Wrigley Field sits at the corner of Clark and Addison as one of baseball's exalted shrines.
The building opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park, a 15,000 seat facility for Chicago's Federal
League team. After the Feds folded the following year, the Weeghman family bought out the
Cubs and moved them here they have been ever since. There have been extensive
expansions and renovations through the years that set the current capacity at about 40,000.
Being a grand old facility this place has more than its share of moments. Some include Babe
Ruth's called shot in the '32 World Series, Gabby Hartnets pennant winning homer at dusk in
'38, and a double no-hitter in 1917 in which not one but two nine inning no hitters were
pitched in the same game. Most recently Kerry Wood threw 20K's in a single game in '98.
Outside the venue
Who cares about the game!!! Here one could have plenty of fun and never set foot in the
building on game days(underline the word days here at Wrigley). It is a festival all around
the place with plenty of shops and restaurants on Clark and Addison. The Taco Bell and the
Mickey D's have TV's inside running for the game here. Even a new "Hi-Tops" sports bar
and grill in the neighborhood, one of many patio bars and eateries around the ballpark, And
beyond the bleachers Waveland and Sheffield Avenues are shut down for pedestrians so
they can enjoy all the souvenir stands that dot the sidewalks. If you don't have a ticket to
the game, there is always a chance you may find yourself at the rooftops of one of many
buildings along Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. A great view of the action can be had
On the sidewalk in front of home plate there is a Cubs Walk of Fame honoring the great
icons in Cubs history. The Cubs are a charter member of the National League founded in
1876 so you can imagine the long list of names here. At the corner of Clark and Sheffield
there is a statue of the late, great Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray. And at the home plate area
sits the famous Wrigley Field sign proclaiming it as the "Home of Chicago Cubs".
The lower concourse is spacious for a building this age, well maintained, and plenty of
diversity in food selections. Of course the Chicago style pizza and Chicago hot dogs are a
must! The team store can be found at the third base side here. No escalators to be found
here, just ramps to take you to the upper level. And speaking of upper level, there is none!
The upper deck is served by a series of ramps starting at the top of the terrace level, and a
center aisle in the seating bowl is the only way to navigate the area. There is a small beer
garden and concession patio area behind home plate but that is it.
A two level grandstand with suites between them from foul pole to foul pole. Columns do
create some obstructed views in certain places. Then of course there are the bleachers
from foul pole to foul pole in fair territory. This area ranks up there with Cleveland's Dawg
Pound as one of the famed seating areas in sports. Behind the bleachers in center field is
the hand operated scoreboard which has out of town scores as well as the game in
progress. Above the scoreboard are the flags of the NL teams arranged to show the current
standings and at game's end a "W" or "L" flag hangs there based on how the Cubs
performed that day. And last but not least, don't forget about the ivy covered brick wall that
passes for the outfield fence, another of Wrigley's many signature elements.
The Cubs have retired two numbers in their history in honor of Billy Williams and "Mr. Cub"
Ernie Banks. The two numbers hang as flags from the two foul poles. Flags line the roof of
the third base side for the Cubs post season appearances and line the first base roof for
those who hold team record in certain categories(i.e. Sammy-66). Also their are murals on
each foul pole for former longtime Cub broadcasters Jack(hey, hey) Brickhouse and
Harry(Holy Cow) Caray.
If you are one of those idiots who blows a couple hundred bucks to go to a game only to
leave early, at least stick around for the seventh inning stretch!!! Here it is not just a part of
the game but a religious experience. Once upon a time Harry Caray would pop his head out
of the press box and lead the fans in baseball's most famous lyrics. Sadly, Caray passed
away a few years ago yet the tradition lives on as a guest celebrity does the honors.
Everyone, simply everyone stands up and turns towards the press box to take part in this
wonderful Wrigley experience. Here at Wrigley was where the notion of a fan tossing a
visiting team's homer back onto the field began. By the way, use public transit to get here if
at all possible as parking is at the very least difficult to find.
The second game we saw here went 13 innings which is probably a record for us, we almost
missed our plane coming home thanks to that...
The purest baseball experience in the world. If baseball is your religion, then you probably
already know that you are required to come here at least once in your lifetime unless you
are physically unable to travel. We have found newer and somewhat better, more fan
friendly parks. But this place is special goes high on our ratings list. And thank goodness
for this, unlike Fenway and Yankee Stadium there are absolutely no plans for a replacement
anytime soon. Can't wait to return someday!!!!
Fan Support 10
Concourses/fan comfort 2
7th inning stretch 4; Bleachers 2; Wrigleyville 2