Baseball is back! Hope spring eternal and Cubs fans can dream of winning our first World Series since 2016. And White Sox fans can dream of not losing 100 games.

When I was in law school, a professor pointed out to us how everything around us could potentially be a legal issue. It’s really changed the way I think. With that in mind and in celebration of the new season, here are the top ten legal issues that will happen at and around Wrigley Field this year.

  1. Workers’ Compensation – We don’t think of professional athletes as employees, but they are. Injuries are a part of baseball and when a Cubs player gets hurt or a visiting player gets hurt, it can lead to an Illinois workers’ compensation claim. In recent years, players such as Chris Bosio, Jason Adam, Allen Webster and others have filed cases. So have park employees who get injured in a variety of ways.
  2. Trespassing – You can bet at some point, some drunken idiot is going to run onto the field. There’s actually a law that can make this a felony after a father and son attacked a Royals coach years ago at Comiskey. Stay off the field.
  3. Public Urination – There’s going to be a theme here that baseball games lead to a lot of criminal charges. I used to live across the street from Wrigley and can tell you by experience that there aren’t enough bathrooms for people out in the street. The drunk and desperate ones will pee anywhere.
  4. Battery – Baseball should be joyous, but there are a lot of jerks and people who can’t handle their liquor around. I’ve seen double digit fights over the years, usually from opposing fans and Cubs fans getting into it.
  5. Prostitution – You wouldn’t think it happens, but it’s definitely out there and around the ball park. While I personally think it should be legal, it’s not and every year people get caught. There are so many tourists and business people that get targeted and often arrested for solicitation too.
  6. Counterfeiting – It’s not as common as it used to be, but there are still fake tickets floating around and being sold on the streets.
  7. Personal Injury – Getting hit by a foul ball is a risk of being at a game. But getting hit by a ball that a player throws into the stands isn’t. Neither is getting trampled by fans trying to get that ball. And we’ve seen people hit by cars because drivers don’t know how to drive in a crowded area. And of course there is the risk of injuries due to defects in Wrigley itself.
  8. Divorce – While I’ve seen a handful of marriage proposals at stadiums, I’ve also seen a lot of (usually drunk) couples fighting in a way that signals the marriage is over. The baseball game might not be the primary cause of a divorce, but you’ll see a lot of evidence of marriages that need to end.
  9. Theft – There are people who hang out by the games with one purpose in mind. To steal your stuff. Drunk people and out of towners are easy marks. Even as someone who has been to hundreds of games, I don’t take a lot of cash with me and make sure my phone and wallet are really secure. Getting out of Wrigley is a huge challenge as the corridors are packed tightly. Watch your stuff!
  10. Child Endangerment – Taking a kid to a ball game is a great idea. They’ll remember it forever. Hopefully it’s not because you left them at the seats for an hour while you were smashing drinks or getting high.

Hopefully it’s a great baseball season. Go Cubs!