Chicago Cubs fans will be able to watch their team play live and in-person when the Major League Baseball season kicks off later this month – with a catch. Rather than within the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, the fans will be viewing the action from bleachers atop roofs on buildings across the street from the venerable stadium, approved for up to 25% capacity by the city this week.
Not all of the rooftop venues are yet open, but one that is – located at 1050 W Waveland Avenue, which overlooks the field from behind the left field foul pole, has tickets on sale now for $350 or 400 to games in July and August on its website. Rooftop venues operated by the Cubs organization have a message on their website indicating that fans should check back soon for 2020 ticket information.
“I’m going to have to launch some balls onto the rooftops and give them a good, little shimmy dance out there,” Cubs outfielder and designated hitter said on a Wednesday conference call.
The Cubs have 30 home games scheduled in the abbreviated 2020 campaign, opening with a 6:10 PM tilt against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 24. They, along with every other MLB squad, will play their divisional rivals 40 times, with 20 interleague games against regional opponents filling in the remaining dates on the 60 games regular season.
While numerous franchises have indicated a desire to have fans in the stands if local authorities will allow it, that remains an open question as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold. The Texas Rangers had gone as far as planning on selling tickets to their brand new stadium based on the Governor’s regulations allowing up to 50% capacity at sporting events, only to have that plan shot down by league officials.
“The Rangers and MLB had some back and forth on that,” wrote Evan Grant in the Dallas Morning News. “I think ultimately everybody has decided the best thing to do would be, at least through this first homestand in July, let’s see how things operate with no fans in the stands. Baseball will reevaluate in the beginning of August.”
It is unlikely that players in Chicago will be able to plan for much of a home field advantage boost based on 25% full bleachers on roofs across the street from the stadium, but for fans, it affords one of the few opportunities to see live sports in person at the moment – even if it comes at a pretty steep premium.