Chicago Cubs: A battle rages on the North Side
The 1980s brought a resurgence in the effort to bring night baseball to Wrigley Field. Under the new ownership of the Tribune Company and led by General Manager Dallas Green, the Cubs began anew drafting plans for installing lights. There was not unanimous agreement on this point.
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Now neighborhood activists and politicians weighed in. Governor Jim Thompson signed legislation banning lights at Wrigley. The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance banning lights. Discontent within the organization continued to grow. The Tribune went to court over the lights and the laws. War of a different kind was being fought now.
The courts ruled against the Cubs and now ownership openly discussed moving the team. The Mayor’s office, sensing a real possibility of losing the team, worked with the Cubs and the City Council to complete a deal on bringing night games to Wrigley. (As a side note: does this have a deju vu quality to it?)
The deal was both simple and far-reaching. Only eight games in 1988, and just 18 games per year through 2002, could be night games and no weekend night games except nationally televised games and postseason games.
And so, with the deal in place, on August 8, 1988, after decades of on-again, off-again efforts, legal battles and negotiations, the lights went on.