CHICAGO — The city came to a standstill Friday as millions of Chicagoans flooded Downtown and Wrigleyville to celebrate the Chicago Cubs World Series victory.
But who will foot the bill for the hundreds of police officers, extra CTA buses and thousands of other city employees pressed into service?
Much of the bill will be footed by American Airlines, the city says. American was hailed by city officials as the rally's "presenting sponsor who is providing financial support for the day's activities."
The last time Downtown played host to this many happy sports fan was in 2010 and 2015, when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Those rallies cost $200,000 each, officials said at the time. Private donors picked up the tab, officials said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city's goal was to ensure that the celebration stands "the test of time."
The city would be hard pressed to foot the bill for the parade and rally, which early estimates pegged at more than double the size of the 2010 Blackhawks rally.
The city has been struggling to close a structural deficit caused by escalating pension costs, which prompted city officials to impose the largest property tax hike in the city's history.
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.