WRIGLEYVILLE — The first two Cubs' night games of the 2013 season Tuesday and Wednesday nights will bring even more traffic gridlock and parking chaos in the North Side neighborhoods surrounding the field.
Police and 10 city tow trucks will be out in force starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday evening ticketing and towing cars parked on area residential streets which do not display the residential parking permits or guest passes with the LV-2 or 383 designations. The restrictions continue until 10 p.m.
The parking tickets carry a $50 fine, but drivers will also have to pay $160 to retrieve their car from the auto pound.
"We ask people to watch for parking signs in residential neighborhoods," said Department of Streets and Sanitation spokeswoman Anne Sheahan. "We don't want anyone getting parking tickets. Just be respectful of the neighborhood and watch for signs."
The strict parking restrictions — in an area roughly bordered by Lake Shore Drive to the east, Ravenswood Avenue to the west, Belmont Avenue to the south and Montrose Avenue to the north — will be in effect for 27 Cubs night games this year, and possibly more.
Erin Duffy, a 44th Ward spokesperson, recommended fans take public transportation or park at the DeVry University parking lot on Rockwell Avenue just south of Addison Street.
"We're promoting remote parking to keep down the number of cars coming into the neighborhood," Duffy said. "The Cubs offer remote parking at the DeVry lot with a shuttle bus to the game for $6. We also recommend people taking the CTA."
Jeremy Smith, co-founder of SpotHero, said the restrictions and traffic are nerve-wrecking.
"It's always a mess those first few days," said Smith, who's company allows motorists to reserve parking spots online or via a smartphone in advance.
Smith said his company has seen an increase in demand for parking near Wrigley Field this season.
"We have a really strong demand for Cubs parking — more so than last year," said Smith who helped start the business across the street from Wrigley Field two years ago. "Plus, there's something exciting about the first night game of the season."
As of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the site offered parking spots a few blocks from the field for $25.
The Cubs play the Milwaukee Brewers both nights, starting at 7:05 p.m. each night.