Wrigley Field is going to see some very big changes soon. Chicago Cubs president, Crane Kenney, announced “a complete renovation of the ballpark”. 2014 will be the 100 year anniversary of Wrigley Field and the Ricketts family wants to make sure you don’t recognize the place by 2014.
Dave van Dyck has an article covering this topic printed in yesterday’s Tribune and it also appears in Blair Kamin’s blog.
I welcome the proposed triangle building at Waveland and Clark and the open-air court between the building and the ball park. It will be a great addition. The current space is poorly utilized. However, the plans for renovating Wrigley are disheartening.
I fear all the spirit that currently is Wrigley Field will be stripped away and turned into a giant flavorless Disney park. Yes, Wrigley is dark and cramped. But it’s also incredibly charming and personal. That’s baseball. Baseball is not about giant concourses and megaplex restaurants. That personality better suits football and its bigger-is-better attitude. Why has minor league baseball thrived? It’s because baseball’s very nature is intimate and analytical. Wrigley Field captures that spirit like no other stadium or park anywhere. These “improvements” are nothing of the sort. They will taint the love all baseball fans have for this special place.
Now Wrigley has shown its age through its 96 years. Concentration is required on improving structural integrity. Enhancements are fine, especially to player-centered areas like the locker rooms, batting cages, and training rooms; but an overhaul is unnecessary unless of course you think the Rickets family needs more money which is the dirty, ugly bottom line underscoring this Disney-esque mindset.
I can only encourage all Cubs fans to bring cameras, both video and still, throughout the 2010 season and capture the soon-to-be lost glory of Wrigley Field.
photo taken 09/02/2009, Erik Maldre. Cubs 3 Astros 0.