Let me preface what I'm about to say by saying that I love the Cubs, and I love Wrigley Field.
But dammit it's about time they upgraded that place.
The Cubs recently announced their plans for renovating the nearly 100 year old stadium during the Cubs Convention. Whether the renovations will actually happen is a bit of a mystery though. There's the political aspect, the financial aspect...yada yada yada.
Let's skip all that, though and get right to the good stuff. Wrigley Field is a gem, and it's got a ton of history, tradition, whatever you want to call it. I love all of it. I even will put up with pissing in a trough after a few Old Styles. It's just part of the experience, part of going to Wrigley Field.
I completely understand all those who want to keep Wrigley as is, because of all that tradition: The Ivy on the walls, the hand operated scoreboard from 1937 that still works, the lack of a jumbotron, the old and cranky ushers. I get it. I'm a sucker for tradition, especially when it comes to sports. Hit that "Play Like a Champion Today" sign, jump up and touch that banner, the William Tell Overture (aka Flags...my fellow Hoosiers know exactly what I'm talking about). It's all great and part of what makes sports so great.
That all being said, I would welcome Wrigley Field renovations with open arms. If you've been to a game at the Friendly Confines, you know how much of a hassle it is to go to the bathroom by the time the sixth inning rolls around. There's a line for the men's room, I can only imagine what the line is like for the ladies' room. The concourses aren't very wide, and there's support beams everywhere. The seats aren't very wide, and some of them aren't positioned very well. You'll leave with a stiff neck if you're sitting down one of the baselines on the upper deck.
I can't tell you how many times I've been at a game and seen a diving play or a close tag play and immediately looked for a replay, only to remember where I am. It's 2013 people! We're so used to having all these amenities at every other ballpark, in every sport. It's about time the Cubs catch up to the times.
Then it comes to the part that benefits the players. Have you ever been in the Cubs clubhouse? It's tiny. Have you ever seen Rookie of the Year? There's several scenes shot inside the clubhouse, and it's not much different from that. The locker room section is a narrow "hallway" with lockers lining either wall. There's no way 25 guys can co exist comfortably in that space. Just no way. To have a batting tunnel under the stands would obviously be incredibly beneficial.
The Cubs want the city to ease up on some of the restrictions, most notably the ability to have more night games. Some might say baseball is baseball, it doesn't matter when you play. But I tend to believe the baseball players who say they'd rather play at night. It's a routine, something they fall into, and they'll play better because of it. If free agents are spurning the Cubs because they play too many day games, then something needs to change.
I love the Cubs, and I love Wrigley Field. I would love it more if it jumped into the 21st Century like the rest of us.
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