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Wrigley Field Neighbors Frown On Traffic, Hotel, But Love Early Concert Tix

By Ariel Cheung | March 31, 2016 7:40am
 Wrigley Field renovations on  March 30.
Wrigley Field renovations on March 30.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

WRIGLEYVILLE — While Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) recently expressed his distaste for "the idea of a baseball season and a concert season" at Wrigley Field, it appears most neighbors don't feel the same.

Of 900 neighbors who answered a recent Chicago Cubs survey, two out of three said they would like to see even more special events and concerts at the ballpark. Another 25 percent were neutral.

The Cubs shared results Wednesday of the Wrigleyville neighbor survey, conducted in early March ahead of the team's annual community meeting.

"We take the good with the bad. We need to be held accountable," said Heather Way Kitzes, who handles neighborhood relations for the Cubs.

Results from the annual Cubs survey of Wrigleyville neighbors. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]

The survey went out to some 11,000 members of the Chicago Cubs Neighbors newsletter, which is also used to send neighbors concert ticket presale codes and updates on Wrigley Field renovations. The Cubs said the 3,000 tickets set aside for neighbors frequently sell out within minutes.

Respondents asked the Cubs to send more frequent updates about construction, game delays and other Cubs news, which the club said it planned to do.

"We learned we cannot over communicate, especially about the 1060 Project," the team said in its report. It will also be "providing targeted communications to neighbors most impacted by construction."

Work on the Wrigley Field plaza plugs along in the weeks leading up to Opening Day. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

While the report noted that "easing traffic and congestion remains an area of concern for our community," it didn't include the survey results concerning traffic.

Only 38 percent said they were satisfied with how the Cubs and city handled traffic issues around Wrigley Field, according to results shared at the March 10 meeting. A third of respondents said they were unsatisfied, while 27 percent felt neutral.

Almost 70,000 fans used a free remote parking lot at 3900 N. Rockwell St. last year, getting to Wrigley Field on the Cubs' free shuttle bus. Another 8,000 used the free bicycle valet, the Cubs said at the meeting.

Neighbors were harshest when it came to traffic. The next-lowest satisfaction rate shared publicly was for the hotel the Ricketts family is building across the street, separate from the Cubs' 1060 Project. While 48 percent agreed the hotel "will be an asset to the community," one-third didn't.

Overall, though, neighbors overwhelmingly felt the $750 million renovation at the ballpark would benefit the local economy and "help ensure the Lakeview community continues to thrive." Only 15 percent — about 130 people — disagreed.

Results from the annual Cubs survey of Wrigleyville neighbors. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]

Additional results from the Cubs survey were shared during the March 10 community meeting. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]

The Cubs have pledged to fix one perceived shortcoming — one in five said the Cubs needed better trash removal.

In response, the club will add more trash bins to Irving Park Road between Clark Street and Sheridan Road to accommodate the hoard of charter buses that camp out on the block during game days.

The Cubs' home opener against the Cincinnati Reds starts at 7:05 p.m. April 11.


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The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.

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