote parking lot secured at team expense will be located at 3900 N. Rockwell Street, roughly two miles west of the stadium.
It will replace a DeVry University lot with half the capacity a few blocks closer to Wrigley that has not been widely used, in part because of the $6 fee. Local Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) had urged the team to double capacity and waive the fee to encourage more use and ease a traffic bottleneck closer to the ballpark.
In December, Mayor Rahm Emanuel pressured the Cubs to start renovating Wrigley after delivering a punch list of concessions to tie up loose ends on the $500 million project.
Among other things, those concessions gave the Cubs the green light to schedule 35 night games per-season at Wrigley - and add eight more, including three Saturday nights, to accommodate national television - in exchange for added security and free remote parking for up to 1,000 cars.
On Monday, the Cubs delivered on that promise. That's even though the dispute between the Cubs and rooftop club owners about the size and placement of outfield signs needed to bankroll the project has not yet been resolved.
Free shuttles from the new lot to Wrigley will start running 2.5 hours before night and weekend games and run continuously until an hour after the game ends. Post-game pick-ups will be at a designated drop-off location on Addison Street.
"We recognize many fans drive to Wrigley Field. This easy-to-use remote parking operation will help alleviate traffic congestion in the neighborhood before and after games," Ken Buckner, Cubs manager of government and neighborhood relations, was quoted as saying in a press release.
"We believe free parking is a great incentive for our guests and encourage fans to take advantage of this new remote parking lot."
In late January, the Cubs applied for a permit to put up a 650-square foot script Budweiser sign in right field that, rooftop club owners claim, will block their birds-eye view of the century-old stadium.
The permit application capped a tumultuous week that saw a near agreement between the Cubs and rooftop club owners fall apart and club owners file a defamation lawsuit against a stadium financing consultant who once advised the Cubs' prior owner, the Tribune Co.
The two sides are still talking. City Hall has yet to issue the permit after requesting "various details that require specificity, ranging from rivets to colors to materials to lighting," according to Deputy Planning and Development Commissioner Peter Strazzabosco.
That prompted Cubs spokesman Julian Green to acknowledge the obvious: The Budweiser sign that could bolster team revenues by as much as $140 million over 14 years will not be up by opening day.
"We're still working out design elements with Budweiser," Green said Monday.