CHICAGO — With the Cubs set to open the season at home Monday, drivers looking for street parking should prepare themselves to be part of the city's experiment with surge parking — forcing desperate drivers to pony up for a spot near the ballpark.
The cost to park at one of 1,110 spots near Wrigley will double on game days from $2 to $4 per hour starting two hours before ball games and other special events at the Friendly Confines and ending at midnight.
The surge pricing will go into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, officials said. New signs have been posted throughout the area effected — from Southport Avenue east to Broadway and from Irving Park Road south to Belmont Avenue.
Drivers will have to pay more to park near Wrigley Field before and after games and special events. [City of Chicago]
The city expects to rake in $1.5 million, which will be used to compensate the firm that controls the much-maligned parking meter lease for out-of-service meters because of construction or other issues, officials said. Last year, that bill totaled $12 million, officials said.
Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown told a council committee last month that she hoped the stiff cost to park would discourage fans from driving to Cubs games, and clogging up Lakeview streets.
If city officials deem the effort a success around Wrigley, it could be expanded to include the streets around the United Center and Soldier Field, Brown said.
While officials have shrugged off the Cubs' requests to close the two major thoroughfares that intersect outside Wrigley Field's main gate, the streets may be closed Monday at the discretion of police and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, according to Ald. Tom Tunney (44th).
Police could close Addison Street from Racine Avenue to Halsted Street and Clark Street from Newport Avenue to Grace Street ahead of the home opener, which is set to begin at 7:05 p.m.
Anyone traveling in the area Monday evening should be ready to present identification to law enforcement or traffic management upon request, Tunney said.
Parking restrictions begin noon Monday and last until midnight. Parking is prohibited on:
• Addison Street from Racine Avenue to Fremont Street
• Clark Street from Newport Avenue to Irving Park Road
• Patterson Avenue from Clark Street to Racine Avenue
• Eddy Street from Clark Street to the first west alley
• Cornelia Avenue from Clark Street to the first west alley.
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.