Thursday, May 01, 2008

Cubs' ballpark hurting

My favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, last night thumped the Milwaukee Brewers in Wrigley Field -- the major leagues' second-oldest ballpark.

Most baseball fans know the history of the ballpark:
  • Built in 1914.
  • Original occupant: Chicago Whales of the short-lived Federal League.
  • No night games until 1988 (a half-century after most of the other teams in the majors).
  • Manually-operated scoreboard.
  • Ivy on the walls.

Less publicized are some of the other features of Wrigley:
  • Terrible parking accommodations.
  • Tight quarters, including the walkways and restrooms.
  • Structural deficiencies.
  • Many restricted-view seats due to support beams and low upper deck.
Oh, and no World Series games there since 1945.

The challenges facing the 94-year-old ballpark and its future are the subject of an article by a visiting sportswriter, Bill Glauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In my opinion, it would be nice -- even desirable -- if Wrigley Field's life is extended and the old ball park preserved. But at what cost?

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