Cubs Trade For Buffett

It’s not exactly the proverbial “player to be named later,” but it turns out the Chicago Cubs did have to offer some trade bait to Wrigley Field neighbors to help secure the right to stage two Jimmy Buffett concerts there Labor Day weekend.

The Cubs agreed to play one less night game in 2006, stage no concerts that year and donate $150,000 to area schools in exchange for bringing Buffett, whose concerts in Boston’s Fenway Park last year preceded the breaking of that team’s World Series “curse.”

The concerts will take place September 4-5 while the Cubs are on a road trip.

The Chicago City Council’s finance committee authorized a “one-time exception” to the ordinance governing the number of night games in response to the Cubs’ willingness to work out a plan to coddle neighbors who don’t want Wrigley turned into a concert venue.

And those Chicagoans can be a tough bunch. Some of those same neighbors didn’t want lights installed at Wrigley, either, and prevailed until the stadium became the last Major League Baseball venue to schedule night games in 1988.

The Cubs also agreed to limit attendance at the concerts to no more than 39,500 per show, set aside 3,000 tickets for purchase by residents within a mile of the stadium and implement the same security measures for the shows as for any night baseball game, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

If it seems like a lot of hoops for a baseball team to jump though, consider that the net profits are exempt from MLB’s revenue-sharing structure, which requires the Cubs to share 34 cents on the dollar earned on game days.

Somehow, that doesn’t sound as inspiring a reason as bringing in Buffett to break some curse.