CHICAGO — Hundreds of thousands of ticketless Cubs fans are expected to descend on the city’s Wrigleyville neighborhood this weekend as the Cubs play their first home World Series games in 71 years.
But hanging out around Wrigley Field and drinking booze amidst the ambiance of World Series baseball at the plethora of the neighborhood’s watering holes won’t be cheap.
The famed Cubby Bear lounge across the street from Wrigley Field is charging a $100 cover for the privilege to watch the game on their big screens and buy their beer.
Another neighborhood bar, HVAC, is charging $250 per person for a Game 4 watch party package that includes drinks and all-you-can-eat pizza and wings.
The Old Crow Smokehouse, about a block south of Wrigley Field, is offering admission into their bar for $225 per person, which includes an entrée, an appetizer and drinks from the start of the game until the ninth inning. The admission does not guarantee seating, but you can reserve a four-top table reservation for an additional $500.
On the same block, John Barleycorn is offering a similarly priced package and has already sold out of tabletops for Saturday night’s game.
Many taverns in the neighborhood are foregoing cover charges. Bars in the neighborhood have been filling to capacity one to two hours before first pitch, said Tom Tunney, an Alderman whose ward includes the area around Wrigley Field.
“Most of these establishments have the ability to charge cover charges, but they generally have not for Cubs games. But this is a once-in-century opportunity,” Tunney said. “The whole city is celebrating and there will be plenty of neighborhoods where you can find a more reasonable price for a beer.”
While the cover charges are eye-popping, they pale in comparison to the price of getting into Wrigley. Standing room tickets for Friday’s game are going for a whopping $2,100 on the secondary market, while box seats will set fans back at least $13,000 for a pair.
Follow USA TODAY Chicago correspondent Aamer Madhani on Twitter: @AamerISmad