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Let the kids play: A Wrigleyville neighbor welcomes Rascal Flatts show July 18

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cubs_rascal_flatts_wrigley.jpg
If we can handle this now-annual spectacle, we can certainly handle Rascal Flatts. (AP Photo)

Not all Wrigleyville neighbors oppose the booking of a Rascal Flatts show at Wrigley Field July 18. As a resident of the neighborhood who lives in a high-traffic area within earshot of the stadium's hot dog vendors, I welcome any and all events that will help buoy the people and businesses who depend on nights like the one in question during these tough economic times.

An extra concert means my neighbors directly to the south will be able to fill their parking lot another day out of the month at payday of at least $50/car. It means my upstairs neighbor, a bartender at one of the local establishments, will have another extra-lucrative payday that eclipses the average game-less Saturday night. We can't afford to take the a cash cow off the pasture during a recession. To do so would only make sense to someone who has no idea what it means to be living paycheck to paycheck right now.

Southport Neighbors Association president Jill Peters told Sun-Times reporter Fran Spielman, "Based on their agreement in the past to limit concert events to two nights per year, their request has been met. A third -- especially on a Saturday night -- would be too much for the community to endure on top of a festival. It's piling on too much for a community already stressed during baseball season."

The community isn't stressed those 81 nights a year the Cubs play home games. Stressed how? Cars? We deal with them. Foot traffic? Only helps local businesses. Risk of drunken revelry? There's not a weekend all year that's not a concern. We deal with it.
This neighborhood lives for nights like these. The community is a well-oiled machine during nights like these, and its very existence depends on the fact that people from all over the world come in and spend their cash. It's the reason the neighborhood is filled with good, hard-working professionals and neighbors that anyone would want.

If I didn't like the crowds, the congestion, the morning-after vomit on the sidewalks, my solution would be swift and definite: I would move.

I argue there's nothing that is too much for my community to endure.

We're Wrigleyvillians. Summer is temporary. There's only so many chances we have to make the type of money we would on a night like this. In other words, bring it. While we're at it, why not book someone ridiculous at the Metro that night? We can handle it.

You don't move to Wrigleyville because you enjoy tame, peaceful summers. You move there because you want to be in the thick of it. Because Wrigleyville in the summer reminds us why we endure Chicago winters.

The argument is also made that the concert conflicts with the Saturday night of the Southport Festival. I would argue that holding a concert in the neighborhood would only bolster attendance to the festival. If people are coming to the neighborhood in droves for the show, it's quite possible, even probable, that a good number of them will find their way to the festival.

Peters told the Trib, "The solution would be to allow the two nights for Billy Joel and Elton John and to cancel the Rascal Flatts concert on the Saturday night." That sounds like less of a solution and more of a question of musical taste. Or could it be an unwarranted disdain for country music fans in general?

I've covered a Rascal Flatts show. The makeup was no different than that of a Cubs game. Their fans don't strike me as the type who would go out of their way to roll up to the Southport Festival to begin with. But there's the distinct possibility that they'd be up for walking over there afterward.

And if we're talking air pollution? I'd much rather have a real band polluting my air than a stream of cliche Chicago summer festival acts who routinely butcher one bad cover song after another.

Cancel the Rascal Flatts show? I'd rather move.

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6 Comments

We need a country music correspondent.

Think about it...


I don't understand how residents complain about noise, drunks or trash caused during events at 1060 W. Addison.

You knew that you were moving near Wrigley Field when you moved into your home. If you don't like it, MOVE.


Linda S.

Rascal Flats? ugh....bring in someone like Metallica. Now that would be a better crowd! Seriously ..... who wants redneck drunk jocks in the neighborhood, oh wait, it's already like that.

Deborah S. - Country music is the #1 selling genre in America, which requires more fans than all the "redneck drunk jocks" in the world. As many country fans live in cities as live in small towns and rural areas. If you're going to stereotype, at least know what you're talking about. I'm not even a country music fan and I still know this.

We weren't talking about the #1 selling genre of music in America, we're talking about puking drunks in the neighborhood and what brings them in here.... Over-priced baseball games, fake Irish Pubs and drunk jocks who love to watch overpaid "roid" heads play baseball, spit and scratch their crotch.

Just because you live near the ball park doesn't mean that it's OK for drunks to pee or puke in your yard.

Bring back the pre-gentrified neighborhood.

You really want the pre-gentrified neighborhood Deborah? Because I'm sure the gangs and drug dealers that used to inhabit Wrigleyville would be happy to come back if you let them.

I lived at Waveland and Racine for a year and everyone I know around that area knows what they're getting into when they move there. Of course I got a little tired of the drunks peeing by my car or passing out on my garbage can. But I love watching the Cubs, I made money on my parking spot, I paid really low rent, and I had a 2 block walk to the EL to go to work. So you take the bad with the good.

That being said, Rascall Flatts music is absolutely horrible. If people were protesting their concert on the grounds that they suck I would be on board.

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