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Neighbors meet with Cubs reps to discuss Wrigley proposals

Updated: June 8, 2013 6:43AM

Representatives from community organizations surrounding Wrigley Field met with Cubs officials Monday night, seeking to clarify the finer points of ordinances that would OK more night games and an expansion of the ballpark.

Those ordinances will be introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

Among the chief concerns for members of the Lake View Citizens Council, an umbrella group of neighborhood organizations, is more congestion that a proposed increase from 30 to 40 night games would bring to the area.

“How do we adjust for and absorb any impacts from additional night events or additional developments around the neighborhood based on the results of traffic studies?” Will DeMille, president of the council, said after Monday’s meeting in a conference room at the 19th District police station.

“What can we do in a creative way to get people in and out that’s good for the fans and good for the residents? That’s what we’re working through,” said DeMille, who expects traffic study results in several weeks.

Cubs executive Mike Lufrano attended the meeting and plans to be at many more before a final compromise is reached.

“We are surrounded by 12 different neighborhood organizations, and we want to work with all of them,” Lufrano said.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who attended the meeting, made it clear the ordinances are frameworks, not done deals.

“Because an ordinance gets introduced, doesn’t mean it doesn’t necessarily get substituted and amended and changed,” he said. “I think this is a supportive group trying to work with the Cubs but protect their community and quality of life too. Can we find a balance? I think we will. Hopefully sooner than later.”

If the City Council agrees to raise the night-game ceiling from 30 to 40, the Cubs have agreed to schedule just 35 of those dates and hold five in reserve for night games dictated by Major League Baseball or its national television contract.

If MLB dictates more than five night games a season, the Cubs want the City Council — or the corporation counsel if time is too short — to authorize it without “counting” those games against the 40-game ceiling. Playoff games, rescheduled games or the All-Star Game would not count, either.

All of that is in addition to four concerts per season and six 3:05 p.m. starts on Friday afternoons.

Other issues discussed included neighborhood safety and extending the time frame of beer sales.

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