WRIGLEYVILLE — Police are gearing up for the World Series run in Wrigleyville this weekend, where it will be all hands on deck, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Wednesday at a news conference outlining security plans.
As the Chicago Cubs return to Wrigley Field Friday to take on the Cleveland Indians in Games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series, Chicago police are preparing for huge crowds in the neighborhood around the ballpark.
A two-block perimeter around the park will be secured by more than 1,000 police who will be checking ID and proof of residence for neighbors and confiscating alcohol on sight, Johnson said.
Among the police on duty be will be hundreds of plainclothes officers, and anyone near the field may be subject to random bag checks, Johnson said Wednesday.
As for partying near Wrigley if you don't have a ticket? Johnson didn't mince words: "We encourage you to gather with friends, order food and celebrate at home."
No one will be restricted from coming into the neighborhood, but there will be "hard closures" in high-traffic spots, police said Wednesday.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) also warned residents that parking outside the neighborhood is wise, not just due to parking restrictions, but also to avoid vandalism. About 300,000 people celebrated in Wrigleyville after the Cubs won their first National League title in 71 years on Saturday. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
Police manpower has saturated Wrigleyville for the Cubs postseason. During weekday away games like Tuesday's, clusters of officers outnumber fans on the street.
The final game of the National League Championship Series Saturday gave police a preview of what to expect for World Series weekend.
About 300,000 people jammed Wrigleyville streets — particularly at Clark and Addison nearest the ballpark — and celebrated into the early hours of Sunday after the Cubs captured their first National League pennant in 71 years.
Barricades created walking paths for fans on the streets, but some were knocked down in the packed intersection.
Police did little to restrict the festivities until about 1 a.m., when a wide line of mounted units, followed by officers on bicycles and in squad cars, sought to clear Clark Street for street sweepers.
Six people were arrested that night, largely for petty offenses like reckless conduct and obstructing traffic.
All sworn officers in the Police Department are to be ready to respond in Wrigleyville this weekend to control crowds, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.
Officers will not get time off and should be "prepared for deployment with soft body armor, helmet, baton and rain gear," according to a memo obtained by the Sun-Times.
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.