No Rain Delay Here: Wrigleyville Is Still Alive Without Baseball

Andy Dahn
June 17, 2020 - 8:20 am

USA Today Sports

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Like many things these days, the baseball season is on hold, but that’s not stopping the newly renovated area around Wrigley Field from swinging for the fences this summer.

After an offseason full of renovations at Wrigley Field, and adding new shops and eateries to the area around the ballpark, the baseball season is in jeopardy and the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

"Yes, we are losing a lot of money, but we need to think of what we can do to survive," said Executive Director of the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce Maureen Martino. “It’s been hard to navigate. Very hard..."Not only do we not has baseball, but we are also in a pandemic, and so you are challenged with the social distancing on top of not having baseball, and how do you bring people down there."

Martino said if you haven’t’ been by Wrigley lately, you may not recognize the area.
 
“Certainly with the remodeling of Wrigley Field, also came with the Park at Wrigley and the hotel right across the street,” Martino said. “There’s also the Clark and Addison building that has housing units with commercial on the bottom.”

And while America’s past time is on hold, Martino said taking advantage of local shops and rooftop bars and restaurants doesn’t have to be.

"I would look at this as a great way and a great time to explore Wrigleyville if you don’t like to be around the Cubs fans and hang out on a really cool rooftop or an open air area,” Martino said. “You won’t have a bunch of people maybe pouring beer on top of you or on top of each other like at a baseball game.”

Martino said businesses are improvising - some adding to existing outdoor areas and others creating them.

She said the idea of shutting down Clark Street for businesses to expand is not out of the question either.

The area is desperately waiting for flexibility when it comes to reopening.

"We really want the city to open up, but we really want to make sure it's safe. I think there is a good way of doing that, but start rolling it out now," Martino said.