CHICAGO – Traditionally on the North Side, the only baseball played on a Friday night comes only during the playoffs.
But that will change in 2017 as a schedule change puts the Cubs under the lights to end the regular work week.
On Thursday, the Cubs confirmed that they’re moving their game with the Brewers at Wrigley Field to a 7:05 PM start time from 1:20 PM and will air on WGN. It’s believed to be the first scheduled Friday night game during the regular season in Wrigley Field history, since the city bans the playing of games on that night.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, however, a deal was struck between the Cubs and the City of Chicago due to the team’s short turnaround time after a night game in Pittsburgh on that Thursday.
The move gives the Cubs a bit more rest before the start of a critical three-game series against the Brewers – who at the moment are in second place behind the Cubs in the National League Central Division.
A few Friday night games have been played Wrigley Field during the playoffs, including two during the Cubs’ championship run last fall. On October 7th, the Cubs beat the Giants 1-0 in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at the Friendly Confines. Three weeks later the Cubs hosted their first World Series game in 71 years on Friday, October 28th, losing 1-0 to the Indians.
The first Friday Night playoff game at Wrigley Field came on October 3, 2003 when the Cubs defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-1 in Game 3 of the NLDS.