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What To Expect In Wrigleyville This Postseason? No Champagne, For One Thing

By Ariel Cheung | October 5, 2016 6:20am | Updated on October 6, 2016 8:33am
 Cubs fans celebrate during the 2015 postseason in Wrigleyville.
Cubs fans celebrate during the 2015 postseason in Wrigleyville.
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DNAinfo/Alex Nitkin

WRIGLEYVILLE — If the city has its way, Chicago Cubs fans won't be popping bottles this postseason — at least not in the street.

As Wrigleyville prepares for the Cubs' postseason run — which kicks off Friday night at Wrigley Field — officials are warning neighbors of impending street closures, parking restrictions and other playoff plans.

Police are asking grocery and liquor stores in the neighborhood to avoid selling champagne bottles, said Bennett Lawson, chief of staff for Ald. Tom Tunney (44th). That's likely to prevent massive glass bottle pile-up like this scene from the 2015 Blackhawks championship celebration:

Bars will use plastic cups during games for similar reasons, Lawson said. Officials have advised them to avoid overcrowding and expect occupancy checks over the next month.

The police department has promised an increased presence on nights the Cubs could "clinch" their advancement in the playoffs. The first opportunity — a chance to advance to the National League Championship Series — could come as early as Monday, but that will be an away game for the Cubs.

The National League Division Series clincher would only be in Wrigley if the series lasts all five games, wrapping up Oct. 13.

Police — which typically includes Town Hall District Cmdr. Robert Cesario on big game nights — have often used the option to block off portions of Clark and Addison toward the end of games with large crowds.

During last year's postseason, officers occasionally barricaded all four sides of the intersection, keeping exiting Wrigley Field attendees from the Clark Street bars.

Fans outside Wrigley Field celebrate after the Cubs beat the Cardinals to win the NLDS in the 2015 postseason. [DNAinfo/Jon Hansen]

Rambunctious fans have climbed traffic poles in the past (also a common spectacle at music festivals), but only 39 were arrested last year over nine postseason games.

Hoping to divert some traffic away from the ballpark, officials have set a drop-off and pick-up zone for limousines and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft on Irving Park Road between Clark and Seminary.

Taxis will load in the 3300 block of Clark Street.

Parking restrictions will start at 8 a.m. Friday on the east side of Seminary from Newport to the alley and the north side of Newport from Seminary to the alley. Those will last until 8 a.m. Sunday.

No parking is allowed from noon Friday-4 a.m. Sunday on both sides of:

• Clark from School to Irving Park

• Sheffield from Roscoe to Grace

• Addison from Halsted to Southport

• Racine from Roscoe to Clark

• Irving Park from Clark to Seminary

Residential parking permits will be strictly enforced, and Tunney's office is reminding neighbors of the $1,500 fine for illegally selling parking permits and passes.

The Cubs hotline (866-427-3869) will be open one hour before and for two hours after all games. The Cubs also hired third-party "hospitality teams" to provide a visible presence in the neighborhood and provide incident response and crowd observation, Tunney's office said.

Starting three hours before game time, Sheffield will be closed to vehicles from Addison to Waveland. Waveland will close from Sheffield to Clark.

Neighbors trying to access their homes should have photo IDs and proof of residence.

Garbage baskets will be removed in the area for the duration of the postseason (the street sweepers are typically dispensed after busy nights). Tailgating, loitering and drinking on the street will be strictly prohibited.

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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