Commentary: The most unique things about Wrigley Field

by - Correspondent -
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series since 1908 despite the infamous goat curse, and this will most likely mean a fresh horde of new fans to Wrigley for the upcoming season. Below are some of the most unique things that Wrigley Field and the surrounding area in Wrigleyville has to offer. Wrigleyville is the neighborhood surrounding the park that includes restaurants and bars, Wrigleyville Sports, the new plaza, the rooftops, and in the center of it all is the ballpark itself.

Clark Street

Clark Street starts north in Rogers Park and goes south down to Lincoln Park to Chinatown passing behind Wrigley Field on the way. The street is known by a lot of residents of Chicago as the main street of the city. It is home to some of the more popular attractions in Wrigleyville including the Cubby Bear bar, Wrigleyville Dogs, Clark Street Sports, and the Cubs’ box office. A new office building and the plaza which has seen mixed reactions will also be on Clark Street. The new plaza is expected to be fully operational by the start of the season in April. In this upcoming season on a trip to Wrigley, you will most likely find people enjoying the new additions on Clark Street and those actively avoiding them.

The Ivy wall

Once you’re inside Wrigley Field, you’ll notice that Ivy lines the outfield wall of Wrigley Field. The wall of ivy itself provides little to no practical use, but it very well known to be a terror for opposing teams and is unique to any other major league ball park. The bleacher seats behind the wall are a great place to watch a game. The ivy wall has been known to have balls lost inside it. All that lies behind it is a brick wall that has injured players. The Ivy goes through seasons and the best time of year to see it full and green is the spring through the summer before the colder autumn sets in.

The Wrigley Field marquee sign

You’ve probably seen pictures of the marquee sign after a win. The sign is a symbol of Wrigley field. It is positioned just over the main entrance outside the park. It is everyone’s favorite view after a win. Beneath the words “Wrigley Field home of Chicago Cubs” is an electronic sign that will display the simple but great words of “Cubs Win”. It is a great place to get a picture of your time at Wrigley. As part of the renovations, the marquee sign is being restored.

The Historical atmosphere (renovations and restorations)

Wrigley Field is known for its stadium lights, the hand-turned scoreboard, and the minimal video boards. Not any longer as Wrigley Field has giant video screens that will entertain fans. It used to be known for having an early 1900’s look and feel to it. There are plans for new renovations and restorations that could further change that. From the artist rendering posted to the Chicago Cubs website link through, it seems as though the improvements will be happening to the places in the stadium that not everyone sees. The bleacher seating, the marquee sign, and the concourse should still have that historical ambiance. The more unseen areas like the locker room, exclusive club seating and suites have been brought into the 21 st century. The new plaza outside the stadium seems like it won’t match the authentic atmosphere that people love based on the artist renderings but will be a fun place to hang out.

The Wrigley Field rooftops

The rooftops are bleachers located on the top of 16 buildings surrounding the park along the outfield wall on Waveland and Sheffield avenues. They are not the closest seats to the game, but they are ideal for large groups and people who want more liberty to move around. Each one has small differences from the others, so it is worth looking at all of them before booking one of them. The owner of the Cubs, Thomas Ricketts, owns 10 of the 16 rooftops and is looking to acquire more of them. A few lawsuits have arisen in the course of obtaining them. Many of the rooftops had revenue sharing agreements with the owners of the buildings. Regardless of the status, they are great seats for large groups, business outings or event but obviously, they are not in the stadium and therefore some views are obstructed by the outfield signs and boards.

For those of you that have been to a game at Wrigley Field you probably have fond memories of the experience. Tell us what was left off the list. Many of us take for granted what Wrigley Field is like. What do you think should be on the top of the list for first-time fans making a trip to Wrigley this season?

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