Wrigley Field has been partially preserved like a Tyrannosaurus Rex at a museum. The ivy is there, the struggling team in pinstripes is on the field, the Old Style is cold like the air, but other characteristics have changed quickly in recent years. In 2013, the landmark ball park on the north side of the windiest city is looking more like other stadiums, more advertisements and a modern scoreboard that would transform the aged relic are on the horizon.
The issue is that the Cubbies, like the Red Soax, have been able to keep their extreme home field advantages because of their claim to “historical significance”. However, with advertising signs (ex. Toyota in left center at The Friendly Confines) already littering the once green and innocent field, what really remains? At least Boston’s iconic left field is still similar to the way it looked when the park was constructed.
The proposal, which even makes opposing fans cringe, is a massive new scoreboard that will soon be underway if the right person signs the right check. Will that still be Wrigley? Is that why MLB has allowed Chicago (and Boston) to keep their dump(s)?
The idea is that Wrigley and Fenway act as time capsules. Without the aged look, it will appear too similar to contemporary stadiums. Who cares about the people whose rooftop will miss out on the Cubs losing streak. Future generations will see a Wrigley Field that resembles the past, but has tattoos of the present, like Rick Pitino.
Now that Wrigley Field is going to host almost fifty night games, the changed times are easy to see like Yadi’s ink. When the lights of a bright scoreboard illuminate the sky around West Addison, then the contrast will be confusing. It will be giant oxymoron that holds tens of thousands of people that have been deprived of a part of the national pastime.
If I was a Cubs fan, I would start a petition to demolish the place that continued to curse the Baby Bears for nearly an entire century, and start fresh by making an actual major league ballpark, not just a place that reeks of nostalgia. But, since I bleed red, I won’t worry at all.