I remember when I lived in Detroit, the public outcry when it was announced that baseball would, for the first time in a century, no longer be played on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.
Now that I’m living in Chicago, I’ve come to see how Wrigley Field is even more of a fixture at the corner of Clark and Addison than Tiger Stadium was at Michigan and Trumbull. An entire neighborhood in Chicago has been built around Wrigley Field like nothing I’ve seen before. Granted, Tiger Stadium had Corktown, but that really pales in comparison to what Wrigleyville is.
So, what if, at some point, there comes a time when Wrigley Field just has to go? Could building a new stadium ever even be an option? Or will the Cubs organization just keep on repairing and patching the ol’ Friendly Confines for decades to come?
If they did decide to build a new park, I can’t imagine where it would even go. The neighborhood around Wrigley Field, and for that matter all of Lakeview, has been developed so much, there just isn’t any room to build a new park there. And I don’t think it would be physically possible to demolish Wrigley and build a new stadium on the same site during an off-season.
If they decided to build elsewhere in the city, what would become of Wrigleyville? Would it still be called “Wrigleyville?”
Are the Cubs cursed/blessed/forced to play at Wrigley Field forever? Or could a new stadium be built somewhere nearby, or elsewhere on Chicago’s northside?
My guess is yes. I’m wondering if they could do a Soldier Field type replacement for Wrigley? I’d say for a year, Cubs would have to split games between Miller Park and that stadium the White Sox play in.
It could be done. Eventually it will be. Just rip out the parts that are falling down and build a new shell with modern materials. Have the Cubs play the last half of the season somewhere else (it doesn’t matter where, they’re 35 games out anyway) and start the reconstruction in June.
Well, they were sold, but are going to be sold again soon. The deal to buy the Tribune Company was made a couple of weeks ago, and my understanding is that the guy who bought it is a co-owner of the White Sox, so league rules stipulate that he can’t own the Cubs as well (if I were him, I’d sell my interest in the Sox, but I may be biased there!). So, you are right, the team is currently for sale. Haven’t heard about any offers so far.
Any buyer in their right mind would do anything possible to preserve Wrigley Field. I really believe that if they moved the team somewhere or built a new stadium, their attendance would go way, way down.
Oh, I don’t know…the Cubs organization always has to think about what will draw the fans, and Wrigley Field is such a big part of that. The Yankees have a gazillion World Series championships, which have kept their fans involved over the years. The Cubs don’t, so they have to exist on their charm.
And as far as the fear of it falling down goes, you could do extensive renovations without changing the look or feel of it at all…I think this would be a better investment than building a new park.