Chicago Cubs fans going to night and weekend games will be able to park free this upcoming season in a new remote lot with nearly twice as many spaces as the old one at DeVry University, the team announced today.
Setting up a new remote lot with 1,000 spaces, compared to 550 spaces at DeVry, was part of the Cubs agreement with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, to renovate the ballpark and redevelop the surrounding neighborhood at a $500 million cost to the Ricketts family that owns the team. Getting rid of the $6 remote parking fee also was part of the deal.
The new lot, which will be rented from Basic Wire & Cable, will be at 3900 N. Rockwell St., just southeast of the Chicago River and Irving Park Road, the team said. That's about 2½ miles from Wrigley, a couple of blocks further than DeVry but about the same distance in driving time, according to online mapping sites.
"We recognize many fans drive to Wrigley Field and this easy-to-use remote parking operation will help alleviate traffic congestion in the neighborhood before and after games," Cubs Government and Neighborhood Relations Manager Kam Buckner said in a prepared statement.
Traffic in the neighborhood around game times has been one of the top concerns of Wrigleyville residents, many of whom have been resistant to setting up new parking facilities near their homes in the already congested area.
The Chicago City Council last year signed off on the $500 million plan, which includes spending $300 million to renovate Wrigley and $200 million to build a nearby hotel and plaza, but work has yet to commence as the Cubs continue to negotiate with owners of nearby rooftop clubs with lucrative views into the ballpark over the placement of advertising signs that would partly block their views.
The Cubs in January had applied to put up a 650-square-foot beer advertising sign in right field, but a permit is no longer being actively sought, Cubs spokesman Julian Green said.
"We're still in talks with Budweiser about the design elements" of the sign, Green said. "It won't be up on Opening Day."
The shuttles to the new remote lot will start 2½ hours before the start of night and weekend games and end about an hour after those games. The remote lot also will be available for night games of a day-night doubleheader and for postseason games — if the Cubs were to make the playoffs.