April 4, 2016.
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 15 C 3115 --
Jorge L. Alonso, Judge.
LEFT FIELD MEDIA LLC, Plaintiff - Appellant: Mark G.
Weinberg, Attorney, Law Office of Mark G. Weinberg, Chicago,
IL; Adele D. Nicholas, Attorney, Chicago, IL.
CITY OF CHICAGO, ELIAS VOULGARIS, Chicago Police Commander,
Defendants - Appellees: Jonathon D. Byrer, Attorney, OFFICE
OF THE CORPORATION COUNSEL, Appeals Division, Chicago, IL.
EASTERBROOK and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges, and PEPPER,
Field Media publishes Chicago Baseball, a magazine
that produces four issues over the course of a baseball
season. Copies are sold for $2 out-side Wrigley Field before
the Chicago Cubs' home games. On the day of the Cubs'
home opener in 2015, patrol officer Elias Voulgaris of
Chicago's police force saw Matthew Smerge, Left
Field's editor, selling the magazine at the corner of
Clark and Addison streets. Voulgaris told Smerge to move
across the street in order to comply with Chicago Municipal
Code 4-244-140(b), which the parties call the
Adjacent-Sidewalks Ordinance. Section 4-244-140(b) forbids
all ped-dling on the streets adjacent to Wrigley Field.
Smerge re-fused to move and was ticketed. Told that the next
step would be an arrest, Smerge then crossed the street. A
few days later Left Field sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
contending that the Adjacent-Sidewalks Ordinance violates the
First Amendment, applied to the states by the Fourteenth.
the district court issued a temporary restraining order,
Chicago agreed not to enforce the Adjacent-Sidewalks
Ordinance while the district court considered Left
Field's motion for a preliminary injunction. The 2015
season ran its course, and just as the playoffs began the
district court de-clined to issue a preliminary injunction.
(N.D.Ill. Oct. 5, 2015). The 2016 season is underway, and the
Cubs are doing well on the field. Left Field hopes to do as
well on appeal.
Adjacent-Sidewalks Ordinance provides:
No person shall peddle any merchandise on the sidewalk
imme-diately adjacent to Wrigley Field; such sidewalk
consisting of the north side of Addison Street, the east side
of Clark Street, the south side of Waveland Avenue, and the
west side of Sheffield Avenue. For purposes of this
subsection (b), the term " sidewalk" shall mean
that portion of the public way extending from the pe-rimeter
of the Wrigley Field stadium structure to the street curb or
satellite picture of Wrigley Field and environs helps the
reader to understand the ordinance:
picture, Clark is on the west, Addison on the south,
Sheffield on the east, and Waveland on the north. As the
pic-ture shows, the park is surrounded by buildings (many of
them residential), and an elevated railway (the CTA's Red
Line) is half a block to the east. The district court found
[T]he area surrounding Wrigley Field indeed creates unique
problems for the City ... . [Wrigley Field] has a " very
small foot-print" compared with other sports arenas;
most stadiums have about thirty acres of land to work with,
as opposed to Wrigley Field's three acres. The area
immediately surrounding the ball-park is bustling, with a
high density of retail establishments, rooftop businesses,
and residences. There are no vast swaths of parking lots
around Wrigley; the park is uniquely hemmed in, and the flow
of pedestrian traffic to the stadium is confined to the
public ways. The surrounding sidewalks around game times are
so congested that people often walk in the streets alongside
the sidewalks. Because of the stadium's position, a
certain portion of the sidewalk on the north side of Addison
between Clark and Sheffield is extremely narrow; only about
three people at a time can pass in that section. The location
of the CTA Addison Red Line stop contributes to the
congestion because it is so close to the east side of the
stadium. Alderman Tunney ... testified that in the three-year
period before the Adjacent-Sidewalks Ordinance was enacted in
2006, he had received complaints about peddlers and street
performers blocking the entrances to the ballpark and making
it difficult to safely walk in the area.
Field wants to take advantage of the narrow passages, so that
people who try to enter the stadium must pass someone selling
Chicago Baseball ; the other side of the street is
less crowded and so, Left Field insists, less desirable as a
place to sell magazines. But the district court ruled that
the throngs of people on narrow sidewalks justify the
ordinance, even on the ...