The rooftop seats surrounding Wrigley Field are as iconic as the ballpark itself.
The Cubs ownership are going forward with a plan to block the views from the rooftops and erect video boards and signage in the outfield. Even though they have a contract with the rooftop owners for a share of the revenue, the Cubs are going ahead with their plans and have told the owners to sue them. So that’s the basics.
To me, the most amusing part of the argument is from the Cubs, saying they need to keep their fans engaged. Walking around the ballpark the Cubs management sees people playing with their phones and aren’t watching the action on the field, and they feel a video board or two would solve this problem.
Have the Cubs management seen what happens on the field?
A batter walks up to the plate and adjusts his gloves and helmet. The pitcher throws the baseball and it’s high and outside for a ball. The batter, while he hasn’t moved, steps out of the box, adjust his gloves and helmet EVEN THOUGH HE DIDN’T MOVE. And, before you think I’m angry, the above example came from Bud Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball, on why the game needs to be sped up.
Point being: In my opinion, putting a video board in right and left field shouldn’t be done to entertain the fans, the focus should instead be improving the product on the field, like speeding up the game and making the time between pitches less than what it currently is. If that doesn’t seem to be working after a year or two, maybe then look at video boards.
The current lack of video boards and signage at Wrigley Field is what gives the ballpark its charm. There isn’t loud pop music blaring from the speakers, cheerleaders standing on top of the dugouts throwing out T-shirts, and there aren’t enormous jumbotrons in the outfield. An experience at Wrigley Field is a chance to go back and watch baseball played like it was when your grandfather took in a baseball game.
Then again, the game your grandfather went to took twenty-five minutes less than a game played today.
On a side note, the above picture of Wrigley Field was taken from the 3639 Wrigley Rooftop. The overall experience of watching a ballgame from their rooftop is pretty sweet, but in addition to having one of the better views of the ballpark in front of you, there is the skyline over your shoulder and the famous L train behind you. For a rooftop experience, I can’t recommend anywhere else.