The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

World Series means headaches for Wrigleyville residents

When DePaul junior Colin Macones tried to come home to his apartment in Wrigleyville on Saturday night, he was stopped by the police at the front of his street. It was getting late, and they wanted to see some ID.

“I don’t have an ID saying I live here, since I’m just renting the place. I’m not even from Chicago. Then they asked me for a bill in my name,” Macones said. “Why would I have a bill in my name on me? I don’t know. So eventually they just walked me to my door and watched me go inside.”

Security surrounds Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night. CPD deployed more than 1,000 officers to the community over the weekend. (Joss Leff/The DePaulia)

Macones’ experience is just one of the many challenges of living in Wrigleyville during the Chicago-hosted Games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series. In a notable effort to clamp down on crowds, more than 1,000 Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers were deployed throughout the neighborhood, checking for identification and proof of residence and confiscating alcohol from entrees. Residents were notified of the requirement during the week leading up to the games.

“We got a note on our doors (on Wednesday) that basically said we have to carry around a piece of mail and a photo ID to prove that we live in our houses or they’re not going to let us through our streets,” DePaul senior Aileen Lewis said. “It’s kind of annoying.”

In addition to the ID checkpoints, parking restrictions stretching swaths of Clark, Kenmore, Seminary and Clifton streets — among many others — were enforced from Oct. 28 at noon until Oct. 31 at 4 a.m.

DePaul senior Alan Jacek Mlotkowski has a car and usually drives home from class, taking Sheffield Avenue from Lincoln Park up to to Wrigleyville. But last weekend, he opted to keep the car safely stowed away in a garage on campus, saying he “didn’t even want to try.”

“I mean, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” he said. Mlotkowski also worried that his car might get vandalized if it were left out, a concern that 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney echoed during a press conference with law enforcement and Cubs officials on Thursday.

“I recommend you do not bring your car anywhere near the ballpark,” he said.

Tunney’s chief of staff Bennett Lawson added that bars would only be allowed to serve liquor in plastic cups to avoid glass pileups in the streets.

Despite tightened security measures, residents still had to contend with massive crowds spilling into the streets surrounding Wrigley Field. Lewis lives near Clark Street — close to the bars — and said she would often see people drunk, peeing in alleyways and vomiting on the streets during baseball season.

“It’s just super-duper crowded, and there are people always outside and hanging out on our front stoop. They just don’t have a place to go because everybody’s trying to get into these bars,” Lewis said. “The lines are out the door and around the block, so they don’t have a place to go.”

Macones said the World Series crowd was unlike anything he had ever experienced living in the neighborhood, with anxious fans glued outside the field and completely unaware of the needs of people trying to make their way back to their apartments.

“During the series with the Dodgers, it wasn’t so bad because everyone was out there having a good time and just kind of hoping (for a win),” Macones said. “But for the World Series, it’s absolutely insane and everybody is here all the time. I can never walk on the streets or on the sidewalks, and people refuse to let you through because they want to stare at this giant brick building from a closer angle than I want to stare at the giant brick building.”

Some fans are merely hapless, standing in people’s way and obstructing public transportation. Mlotkowski had to take the ‘L’ home from class during the weekend while his car was stowed away, and found himself consistently frustrated with people who didn’t seem to know how to embark and disembark upon Red Line trains.

“People just don’t know how to use the CTA,” Mlotkowski said. “A lot of Cubs fans are from the suburbs, and they just don’t understand the unwritten rules of the CTA and how to handle getting onto a train and where to stand and whatnot.”

(Josh Leff/The DePaulia)

He described waiting for a train on his way home and watching a horde of Cubs fans attempting to get on a single packed train car. Meanwhile, the cars up ahead remained nearly empty.

“I just try to give myself more patience,” he said, sighing a little.

Still, others are more rowdy — even unsettling, at times. Macones said that tensions swelled when the Cubs weren’t doing well, and that angry fans would “get pissed and yell” when he would ask them to move out of the way during his commute home.

In a more sinister instance, Lewis said she was walking to a nearby friend’s house when she noticed a drunk and leering man trailing behind her.

“It wasn’t cat-calling, it was a little bit more than that,” Lewis said. “A guy started following me and it was really creepy, so I tried to get in with a family and walk with them. But honestly, would that even do anything?”

Even though incidents like that may slip through the cracks, Macones said the police did “a really great job” of suppressing  unrest amongst the crowd. For her part, Lewis said she’s glad for CPD’s enhanced — albeit inconvenient — methods of security.

“It’s annoying. Me and my roommates were talking, and we were like, ‘If we have to leave our house, what are we going to do?’” Lewis said. “But honestly, with how sketchy some people are and the amount of drunkenness going on, I definitely am happier that (the police took extra precautions).”

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