Wrigley Field will host three concerts for the second summer in a row if the local alderman gets his way.
Ald. Tom Tunney, who 44th ward includes the Wrigleyville neighborhood, introduced an ordinance at today's City Council meeting to allow concerts on July 7 and Sept. 17-18 at the ballpark at the corner of Clark and Addison streets.
Though the ordinance does not mention bands, a source with knowledge of the situation said the July 7 date likely will be a return engagement by Elton John and Billy Joel, while the Dave Matthews Band, Paul McCartney and Phish are potential acts to play the two September dates. Just one of the acts will take the stage both nights in September, the source said.
Tunney said he decided to pursue another trio of concerts on the heels of two concerts last year by Joel and John and one by country act Rascal Flatts because most of his constituents enjoyed that experience.
"First of all, they are a significant economic development tool, bringing a lot of people into our neighborhood, spending a lot of money, and our residents actually like it. The majority of them like them," Tunney said.
Neighborhood groups were unhappy with last year's decision to allow three concerts instead of two. Diann Marsalek, president of Central Lake View Neighbors, a community group based just south of the ballpark, said today she's convinced Tunney and Cubs officials will work to make sure residents' concerns are addressed prior to the shows.
"As long as there's plenty of notice in advance, so people who want to get out of the area on those nights are able to do so, I think it will work out," Marsalek said.
Concerts at Wrigley Field in recent years have gone off without major problems, she said, so residents are less concerned about the possibilities now.
"Rascal Flatts had a little bit younger, drinking crowd, a little bit more rambunctious," Marsalek said. "But they aren't on the list this time, I see."
Tunney said he would negotiate the specifics of the concert deals with Chicago Cubs officials, and said he is still considering whether to request that the team give back one of its scheduled night games in exchange for one of the shows.
"We're still negotiating, it's very early in the season," Tunney said. "So one of the things to get out in front of the community about whether night games is on the table. There's also financial considerations, including givebacks to the schools and some other things."
Tunney's proposal will go to the council's License Committee for consideration.