PDA

View Full Version : Can Wrigley Field survive?



Chip R
06-27-2011, 02:05 PM
Looks like a dirty little secret around the Cubs management is that Wrigley is falling apart and would take megabucks to renovate and that might not even be enough.


"Honestly, I don't know if that place can survive for five years," said one of those baseball people. "The infrastructure is in brutal shape."

Asked whether Wrigley was even a candidate for a Fenway-style renovation, the same source replied: "To be honest? I'd have to say no way."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&page=rumblings110621 (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&page=rumblings110621)

kaldaniels
06-27-2011, 02:29 PM
I'm all for tradition, but look at the "New" Yankee Stadium. 10 years from now people will probably forget there was an "Old" Yankee Stadium.

Just rebuild a new Wrigley, keeping the same dimensions and quirks, and there you go. That's just me coming from a practical standpoint.

*BaseClogger*
06-27-2011, 02:37 PM
I'm all for tradition, but look at the "New" Yankee Stadium. 10 years from now people will probably forget there was an "Old" Yankee Stadium.

Just rebuild a new Wrigley, keeping the same dimensions and quirks, and there you go. That's just me coming from a practical standpoint.

Wrigley is much more a product of its geographic location than Yankee Stadium was though. Is it even reasonable to think a new Wrigley could be built across the street or nearby? :dunno:

reds44
06-27-2011, 02:40 PM
Wrigley is much more a product of its geographic location than Yankee Stadium was though. Is it even reasonable to think a new Wrigley could be built across the street or nearby? :dunno:
Not a chance. They should leave the bleachers alone (they are less than 5 years old) and knock down the rest of it and built right on top of where it was.

cumberlandreds
06-27-2011, 02:40 PM
If its becoming a safety hazard then they will have no choice but to replace it. They really can't take a chance a piece concrete falling onto someone and it disable or even kill them.

*BaseClogger*
06-27-2011, 02:44 PM
Not a chance. They should leave the bleachers alone (they are less than 5 years old) and knock down the rest of it and built right on top of where it was.

Where would they play for the year or two it would take to construct it?

For the record, I love Wrigley Field and would hate to see it go...

reds44
06-27-2011, 02:44 PM
If its becoming a safety hazard then they will have no choice but to replace it. They really can't take a chance a piece concrete falling onto someone and it disable or even kill them.
Have you been to Wrigley lately? They put up nets just in case something like that happens.

Yes, I'm serious.

cumberlandreds
06-27-2011, 02:48 PM
Have you been to Wrigley lately? They put up nets just in case something like that happens.

Yes, I'm serious.

Really? I've never been to Wrigley. I remember at old Yankee Stadium they had concrete falling at the end. I think they even had to shut it down for a time one season. When this starts happening it the old girl telling you its time to move on. They had better listen or someting tragic will happen and it be Bartman getting in a way of a foul ball either.

Spitball
06-27-2011, 02:52 PM
Where would they play for the year or two it would take to construct it?

For the record, I love Wrigley Field and would hate to see it go...

Back in the 1970s, the Yankees played at Shea Stadium for a year or two while Yankee Stadium was being renovated. I'm guessing a similar arrangement could be worked out with the White Sox.

westofyou
06-27-2011, 02:55 PM
Have you been to Wrigley lately? They put up nets just in case something like that happens.

Yes, I'm serious.

Yep, they had an incident last year, IIRC they had to cancel a game

redsmetz
06-27-2011, 02:56 PM
I agree that given the location within the neighborhood, it would be nearly impossible to find a spot to build a new one. If it came to needing to be replaced, then they would have to demolish the current one and rebuild on the same spot. What would they do in the interim? The White Sox park is practically in another world, Northside versus Southside, but that would be one possibility, with perhaps some games being played in Milwaukee. Seriously, it would be a huge problem. Not sure what the solution is.

dougdirt
06-27-2011, 03:07 PM
I agree that given the location within the neighborhood, it would be nearly impossible to find a spot to build a new one. If it came to needing to be replaced, then they would have to demolish the current one and rebuild on the same spot. What would they do in the interim? The White Sox park is practically in another world, Northside versus Southside, but that would be one possibility, with perhaps some games being played in Milwaukee. Seriously, it would be a huge problem. Not sure what the solution is.
They would just share with the White Sox. Chicago is a big city, but it isn't that big that its easier to go to Milwaukee.

Roy Tucker
06-27-2011, 03:13 PM
I guess I still love the idea where that field, that one right there, is where Babe Ruth called his shot, Gabby Hartnett hit his homer in the gloaming, Ernie Banks had his years, Steve Bartman continued the jinx, etc etc. For old fossil baseball fans like me, that's a *huge* deal.

Money and time solves everything. I'd say keep it and make it new again. This article said Fenway was 8 yrs. and $150M. That's cheaper than a new stadium and you keep the history.

http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3515:with-fenway-park-renovations-nearly-complete-everything-coming-up-roses-for-janet-marie-smith&catid=30:mlb-news&Itemid=42

klw
06-27-2011, 03:19 PM
I would be shocked if they would tear the place down with the winning tradition the Cubs have there!!! Yankee Stadium being dumped I can understand because the team never did well there but the Cubs have won like what 26 titles in Wrigley.

redsmetz
06-27-2011, 03:27 PM
They would just share with the White Sox. Chicago is a big city, but it isn't that big that its easier to go to Milwaukee.

You are probably right, but I could see that if there were any conflicts, Milwaukee could be an option. That said, I agree with the poster that said every effort should be made to save the current park.

bucksfan2
06-27-2011, 03:29 PM
There is no doubt that Wrigley is a dump. It doesn't have the amenities that any of the newer stadiums have. Its like watching a game being played in the 20's. You take away the electronic scoreboards and TV's in stands and it is exactly like the game used to be played. I love that fact about Wrigley. I love the game being played without all the crap in the middle of innings, no kiss cam, no bad dance cam, no chico bail bonds banners scattered all over the outfield (they do have Under Armour). Its a fantastic place to watch a game. I hope they do whatever it takes to save that stadium. Heck they will probably lose half their fans if Wrigley is no more.

westofyou
06-27-2011, 03:45 PM
You are probably right, but I could see that if there were any conflicts, Milwaukee could be an option. That said, I agree with the poster that said every effort should be made to save the current park.

Brewers won't let the Cubs play in a NL park, not going to happen. They'll probably have to play in Comiskey.

Oddly enough in 1969 the WS played 10 games in Milwaukee due to lagging attendance in the Southside

Cedric
06-27-2011, 04:52 PM
There is no doubt that Wrigley is a dump. It doesn't have the amenities that any of the newer stadiums have. Its like watching a game being played in the 20's. You take away the electronic scoreboards and TV's in stands and it is exactly like the game used to be played. I love that fact about Wrigley. I love the game being played without all the crap in the middle of innings, no kiss cam, no bad dance cam, no chico bail bonds banners scattered all over the outfield (they do have Under Armour). Its a fantastic place to watch a game. I hope they do whatever it takes to save that stadium. Heck they will probably lose half their fans if Wrigley is no more.

Old stadiums had WAY more advertising than new stadiums.

RBA
06-27-2011, 05:50 PM
Brewers won't let the Cubs play in a NL park, not going to happen. They'll probably have to play in Comiskey.

Oddly enough in 1969 the WS played 10 games in Milwaukee due to lagging attendance in the Southside

And if their are scheduling conflicts, have the Cubs go to cities usaully without Major League Baseball teams. San Juan, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Portland, and Houston (note, just a crack at the Astros).

Caseyfan21
06-27-2011, 06:45 PM
That place is an absolute dump. It needs to go...it's beyond a Fenway type renovation. Living in Chicago most Cubs fans will even admit it's a dump. As I've said to friends, if they'll tear down Yankee Stadium then they'll tear down any stadium. I was having a conversation with a friend when I read this article last week and we were discussing where they could play. My idea was they should focus work over 2-3 winters and do parts of the stadium at a time. They could work August - May and then the Cubs would only have to share US Cellular for April and September each season. Would make logistics of doubling up at US Cellular much easier.

But my personal opinion is the real $$$ lies in getting away from the current location. I think they should take it out to the suburbs, maybe out by O'Hare? At the very least they should be threatening this to get away from the vice grip the neighborhood has on them. The Cubs can't do ANYTHING at their own ballpark without the neighborhood's permission (i.e. night games, concerts, other events). The neighborhood even voted down allowing them to close a street for the Yankees series to have an extra picnic/beer garden type area (like what the Red Sox do every game). The Cubs are the main attraction in Wrigleyville and it's really time they use that to their advantage to get more $$$ by using the stadium for other events. If they threaten to leave or start making plans for a stadium in the suburbs you bet the neighborhood will start bending over backwards for them. The Cubs could really do well buying out one of the first or third base blocks and using it for a team store, beer garden, picnic area, team HOF like what Fenway has done. Even with a massive renovation, I think their current stadium footprint is just too small to add a full stadium experience. And by full stadium experience I mean better concessions, better merchandise, kids zone, team museum, etc (not the in game experience).

Caveat Emperor
06-27-2011, 07:21 PM
That place is an absolute dump. It needs to go...it's beyond a Fenway type renovation. Living in Chicago most Cubs fans will even admit it's a dump. As I've said to friends, if they'll tear down Yankee Stadium then they'll tear down any stadium. I was having a conversation with a friend when I read this article last week and we were discussing where they could play. My idea was they should focus work over 2-3 winters and do parts of the stadium at a time. They could work August - May and then the Cubs would only have to share US Cellular for April and September each season. Would make logistics of doubling up at US Cellular much easier.

But my personal opinion is the real $$$ lies in getting away from the current location. I think they should take it out to the suburbs, maybe out by O'Hare? At the very least they should be threatening this to get away from the vice grip the neighborhood has on them. The Cubs can't do ANYTHING at their own ballpark without the neighborhood's permission (i.e. night games, concerts, other events). The neighborhood even voted down allowing them to close a street for the Yankees series to have an extra picnic/beer garden type area (like what the Red Sox do every game). The Cubs are the main attraction in Wrigleyville and it's really time they use that to their advantage to get more $$$ by using the stadium for other events. If they threaten to leave or start making plans for a stadium in the suburbs you bet the neighborhood will start bending over backwards for them. The Cubs could really do well buying out one of the first or third base blocks and using it for a team store, beer garden, picnic area, team HOF like what Fenway has done. Even with a massive renovation, I think their current stadium footprint is just too small to add a full stadium experience. And by full stadium experience I mean better concessions, better merchandise, kids zone, team museum, etc (not the in game experience).

A fact you know quite well, but that I'm sure not many around here do -- the Cubs get a certain number of night games "allowed" to them by the city council. When they want to have a concert (such as Paul McCartney this year, or the Dave Matthews Band last year), they have to trade one of their night game exemptions in for the show. I like the idea of the stadium staying in Wrigleyville, but this is really a once in a 100 year opportunity for the Cubs to really fight back against the locals (who all made the decision to live near a ballpark, and really can't claim that their lifestyle is adversely impacted by a nuisance they decided to live near) and get a better deal for themselves.

I do think there's room to put a modern ballpark on the Wrigley site -- I remember reading that the new park at Minnesota occupies the smallest footprint of any stadium in baseball, smaller even than Wrigley.

Joseph
06-27-2011, 07:51 PM
One thing, though likely minor, to consider is zoning.

Wrigley is likely grandfathered into being zoned for that particular residential area. If they were to tear it down and ask to rebuild, they may well not be allowed to by local ordinances and zoning.

Nothing money can't fix of course, but it is a factor none-the-less.

From a construction standpoint, they could salvage a lot of the existing park if they choose to do so. In particular the entire outfield does not have an extreme structure. The brick wall and ivy would be very very simple to keep. The upper decks and main concourses would be the challenge, but most people don't think of that first when they think Wrigley.

As a baseball geek and engineer, even with as much as I hate the Cubs, I'd love the challenge of rebuilding this place.

Caseyfan21
06-27-2011, 08:03 PM
A fact you know quite well, but that I'm sure not many around here do -- the Cubs get a certain number of night games "allowed" to them by the city council. When they want to have a concert (such as Paul McCartney this year, or the Dave Matthews Band last year), they have to trade one of their night game exemptions in for the show. I like the idea of the stadium staying in Wrigleyville, but this is really a once in a 100 year opportunity for the Cubs to really fight back against the locals (who all made the decision to live near a ballpark, and really can't claim that their lifestyle is adversely impacted by a nuisance they decided to live near) and get a better deal for themselves.

I do think there's room to put a modern ballpark on the Wrigley site -- I remember reading that the new park at Minnesota occupies the smallest footprint of any stadium in baseball, smaller even than Wrigley.

Don't quote me on it because I'm not 100% sure, but I remember when DMB was negotiating to get a show at Wrigley in 2007 (one that ultimately fell thru), I believe the Cubs were going to trade multiple night games to get the concerts. Either 3 or 4 IIRC.

That's incredible about Minnesota. They can probably put a more modern park on the site but they will have to alter the design I think to make it go more "up" and less "out" like GABP.

Caseyfan21
06-27-2011, 08:04 PM
One thing, though likely minor, to consider is zoning.

Wrigley is likely grandfathered into being zoned for that particular residential area. If they were to tear it down and ask to rebuild, they may well not be allowed to by local ordinances and zoning.

Nothing money can't fix of course, but it is a factor none-the-less.

From a construction standpoint, they could salvage a lot of the existing park if they choose to do so. In particular the entire outfield does not have an extreme structure. The brick wall and ivy would be very very simple to keep. The upper decks and main concourses would be the challenge, but most people don't think of that first when they think Wrigley.

As a baseball geek and engineer, even with as much as I hate the Cubs, I'd love the challenge of rebuilding this place.

That would be really cool as a fellow engineer. Can you imagine if they wanted to redesign the upper deck and take out all the columns. THAT would be fun.

Red in Chicago
06-27-2011, 08:22 PM
As some of the locals have mentioned already, Wrigley is a dump. It's falling apart and reeks of urine. Being in the middle of the neighborhood has its pluses and minuses. It's great for those close by, but it's a pain in the butt for anyone thinking about driving, parking and ultimately leaving.

I'll actually be there tomorrow afternoon as part of a team building exercise for work. They're playing the Giants...another team that I hate. Oh well, free baseball and sunshine, can't complain too much. Hopefully, I can hold my pee and not have to use the trough...ugh...

westofyou
06-27-2011, 08:39 PM
Hopefully, I can hold my pee and not have to use the trough...ugh...
Tiger Stadium memories... not good

KronoRed
06-27-2011, 09:07 PM
Yankees stadium was basically gutted and rebuilt in the 70's, I'm sure the same thing could be done here.

Roy Tucker
06-27-2011, 09:10 PM
Tiger Stadium memories... not good

Ewww.

YouTube - ‪Urinal trough diving‬‏ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MHtx1nwFow)

Chip R
06-27-2011, 11:23 PM
Yankees stadium was basically gutted and rebuilt in the 70's, I'm sure the same thing could be done here.

Yankee Stadium was only a little over 50 years old. Wrigley Field is almost 100.

The original Wrigley field was built in only a few months. it was only a single decked stadium without bleachers.

In the last Baseball Research Journal - a SABR publication - Bill Savage wrote an article about why Cubs fans continue to root for losers. You can read the whole article if you are a SABR member but here's a paragraph or two from the article.


Wrigleyville, on the other hand, was transformed since the early 1980s from a working-class neighborhood into a year-round music and night-life district. Scores of bars allow tens of thousands of fans to participate in the Cubs experience without ever having to buy a ticket. Local businesses of all sorts get into the act: besides the inevitable souvenir stands and ticket brokers, a pet supply shop on Clark Street offers discounts with that day’s ticket stub, and at least one local tattoo parlor runs specials on Cubs logo tattoos.

The Cubs experience is not just inside the park, where “the game” narrowly defined occurs. It takes in the whole neighborhood, an expansive boundary which defines the game broadly and inclusively. Rooftop clubs offer some of the highest-priced tickets in town across the street from the ballpark itself. Due to its small size (even after bleacher expansion), batted balls regularly leave the physical confines of the field, and so 81 days a year, the ballhawks lurk on Waveland and Sheffield to snag batting practice and game home runs.

http://sabr.org/research/cubs-fan-paradox-why-would-anyone-root-losers

cincinnati chili
06-28-2011, 12:26 AM
Ewww.

YouTube - ‪Urinal trough diving‬‏ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MHtx1nwFow)

This made my day.

I suspect, as others have suggested, that they'll pay rent to the White Sox for a year or two (as the Yankees did with the Mets) and play in Comiskey while Wrigley is torn down and rebuilt in the same spot.

KronoRed
06-28-2011, 12:28 AM
Yankee Stadium was only a little over 50 years old. Wrigley Field is almost 100.

True, meaning a complete flattening and a new place will have to happen, either way the Cubs aren't going to abandon the area and move to the lake front :D that whole 'lovable loser' group wouldn't follow them.

Red in Chicago
06-28-2011, 10:05 PM
This made my day.

I suspect, as others have suggested, that they'll pay rent to the White Sox for a year or two (as the Yankees did with the Mets) and play in Comiskey while Wrigley is torn down and rebuilt in the same spot.

What is this Comiskey that you speak of;)

Always Red
06-28-2011, 10:15 PM
I used to live about a 20 minute walk from Wrigley, and went there many, many times about 20 years ago. It was a lot of fun, I always had a great time, and got to watch lot of NL baseball.

I hope the new place doesn't smell like a cow stall, like Wrigley does.

Red in Chicago
06-28-2011, 10:16 PM
just got home from this afternoon's cubs/giants game. i had reason to celebrate as the cubs lost big. our original seats were so bad, that you could not see any of the fly balls hit above 20 feet in the air due to the upper deck blocking the view. you had to look at the players on the field to try and figure out where the ball was going. we moved down the right field line a bit and the seats weren't horrible, but still had some blind spots due to the pillars.

unless you're sitting close to the field at wrigley, it really makes for a poor baseball experience - if you're actually there to watch a game.

George Anderson
06-29-2011, 10:20 AM
The atmosphere around Wrigley is fantastic with the bars etc. but the stadium I whole heartedly agree is a dump.

The crowd is to much of a drunken frat boy type crowd.

I have been to quite a few stadiums and I can't quite figure out what is so great about Wrigley.

KronoRed
06-29-2011, 03:59 PM
I hope the new place doesn't smell like a cow stall, like Wrigley does.

Well then there would be no Cubs fans there :D

CrackerJack
06-29-2011, 05:11 PM
I grew up watching Dawson, Grace, Sandberg and then a skinny, young Sosa, and listening to Harry on WGN, and can't imagine baseball without it. It was always goofy, romanticized fun with people on the rooftops and catching balls on the street in the middle of the day during the week.

Wrigley needs a lot of help, but they can't just demolish it and build a GABP - enough of destroying historic parks and moving locations I say.

Brutus
06-29-2011, 05:28 PM
True, meaning a complete flattening and a new place will have to happen, either way the Cubs aren't going to abandon the area and move to the lake front :D that whole 'lovable loser' group wouldn't follow them.

My understanding was that the foundation of Wrigley was in serious peril, so yeah it's likely that a renovation isn't practical.

RBA
06-29-2011, 05:33 PM
Remove the stands, install video equipment and have the fans attend though virtual 4D visors with smell-o-vision.