CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs would be prevented from playing night baseball at Wrigley Field under an ordinance approved by a City Council committee despite claims the bill would make the Council a laughingstock.
The Committee on Municipal Code Revision voted 7-0 Tuesday to approve the ordinance, which would effectively ban night games at the North Side park, the only unlit ballpark in the nation.
The ordinance, introduced by aldermen Jerome M. Orbach and Bernard J. Hansen, would forbid any amusement between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. in any arena with more than 15,000 seats within 500 feet of 100 homes.
The ordinance would not affect games at Comiskey Park, the South Side home of the White Sox, which does not have residential homes that close. Soldier Field, the lakefront home of the Chicago Bears and Chicago Sting, also would not be affected by the measure.
About 50 people, many with T-shirts reading 'No Lights!', told the committee they feared noise, traffic congestion and rowdyism in their neighborhood if the Cubs played night games.
But Don H. Reuben, an attorney for the Chicago Tribune Co., the Cubs' owners, said the ordinance would quickly be struck down by the courts, making the council a 'laughingstock' for approving it.
The Illinois General Assembly last year approved a bill that strengthened noise-pollution regulations so that a night game could not be played with the usual loudspeaker announcements and organ playing.
However, representatives of several neighborhood groups, including Citizens United for Baseball in Sunshine (CUBS), Wrigley Field Bleacher Bums and Diehard Cubs Fans, argued the state legislation wasn't strong enough.
The full City Council was scheduled to consider the measure today.