FanDuel - WFBC

May 16, 2012

Why Wrigley Field Must Be Destroyed: Destroy it. Annihilate it. Collapse it with the sort of charges that put the Sands Hotel out of its misery in Vegas. Implosion or explosion, get rid of it. That pile of quaintness has to go. Not merely the structure, but the ground on which it stands.

posted by justgary to baseball at 08:33 AM - 31 comments

From a guy named Cohen who calls himself a Roman: "I moved to New York from Chicago and took the Yankee perspective..."

Indeed.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:17 AM on May 16

Demolition gets expensive. They should just hire a Santeria priest and do a goat sacrifice.

Despite having a few junior varsity curses of their own, the Marlins have won two titles, and the Miami River frequently hosts enough floating headless barnyard critters to keep a pit boss busy for days.

posted by beaverboard at 11:23 AM on May 16

Nuke Wrigleyville ... call it urban renewal.

I've never been there, but having watched enough games on TV, I'd rather go to Wrigley than endure video and audio overload AND watch the game.

posted by jjzucal at 01:21 PM on May 16

They used to write these things for Fenway, but this one is even more looped. It smells like typical Internet contrarianism. The field is not the problem, Dude.

posted by yerfatma at 01:27 PM on May 16

It was published in the print WSJ; trolling is not confined to the internet.

posted by etagloh at 02:57 PM on May 16

Can we get a package deal rate if we include Fenway?

yerfatma, I agree the problem (at least in Chicago) lies somewhere other than the park, but in Fenway's case, it is the park. Do we need the litany of poor seating, high prices, and on, and on? Boston management has been trying to sell tickets based on the age and supposed history of the park rather than on the performance of the team. I might add that the history is one of 6 successful years followed by 89 years of frustration and poor play. Only the past 8 years have shown success, and those days appear to be in decline. I for one could do very nicely with a more modern, more comfortable park housing a competitive, not necessarily championship team. I'm a Red Sox fan, but not one who sees the team as the be all, end all, of the world. I'm far more a baseball fan than a fan of any team.

posted by Howard_T at 03:05 PM on May 16

Can we get a package deal rate if we include Fenway?

Wow, you're a broken record.

Do we need the litany of poor seating, high prices, and on, and on? Boston management has been trying to sell tickets based on the age and supposed history of the park rather than on the performance of the team. I might add that the history is one of 6 successful years followed by 89 years of frustration and poor play. Only the past 8 years have shown success, and those days appear to be in decline. I for one could do very nicely with a more modern, more comfortable park housing a competitive, not necessarily championship team. I'm a Red Sox fan, but not one who sees the team as the be all, end all, of the world. I'm far more a baseball fan than a fan of any team.

Please go root for the Orioles. They have a great park more to your liking, and their mediocrity will warm your heart.

posted by justgary at 03:46 PM on May 16

Wish the 2012 Red Sox could achieve the level of mediocrity the Orioles currently enjoy.

posted by beaverboard at 04:12 PM on May 16

The Pirates have the most beautiful stadium in the game. Doesn't help them.

Blowing up their horrible ownership would work better. They've been hiding behind the quaintness of Wrigley for years. Fans who wander into Wrigley, believing they are having some religious experience, when all they are really doing is paying to watch mediocre (at best) baseball, only reinforces the chances the owners continue to roll out an inferior product.

posted by dyams at 04:27 PM on May 16

Wow, you're a broken record.

At least it's a polite tune. Is there a reason you just jump ugly with everyone now? People can have differing opinions about a goddamn park.

posted by yerfatma at 04:56 PM on May 16

Wow, you're a broken record.

jg, you are correct, but I do feel rather passionately about Fenway's inadequacies. In most cities, one is able to walk up to the ticket window on the day of a game and have some surety of getting decent seats. Not so with Fenway. The club advertises that it has seats available from turn-backs of season tickets and the like, but you are taking a chance that there will be anything left in your price range. I live about an hour by car from Fenway. Parking is limited and expensive, so public transportation is preferred and still requires some driving to get to it. Ticket availability on line for advance sale offers only the worst seats in the park, if any are available at all. I'm not about to make my way from NH to Boston, get to Fenway, and find out that I can not get a seat in my price range or one that actually offers a view of the field rather than the bullpens.

I used to live in Baltimore in the days of Memorial Stadium and really good Orioles teams. Even that relic was a better place to see a game than Fenway, especially considering that my current wife and I used to date there. (She's the best thing that has come out of Baltimore in a long time.) I've not had the opportunity to visit Camden Yard, but the next time my wife and I visit our friends in southern PA, I will try to get there early enough to get some of the good food at the Inner Harbor. Mediocrity is just fine, as long as the team is playing hard. The other side of the coin is that the visiting team will have one or more players worth watching.

My point is that I am a baseball fan first and a team follower second. There are 2 professional minor league teams within 30 minutes' drive from my home (a AA team and a short-season A team) and a 'wooden bat' summer league (college players) where I live. It's all good baseball, but comparing it to major league level ball is like comparing hot dogs or a bowl of chili to a gourmet dinner. I'll take in a few games this year, but unless some strange event happens, they won't be at Fenway.

posted by Howard_T at 06:33 PM on May 16

Blowing up their horrible ownership would work better. They've been hiding behind the quaintness of Wrigley for years.

The Cubs changed ownership fairly recently, so I don't think that's the issue. The old owners (Tribune Co.) were more concerned about profits than winning. I don't get that from Ricketts so far.

I've been to every major-league park. Wrigley should stay around, but it definitely needs refurbishing because it is old and falling apart. Fenway, on the other hand, I would be more than willing to blow up. I'd support the concept even more if you filled it with Red Sox fans first, then blew it up.

(I'm from Minnesota, and I actually like the Red Sox to a degree. But I can't stand their fans. I've been to Fenway three times and been irritated by their fans all three times, so it's not an isolated bad incident. Yankees fans aren't a lot better, but at least they come by it honestly. I think it's more of a "New Englanders vs. New Yorkers" thing than it is a "Red Sox fans vs. Yankees fans" thing.)

posted by TheQatarian at 11:50 PM on May 16

So howard, it sucks that people go to see the sox? I don't get it. I mean, I get your frustration but I don't get the rest. Tickets are hard to come by and you can't just walk up and get a great seat at a price you want. I doubt that you can do that is "most" cities.

You think a new park will help with that? There weren't $250 seats at Riverfront stadium. I could walk up and get a nosebleed for $3 and thanks to old Marge, get a hot dog for $1. Good parking was $5. I could buy a cigar for .25 and smoke it in my seat. Blue, Green, Yellow or Red. I miss those seats. I miss Riverfront. I caught a foul ball there, my Dad caught a foul ball there, my oldest son caught a home run there. I watched Pete there, Ken Sr. ,Johnny, George, Dan, Buddy, Spuds, Mario, Eric the Red, Nick E, Bo D, man I treasure what I saw at crappy Riverfront.

Great American Ballpark, man it's nice. Much nicer than Riverfront. I mean it has cup holders and stuff!

It needs a few generations of history though. Ballparks need seasoning, man. They need memories good or bad. A nice urinal and better sound system just can't replace familiarity.

I find it odd, your disdain for Fenway. Great American is a much nicer park to watch the Reds than Riverfront was and a much nicer park than Wrigley field.

But, "better?"

No way man.

posted by tselson at 12:06 AM on May 17

I don't know Howard, but going to Wrigley makes me a baseball fan for the day and not a team follower. When I make it to Fenway I'll feel the same way. That day will be about baseball. That day will be be about watching ball where it's been played for so many years. That day will be like a day at Wrigley or a night at Riverfront. That day will be about being a baseball fan and I'm gonna love it.

posted by tselson at 12:37 AM on May 17

Unless it's like the two football games I saw at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. If it's like that, I stand corrected;)

posted by tselson at 12:51 AM on May 17

But, "better?"

No way man.

I felt the same about Busch II in St. Louis. As did my dad about Sportsman's Park/Busch I. But Busch III is nice, and it already has a rich history. I'm pretty sure the next generation will fall in love with it and create those memories.

Sometimes you just got to retire an inadequate facility, never mind the success and/or history achieved in it.

I recall a few years ago reading that the annual cost of operating/maintaining Wrigley was ridiculously high compared to the new parks. And that it would be very cost effective long-term to tear it down and build a new stadium. Seems like that would be reason #1 if true.

(So, to sum up, I like Busch.)

posted by BoKnows at 02:52 AM on May 17

Sometimes you just got to retire an inadequate facility, never mind the success and/or history achieved in it.

I was pretty sure that when they blew up the Vet in Philly, two or three demolition workers were going to die accidentally.

Just as a last gesture on the part of the facility.

posted by beaverboard at 07:28 AM on May 17

jg, you are correct, but I do feel rather passionately about Fenway's inadequacies. In most cities, one is able to walk up to the ticket window on the day of a game and have some surety of getting decent seats. Not so with Fenway. The club advertises that it has seats available from turn-backs of season tickets and the like, but you are taking a chance that there will be anything left in your price range. I live about an hour by car from Fenway. Parking is limited and expensive, so public transportation is preferred and still requires some driving to get to it. Ticket availability on line for advance sale offers only the worst seats in the park, if any are available at all. I'm not about to make my way from NH to Boston, get to Fenway, and find out that I can not get a seat in my price range or one that actually offers a view of the field rather than the bullpens.

I occasionally go to Boston on business, cruise to Stubhub, and get a perfectly reasonably priced single. Yes, I drive to a transit locale. I am utterly failing to see your difficulties.

I like it when people state that Wrigley should be torn down. It's the mark of someone whose opinions I no longer have to take seriously.

posted by stevis at 08:09 AM on May 17

I'm not about to make my way from NH to Boston, get to Fenway, and find out that I can not get a seat in my price range or one that actually offers a view of the field rather than the bullpens.

I'm surprised you would leave at all without a ticket when you can get them online from resellers like StubHub. I do that at Jaguars games, because tickets are always available outside from scalpers, but this is the Red Sox we're talking about.

posted by rcade at 09:52 AM on May 17

Boston management has been trying to sell tickets based on the age and supposed history of the park rather than on the performance of the team.

The Pirates have been doing the same thing only instead of history of the park, they use the "isnt this park amazing factor." Amazing park. Shit ownership. Although they have been doing decent this year. The pitching is good, but they have no sticks.

Currently 4th in pitching, and 30th in runs scored.

posted by Debo270 at 10:01 AM on May 17

I guess for fans of a local team a modern facility with ample parking and readily available seats is a positive (actually, I live it first hand being in Winnipeg and needing to win a lottery to see a hockey game here). But I have seen Baseball games in many parks around the league and NOTHING comes close to the experience of a game in Fenway or Wrigley field. No high end steak restaurants, cheesy pyrotechnics or mechanical fish for me, just a great ballpark and the game itself.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:16 AM on May 17

NOTHING comes close to the experience of a game in Fenway or Wrigley field

Yes, I am joking around. Mostly. I find my enjoyment of live sports is completely reliant on the crowd around me, so going anywhere is a crapshoot.

posted by yerfatma at 10:39 AM on May 17

That pole needs a Facebook page.

posted by rcade at 10:55 AM on May 17

But I have seen Baseball games in many parks around the league and NOTHING comes close to the experience of a game in Fenway or Wrigley field. No high end steak restaurants, cheesy pyrotechnics or mechanical fish for me, just a great ballpark and the game itself.

Have you been to Fenway recently? Like, in the last 15 years or so? I ask because it's changed quite drastically under the current ownership. It seems to me that their efforts in stadium renovations have all been aimed around upscaling the experience, and they sure have been effective in marketing the whole "going to see the Red Sox at Fenway" experience as an exercise in getting sentimental about faux nostalgia, collecting an "I was there" memory to talk about around the office water cooler, taking some vid to post to youtube of you and your buds drinking overpriced beers...about a whole lot of things that are peripheral at best to the game of baseball. No mechanical fish that I've yet seen, but overpriced bars and restaurants abound, and the cheese factor is thick enough to cut with a knife. I don't know how real fans can deny it or hope to reclaim it, not when it's been turned into a "vicarious time machine for Ivy League nostalgics and slumming politicians". Sorry, real fans, it just ain't about you any more.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:22 AM on May 17

Sorry, real fans, it just ain't about you any more.

Thanks, l-b-b. In 10 words you've most eloquently framed what I've been trying to say all along.

posted by Howard_T at 03:46 PM on May 17

Sorry, real fans, it just ain't about you any more.

Is this a direct response to the Fenway debate or is this a general statement?

posted by BoKnows at 04:34 PM on May 17

Sorry, real fans, it just ain't about you any more

The average fan comes to watch the game and might have a beverage or 2 (ok, 12) and a brat. The non-fan corporate executive who doesn't even know the rules of the game shows up at the ballpark and expenses several hundred dollars worth of Sushi, Steak, and expensive booze while stylin' for his/her unfortunate guests, most games never even occupying his/her seats. Ownership makes at least 5 times the amount of money for every appearance of non-fan. That's what it's about.

posted by cixelsyd at 04:57 PM on May 17

I went to a Dallas Stars game shortly after their Cup victory (shut up, Buffalo) and sprang for some of the most expensive seats. I could leave my seat, walk four rows up, and be in a full-service bar. The place was packed the entire game with more than a hundred people, none of whom seemed to have the slightest interest in the glorious hockey being played a level below them. Rich people are weird.

posted by rcade at 08:17 PM on May 17

Is this a direct response to the Fenway debate or is this a general statement?

It's directly relevant to Fenway, because that's the park that I know the best. I moved to that neighborhood in 1991 or 1992, I think it was, and when I left in 2000 the changes were just starting to really get underway (the whole "build a big new park somewhere else/build a big new park right next door/work with what we got" debate was in the recent past). I still work in Boston and so I've been by there on a regular basis ever since, and the changes are really jaw-dropping. And, of course, I watch a lot of games, mostly on television, and I've seen plenty of changes as viewed through the small screen, too. And the real change isn't in the development and the "standing room only" section and the corporate boxes -- it's the whole change in emphasis. It's not a ballgame anymore, it's an "entertainment experience". Mind you, I have every reason to believe that this is widespread, perhaps even universal, in MLB today. But this is the one park where I have the most feet-on-the-street experience with the whole process of this change as it happened.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:43 PM on May 17

Rich people are weird.

At least there was no breakdown in containment. They were where they're supposed to be. And probably comfortable. It could be a lot worse.

"when the rich feel anxious and confused, they act like wild animals."

- Hunter S. Thompson

posted by beaverboard at 11:01 PM on May 17

W

posted by justgary at 08:25 PM on May 31

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