The weather might not feel like it, but it really is opening day.
Here’s what’s happening around Chicago for today’s Cubs home opener.
7:30 pm: “Beer, click here!” is not the same: At Wrigley, online ordering clashes with ballpark conventions
The giant pump of ketchup is gone. The dispenser of shaved onions has been dispatched to some graveyard of pre-COVID ballpark concessions. And those who shout “beer, here!” for a living have been reduced to frowning at a screen instead of laughing straight into the glassy eyes of an ebullient, thirsty fan as they navigate aisles, stairs and foul balls.
On opening day at Wrigley Field, the COVID-friendly, new mobile ordering technology squared off against the great ballpark food-and-drink traditions and, for the most part, struck out. Granted, they were motivated by the best of intentions: safety for fans and employees. And the consumers who met them on a chilly Thursday afternoon were mostly stoic.
“We’re all learning here,” said David Ames of Chicago, as he fiddled with his phone trying to order. “There are bound to be hiccups.”
But not much worked as smoothly as planned.
“When rolling out any consumer-facing technology, then scaling to thousands of people to deliver product in real time, you’re going to face some challenges,” said Julian Green, senior vice president of communications for the Cubs.
6:40: Father surprises son with Wrigley Field tickets
Prior to Wednesday’s opening day, Devin Weiss, 11, thought he was being pulled out of school for a dentist appointment. But when his dad, Noah, picked him up from 6th grade, they headed to Wrigley instead.
“[Devin] said what he missed most in the pandemic was being at Wrigley,” said Noah, 46. “That was the No. 1 thing.”
Despite the Cubs’ 5-3 loss, Devin’s love of baseball and the Cubs made for a fun afternoon, he said. His favorite position to play is pitcher, he said.
The Weiss family, of Lincoln Park, originally had seats behind the Cubs’ dugout, but they ended up moving to right field to stay in the sun. Devin told Noah that his toes were going numb in the fourth inning.
Noah didn’t think they would make it to the end of the game because of the cold, he said, but they ended up staying through the ninth inning.
“I’m a huge Cubs fan,” said Devin, in response to why he stuck around in the cold. “I didn’t want to leave on opening day.”
5:22 p.m.: Cubs lose their home opener 5-3
Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks walked the first batter of the season in what would become a familiar trend for the pitching staff on opening day.
Eight Cubs pitchers combined to walk 11 hitters in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in front of 10,343 fans at Wrigley Field. The pitching staff’s 11 walks were the most in a game for the Cubs since July 23, 2014 (also 11). Right-hander Alec Mills was the lone reliever to not issue a free pass.
Hendricks uncharacteristically struggled with his command, lasting only three innings and 63 pitches. His three walks were his most in a start in exactly two years (April 1, 2019).
5:06 p.m.: Wrigleyville bars and restaurants fill up for the game
Opening day always feels bigger than just one game or one day. It’s the start of a new season — both for spring and sport — and fans said that sense of something new felt palpable in Wrigleyville for the Cubs opener.
“It’s amazing to be back out here. Seeing the neighborhood like this, it’s a beautiful sight. It’s a piece of art,” said Alex “Q” Quintanar, who came from the northern suburbs with four friends for the game.
They’ve been to the last seven Cubs home openers, and after missing out last season, Quintanar said there was “no question” they would be back once the team announced the return of fans.
Inside Wrigley Field, everything went smoothly regarding COVID-19 protocols, Quintanar said. With limited capacity, he said lines both in and outside the ballpark were simpler than ever.
Other than that, “it was ball as usual,” he said.
By the end of the sixth inning, however, Quintanar and his friends had joined the line waiting outside the Cubby Bear.
Inside the ballpark was freezing, they said — which explains why Cubby Bear, Deuce’s & the Diamond Club, Murphy’s Bleachers and Old Crow Smokehouse were at capacity before the seventh inning stretch. Long shadows and gusting winds made for a chill around the ballpark. Temperatures in the 30s made more for stocking cap conditions than ball cap.
Standing outside Wrigley’s entrance at Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue, a group of cigarette-smoking regulars said the weather was the only reason they considered not attending opening day — they estimated they’d been to nine or 10 home openers over the years.
“No names!” they replied at the end of the interview, ditching their stubs and the reporter.
By the time the Cubs trailed 5-2 in the eighth inning, spaces up and down Clark Street were filling up as fans ditched the ballpark for the bar.
5:02 p.m.: Vendors celebrate return of fans: ‘Bringing it back is bringing life back to us, to our families’
The T-shirt stand on Sheffield Avenue that Angel Lopez runs didn’t open during the pandemic because the cost of licenses and permits would have overtaken the revenue from limited sales.
So having fans back at Wrigley Field is about more than cheering on the Cubs for Lopez and other vendors.
“This is what we do. If we don’t do this, we don’t do nothing,” Lopez said. “Bringing it back is bringing life back to us, to our families. It’s been pretty hard. Everybody here has kids in college and all this other stuff, and it’s pretty hard to need something at home and not be able to get it for your kids.”
Lopez said he has lived in Lakeview his whole life and started working for apparel vendors as a kid, so being without it for a year “put a big dent in our heart.” They had to let some employees go, he said.
“Last year was kind of depressing for everybody,” he said. “It does take a toll on people.”
Lopez said the stand was open Thursday as a trial run to see what kind of business came in. He hopes they can keep it running.
“We really don’t know how long we are going to be here now,” he said. “We’re just trying it out and will see how it goes. If it goes good, then we’ll come back out. If not, we’ll have to go into retail stores and do business with them.”
4:43 p.m.: ‘Mai Tai Guy’ makes an appearance
As the Cubs-Pirates game crawled along, several people took seats at Gallagher Way to watch the TV broadcast on a giant screen.
Inside the paid attendance area, a few children ran around and fans milled about.
One fan who has grown used to spending Cubs games on the outskirts of Wrigley Field is Christopher Sorley, a 40-year-old Portage Park resident some may remember as “Mai Tai Guy.”
Sorley went viral in 2019 when he was accused of swiping a home run ball from two boys, igniting the debate about the etiquette of such situations. That, of course, was the last season Sorley, who said he usually attends about 50 games a year, was inside Wrigley Field.
Last year, when he realized he wouldn’t be able to go inside, he became a regular visitor to the ballhawks crew that sits at Waveland and Kenmore avenues.
“When they redid the season, we were like, all right, we can’t be inside, but we can still be around the park,” Sorley said. “There are no restrictions for that. … Opening day (in 2020), people were itching to get out, and everyone was ready to go, so we had 40-50 people at the highest point.”
Sorley often passed by veteran ballhawks such as Moe Mullins and Dave Davison, but over time he has gotten used to doing what it takes to compete for home run balls.
“When you see it for the first time, it’s intense when the ball comes out because everyone is running,” he said. “These grown men are chasing after this little 9-inch sphere of yarn and thread. No one is out here to hurt anybody, but the point is to get the ball. You’re going to have some body contact. You’re going to have an elbow to the ribs here.”
Sorley and a few other ballhawks were gathered on Waveland on Thursday because opening-day tickets were too expensive, but he said he has tickets for other games this homestand.
He’s hoping he’ll spend less time on the street during games this season.
“It’s kind of getting back to normal is really how I feel,” Sorley said. “Getting back in the swing of things, and hopefully by the playoffs, if we make them, God willing, we all can be in the ballpark — 40,000 of us.”
4:19 p.m.: The endless search for hot chocolate
It’s clear that the Cubs’ seat-based online concession ordering system needs a lot of work.
If you are ordering multiple beverages online, it would make sense to have them delivered together. But that’s not how ballparks traditionally work: there is a beer person, a peanut vendor, a hot dog seller and so on.
The two systems don’t mesh.
After an hour of waiting, I go in search and finally track down Mike Levy, who is selling hot chocolate. It takes 10 minutes for him to find my order.
He’s a nice guy: “This would be so much faster if it were cash,” he says.
I finally get two warm cups. But I still have no official seats and I have forgotten where I am supposed to be perched. At least my hands are warm.
4:02 p.m.: From ‘ghost town’ to ‘lots of traffic’
Ridvan Mustafa has worked for 25 years at the corner of Clark Street and Waveland Avenue selling Cubs merchandise.
With no fans allowed to attend games last year because of COVID-19, Wrigleyville was a “ghost town,” said Mustafa, 41, of the Northwest Side. He and his team set up the merchandise stand, Clark Street Sports, the first week of last year’s season, but they quickly “gave up” because there were no fans around, he said.
“It was one of our worst years,” Mustafa said. “Without fans, this (merchandise) doesn’t do anything for us.”
The stand caters to fans heading into the stadium for a game, Mustafa said, so no fans meant minimal sales last season. Other Clark Street Sports locations in malls kept the business afloat during the pandemic, he said.
Thursday was a different story.
Even though Wrigley Field was at only 25% capacity for the home opener, Mustafa said it “felt like a lot more.” Fans were quick to snag a winter hat or Cubs face mask before entering the stadium or hanging around to watch the game outside, he said.
“It’s a big difference” from last year, Mustafa said. “There’s been a lot more traffic today… It’s a good thing.”
3:11 p.m.: Even with ‘nosebleeders’ for seats, ‘It’s historic we’re here’
On Aug. 23, 2020, Greg Cooper retired from being a police officer and 911 dispatcher. The 58-year-old from Springfield spent the first 10 days of his retirement decking out his backyard with Cubs decorations and lights mimicking the outfield of Wrigley Field — scoreboard and everything.
Cooper and his friend Marcus Passoni drove to Chicago from Springfield for Thursday’s opener. Being at Wrigley is “heaven,” said Cooper, who got tickets to the game from a season ticket holder as an early birthday present from his wife.
“It’s historic we’re here, breaking the ice,” Cooper said.
Kevin and Lori Darman of Lindenhurst have been season ticket holders for seven years. Kevin Darman attended Game 4 of the 2016 World Series and Lori attended Game 5, “one of the best days of my life,” she said.
Their season tickets normally are for bleacher seats, but by the time they were able to purchase tickets for opening day, Lori said the only seats remaining were in the upper deck.
“The nosebleeders,” Kevin said.
But since they were worried if they would even get tickets, Lori said any way to get into the stadium was well worth it.
“We’ve become emotionally attached to the team,” Lori said.
3:09 p.m.: Family ties run deep for Cubs fans
Louis Lee credits his great-grandmother for his love of baseball. Her husband played in the Negro National League, and when he went over to his great grandmother’s house, there would only be a select number of things on TV: “The Andy Griffith Show,” the news and the Cubs, Lee said.
Normally, Lee attends at least 20 games a season, he said, so not being able to attend any games last year brought “a little heartache, a little pain.”
“Everybody has their different vices and all of that,” said Lee, who requested off work Thursday a month in advance. “One of mine happens to be baseball. And everybody who knows me knows, opening day, you will not see me unless you’re here with me.”
For Jerry Pritikin, 84, his father served as his baseball “guru” and “rabbi.” He attended his first opener when he was 8 years old but this year, Pritikin spent the game greeting fellow fans who grew into friends after a lifetime of rooting for the Cubs.
Pritikin, who also goes by the “Bleacher Preacher,” said he’s been to myriad Cubs games, but one in particular stands out. One time, during Harry Caray’s 10th Inning show, Caray had Pritikin on as a guest.
“Back in (1985) was probably my proudest moment,” Pritikin said.
2:21 p.m.: Online food ordering system ‘slow as molasses’
The online food ordering system at the concession stands was slow as molasses.
Most people were giving up and just heading to the counter in the old-school way.
A staffer offered sympathy as I waited for the QR code to load for my Italian beef.
“Don’t bother,” she said.
One issue is the system does not accommodate the centrality of condiments. Since the vats of ketchup and other condiments are gone, it takes ages to fetch all the plastic containers.
I tried switching from my phone to the Cubs WiFi. It made no difference. Finally the code showed.
Meanwhile, I’m involved in a game of musical chairs: I move to another seat that’s not zip-locked; it is all pretty relaxed. I last maybe 5 minutes before the seat owner arrives. Back to the usher.
There seems to be no back-up plan if your seat is zip-tied. He has now found me a folding chair at the back of terraced reserved section 206.
Still waiting for my hot chocolate now going to a seat 200 feet away.
A supervisor later explained that after the seats were cordoned off, more seats were added to the capacity but not all the ties were cut.
1:51 p.m.: A ‘refreshing’ return to Wrigley Field
With limited fans in attendance, the entrance to the bleachers had no line in front of it for most of the hour leading up to the game.
Outside the right-field entrance, Teena Moore waited as her boyfriend tried to download their tickets onto his phone, a necessity for fans this season with the Cubs using only digital tickets.
Moore, a South Side Cubs fan, said she wore multiple pairs of pants and socks on the chilly afternoon to be comfortable. When fans were kept from the ballpark last season, she watched on TV.
“It was horrible,” she said. “To try to watch them on TV without any fans was horrible, but I still hung in there and I still watched them because I’m a diehard Cubs fan.
“(This game) will be refreshing. I’m just so ready to hear ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame.’ ”
Moore said she wasn’t too worried about COVID-19. She is vaccinated and was double-masked to be extra careful. She thinks the pod seating, cashless operations and delivered concessions will help make it safer.
Steve Grolmus, 57, a season ticket holder from the Quad Cities in Iowa, said he would feel better attending if he was vaccinated but believes the game can be held safely if everyone follows the rules.
Grolmus still came to Chicago, where he also owns a place, a couple dozen times during games last season.
“It was hard,” he said. “It was sad to come up here and not see people around. It was a tough season.”
He expects the fans that are in attendance to be high energy.
“It won’t be the same, but I think everybody is so excited, the excitement level is going to way up there for everybody,” he said. “So I’m really looking forward to it.”
1:45 p.m.: Cubs fan has been to every home opener since 1971
David Lukes attended his first Wrigley Field opening day in 1971. He came back for opening day the next year. And the next.
The 76-year-old from Elk Grove Village attended his 50th consecutive Cubs home opener on Thursday. For the first several years, Lukes haggled tickets in the hours leading up to the game while his wife Sharon Lukes, 74, waited at the McDonald’s across the street. Now, he buys the tickets in advance, his wife said.
One year, David Lukes had a procedure three days before opening day, leaving him with 40 staples running up his abdomen. He said his sons checked him out of the hospital for the day and took him to the game, watching several innings before taking their father back to the hospital.
Having had 30 surgeries in this life, Lukes is especially high-risk for COVID-19, his wife said. But both have been fully vaccinated, they said, and missing the game isn’t an option for him.
“If he’s come in on a gurney one year, he’s not missing any of them,” ” Sharon Lukes said.
Downers Grove resident Joe Stancato tops David Lukes’ streak for the number of years he’s attended opening days at Wrigley — Stancato’s been attending them since 1969.
To get off work and attend the games, Stancato said he’s “had eight different grandmothers pass away,” making up excuses to be able to get to Wrigley. He’s now a season ticket holder and has been to more than 2,000 home Cubs games, he said.
Not being able to attend opening day last season was “terrible,” Stancato said. He watched one game last season from the rooftop seats, outside the stadium just beyond the outfield bleacher seats, but “it wasn’t the same,” he said.
1:37 p.m.: From entry to seated at Wrigley Field
At noon Thursday, 577 days after fans were last inside Wrigley Field, the Wrigleyville neighborhood heard a familiar but lost sound: organ music.
Entry into Wrigley Field was based on specific times (as distinct from time windows which would have enduced less anxiety). But a 12:26 p.m. arrival for a 12:20 p.m. entry presented no problem. The ballpark’s new metal detectors are a revelation and clearly thrilling the staffers. No more removal of wallet or keys; you simply glide past futuristic looking machines that apparently beep only for more nefarious objects. You don’t need to break your stride.
Entry into the park is based on color-coded zones, and there are barriers between sections, but movement inside the seating area is relatively easy. And there is little or no crowding.
But I ran into trouble when I got to my seat: Row 20 at the back of section 206. My seat was zip-tied closed; an indication no one should be sitting there. An usher told me to take a seat nearby and we would “sort it out later.”
We’ll see how that works out.
1:23 p.m.: ‘Harry Caray and Steve Stone were me and my brother’s babysitters’
Angie and Ryan Schassen moved to Forest Park from Oregon last year and planned to attend every Cubs game until COVID-19 kept fans away.
Now they’re attending opening day — Angie’s first game at Wrigley Field and Ryan’s seventh or eighth — and they’re “pretty damn excited,” Ryan said from outside the entrance to the Wrigley bleachers.
Ryan, 44, grew up a Cubs fan in Oregon because he watched the team on WGN.
“Harry Caray and Steve Stone were me and my brother’s babysitters,” he said.
The first time his father went to Wrigley Field when he was in his 40s he cried. Ryan and Angie traveled to Wrigleyville for the 2016 World Series even though they didn’t have tickets. They soaked up the atmosphere at the bars and wrote their son’s name — Ryne — in chalk next to Ryne Sandberg’s outside the field.
“When we got married when I was 19, I told her, no matter what, when the Cubs make the World Series, we’re going to be in Wrigleyville,” Ryan said. “I don’t have to be at the game. I just have to be in the neighborhood.”
Now they’ll be inside Wrigley Field to experience the unusual atmosphere with limited fans.
“It’s Wrigley Field. To me, it’s the same,” Ryan said.
“I guess we’re part of the atmosphere, so we better bring it,” Angie said.
12:53 p.m.: Issues at concession stands
Not everything was going smoothly on opening day. Multiple concession stands in the upper deck were unable to sell grilled sausages and Italian beefs due to a computer malfunction.
But the fans who turned out weren’t letting the biting cold wind ruin their enjoyment.
“I’m just happy to be back here in the park,” said John Sternberg of Sandwich.
Sternberg bought his ticket online for $115 to sit in section 431 R — the farthest reaches of the upper deck right field.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how the Cubs react. They have to set a tone starting out the season, especially with the COVID situation.”
Cousins Frank Perry and Ayden Barnhart, both of Rockford, haggled upper deck tickets for $125 apiece. Both wore Baez jerseys and were huddled under Cubs blankets.
“It’s cold but it was worth it, just because of the atmosphere,” Perry said. “I’m very optimistic about this season.”
And about re-signing Baez? “Well, eventually,” he said.
11:41 a.m.: ‘I think it will be cold, I think it will be exciting, and I think the Cubs are going to win’
Longtime Chicago Cubs season ticket holders Georgia and Jack Leese can see Wrigley Field from where they live in Lakeview.
Looking at the empty ballpark in 2020 was “very difficult,” said Georgia, 86.
So naturally they are thrilled to be returning to Wrigley for opening day.
“I think it will be cold, I think it will be exciting, and I think the Cubs are going to win,” Georgia said by phone before she left for the ballpark.
Georgia grew up in Portage Park and would take the Addison bus to Wrigley, where at that time she could buy tickets for front-row seats. Jack, 89, is also a life-long North Sider who attended the 1945 World Series, Georgia said. They attended the 2016 World Series games in Chicago. Over 30-plus years, Georgia missed only one Cubs Convention. And they usually spend March in Arizona for spring training, but didn’t travel there this year because of COVID-19.
So when season ticket holders of more than 30 years found out there would be fans at the home opener, they were diligent in their pursuit of tickets, a process she said “wasn’t easy.” They don’t yet have tickets to other games this season.
“I have a life with a Cubs that I haven’t really pursued the way I would like to,” Georgia said. “As soon as it opens up, they know we want to go. They know we want our seats. But I’m grateful. There are a lot of people who can’t go today, and I’m sorry for that.”
Georgia and Jack both have been vaccinated, but she still takes precautions such as wearing a mask and staying within her family bubble.
She said it will be a new experience not sitting with their “buddies” in the usual seats because of the limited fan attendance. But it will be better than watching on TV, as they did last year.
“Everyone has a few reservations, but I would say that we’re very busy people and very active, and that’s been shot down this year,” Georgia said. “So we try to do what we can and be sensible. There are people who do more and people who do less.”
As for how Georgia believe the Cubs will do this year, she said, “I always hope and think they’ll be better than the papers say.”
11:33 a.m.: Evanston Cubs fan heads to Wrigleyville early
More than three hours before the first pitch, Kevin Wild, 59, boarded a Purple Line train at the Central Station in Evanston, near where he lives. He’s part of the “first group of lucky fans” to attend opening day at Wrigley Field. Of the 10 passengers in Wild’s “L” car, he was the only one visibly wearing Cubs garb, sporting a red and blue baseball cap.
A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, Wild used to make the drive to Chicago from his hometown in Iowa to watch Cubs games with his grandfather. He grew up watching the 1969 Cubs, when the roster was loaded with superstar players, some of whom were later inducted into the Hall of Fame.
He took the train to meet his son-in-law — a season ticket holder who got a ticket for Wild as an early 60th birthday present — before entering the stadium at their 12:20 p.m. entry time. Both Wild and his son-in-law are fully vaccinated, Wild said, so he isn’t too concerned about the pandemic.
Wild, who works in logistics at Evanston Hospital NorthShore, took the day off to attend Thursday’s game.
“It’s going to be very special,” Wild said. “I really missed not having a fan-attended season.”
“I do wish it was a little warmer,” he added.
11:10 a.m.: David Ross’ message to Cubs players: ‘Respect the journey’
The message Cubs manager David Ross gave while addressing the team Wednesday was between him and the players, Ross said Thursday morning before the season opener at Wrigley Field against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
But after being informed Jason Heyward already gave the media the gist of the speech, Ross laughed and reluctantly spilled the beans.
“I just think everybody is on a different mission,” Ross said. “Everybody is out to prove something.
“There are guys in here that are young that are trying to prove they are established big-leaguers. I think there are guys that have played roles and are trying to establish that they are everyday players. I think there are guys that have been labeled they can’t do this, they can’t do that. And there are guys on one-year deals and on the back end of contracts.
“Everybody is on their own journey, and it’s a powerful thing to prove what you truly believe. And I’ve heard the hearts and the words of each individual player in a lot of different fashion, and I think a lot are on a mission to accomplish a lot of special things.
“When you hear it come out of their mouths and see it in their work, I think it’s powerful. … That’s kind of how I addressed the group, talking about respecting the journey each individual guy is on, and what they’re trying to accomplish.”
10:52 a.m.: Manager David Ross has gotten the vaccine
Count Cubs manager David Ross among those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’re trying to get as many guys vaccinated as we possibly can, but at the end of the day it’s their choice,” Ross said. “I’ve kind of left it up to them, but I just want them to be informed. Our doctors have been great, having given as much information to anybody that wants it.”
Major League Baseball has incentivized teams’ Tier 1 individuals, which includes players and coaches, hitting a collective 85% vaccinated threshold two weeks after receiving the second Moderna or Pfizer shot or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. When teams hit that mark, they won’t have to wear contact tracing devices, can be maskless in the dugout and will be allowed to gather without masks in hotel rooms, eat at restaurants and meet outdoors on road trips with people outside the team, among other privileges.
“What that timeline looks like — everybody’s on different schedules and how it works out for guys getting shots has been different timing,” Ross said. “We continue to push toward that number for sure. There’s some nice things put in place that we can kind of loosen the reins in some areas if we get to that number so that would be nice, but again it is an individual choice and I respect these guys’ decisions.”
It remains unclear whether the Cubs have reached the 85% threshold or are on track to do so. Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward said he has not gotten the vaccine.
“A lot of people with kids have gotten them, definitely understand that, but I also understand the people that haven’t,” Heyward said. “It’s definitely a personal choice. By no means if someone doesn’t get it does that mean that you’re not going to do everything you can in your power to be safe and keep others safe around you.
“I think that’ll happen over time. More people will get the vaccine, the more comfortable they get, the more they hear about it.”
Heyward doesn’t believe the MLB’s threshold will put pressure on players to get vaccinated if they don’t want to. Heyward said there isn’t any more pressure after playing last season with COVID-19 protocols.
“You should have every right to take as long as you want to decide when and how and where you want to get a vaccine,” he said. “But I think people in general should be able to take their time to decide when and if they want to get that.”
10:44 a.m.: Metra adds an extra train
A Metra UP-Northwest train scheduled to arrive in Chicago late Thursday morning was scheduled to run express from Barrington into the city because of the Cubs opening game.
Train No. 640, usually arriving in Chicago at 11:23 a.m., was scheduled to express from Barrington to the Irving Park stop.
9:47 a.m.: Cubs set opening-day lineup
Kyle Hendricks will become the first Cub to pitch in front of fans at Wrigley since Sept. 22, 2019.
Here’s how the Cubs will line up today behind Hendricks in the home opener against the Pirates. First pitch is set for 1:20 p.m.
Cubs’ Marquee Sports Network and fuboTV reach a carriage deal
Chicago Cubs fans who want to watch games via streaming services got a glimmer of good news less than 24 hours before the season opener: Marquee Sports Network has a carriage deal with fuboTV.
No official start date for when Marquee will be available on fuboTV was announced Wednesday, but it won’t be in time for Thursday’s season opener.
The official announcement said only it will be “in the coming weeks.”
The deal brings the number of stand-alone streaming services set to carry Marquee to two. AT&T TV is the other.
Takeout and delivery are options for people who prefer to catch the game at home but still want to feast on Wrigleyville classics as American as, well, baseball. If you do choose to visit Wrigleyville, be mindful of city guidelines like wearing a mask at all times unless eating or drinking, using digital menus and ordering, and keeping your distance from other parties. Due to limited capacity, some spots are requiring reservations, and many others highly encourage doing so.
Here’s our list of every alcohol-slinging spot in Wrigleyville, from top taco joints brushing up against the Friendly Confines to the perfect sports bars to a new steakhouse just across the street. Locations are sorted by distance to the Wrigley marquee.