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Wrigleyville Braces For Cubs Clincher With Police, Tow Trucks

By Ariel Cheung | September 15, 2016 1:00am
 A long line of police officers blocked off Clark Street at Addison, stopping fans from going south so street sweepers could get through during the 2015 postseason.
A long line of police officers blocked off Clark Street at Addison, stopping fans from going south so street sweepers could get through during the 2015 postseason.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

WRIGLEYVILLE — The Cubs could clinch their first National League Central Division title since 2008 as early as Thursday night, and Wrigleyville is getting ready.

The Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:05 p.m. (Comcast SportsNet) at Wrigley Field with their magic number resting at just one game. Lefty Mike Montgomery will pitch for the Cubs against Brewers righty Jimmy Nelson.

If the Cubs beat the Brewers — or the second-place Cardinals lose in San Francisco to the Giants — the Cubs officially wrap up the division two weeks before the season ends.

As in 2015, when the Cubs beat the Pirates for a wild card berth into the playoffs, the Cubs are working with Chicago Police, the Chicago Fire Department, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney to fine-tune public safety efforts.

The club is expecting a full stadium of at least 41,000 fans each night, and the congestion at Clark and Addison streets can get brutal. Officers last year barricaded the intersection multiple times — sometimes leaving Addison Street open to traffic — in efforts to disperse the crowds and keep them from flooding into Clark Street bars after the games.

Mounted units were also used last year to shuffle crowds south and west of the neighborhood.

Police set up barricades on all four sides of the Clark and Addison intersection near Wrigley Field shortly before the Cubs clinched their first series at the ballpark in 2015, blocking access from the ballpark to Wrigleyville bars on Clark Street. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Parking restrictions will also begin noon Friday on Clark Street from Newport to Grace and last until 5 a.m. Saturday.

"Whether or not they clinch it Thursday night or Friday or — God forbid — Saturday, we think it'll be a hot ticket this weekend to be in Wrigley," Tunney said Wednesday night.

Additional police, tow trucks and parking enforcement will come to the area, a Tunney spokesman said. However, officials noted that there were complaints last year about excessive parking restrictions and poor notification and promised to do better.

"Trust me, the city spares no expense with security when we're in the national spotlight," Tunney said. "We, as a city, have to be ready."

Neighbors said they had concerns about people overcrowding into the street at Clark and Addison as they waited to enter through metal detectors — a new addition this year to Cubs security.

"I'm worried about how you balance not letting people into the stadium with the safety of the number of people congregating on the street," said John Becvar, president of Triangle Neighbors.

The Cubs are encouraging fans to arrive when the gates open two hours prior to the first pitch and enter through the gate assigned to their ticket to ease congestion at Clark and Addison.


The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled 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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