Not Your Father’s Wrigley Field
Since the Ricketts Family era began on the Northside, Wrigley Field and its neighborhood have seen some major changes, with more still in the works. This off-season, we said goodbye to the on-field bullpens and hello to some new seats including a premiere home plate club. Well, those of you who can afford it will say hello, the rest of us will wave as we walk by. With the rise in both demand and price of tickets, you’ll find me catching most games in the new plaza. Unlike the bar owners in the area, I am very excited for this addition to Wrigley. The barflies will still flock to their usual watering holes to catch the game, but the plaza will give other fans the Wrigley atmosphere without paying Wrigley prices. Families, college kids, and frugal spenders alike rejoice!
Rivalry aside, I have seen my fair share of games in and around Busch Stadium, and always enjoyed it. Ballpark Village will never compare to the Wrigleyville atmosphere, but their Jumbotron plaza is an awesome addition to the gameday experience for those who didn’t or couldn’t score tickets. If they can attempt to rip the bar scene and rooftop seats, we can rip off their plaza (and make it way better). The plaza outside Busch was where I got to watch Kolten Wong get picked off in Game 4 of the 2013 World Series. At the time, that was the loudest I had ever heard a baseball stadium (until Wrigley for Game 6 of the 2016 NLCS) and a memory I can cherish as a general baseball fan, all thanks to a big TV just 50 feet from the stadium.
The final renovation coming to Wrigley for the 2017 season isn’t listed under the 1060 Project and won’t require much construction. Okay, so maybe not technically a renovation, but still a very welcome addition to the park. I’m talking about the World Series Championship banner! Take a look at the top of the grandstand and you’ll find flags dedicated to the 1907 and 1908 titles. On a few occasions, the team has pushed the logos for their previous championships, along with the 2016 logo as if to say “hey, we have done this before”. By my guess, the two flags on the grandstand will move to a new home alongside something to commemorate the 2016 season. My only question is “where?”
Let me know where you think. Will thee old ones stay put with the addition of a simple “2016” flag to the top of Wrigley? How about the top of any of the three scoreboards? Or might they find a new home for the retired Cubs on the foul poles?