Wrigley Field gets long-needed facelift

For the last several years the Cubs have adorned the façade of Wrigley Field with vinyl signs, as I witnessed firsthand in 2013. While they were bold and colorful, they distracted from the structure itself.

Vinyl covered exterior seems loud, no?

Vinyl covered exterior seems loud, no?

Back then I wrote about the contrast:

Wrigley famously has very little façade. Behind home plate is the light gray concrete structure accented by green and the distinctive red marquee. It’s not brick or sandstone, and there’s little to write home about. At some point recently the Cubs decided to have huge vinyl signs of the players cover up much of the concrete, as many newer parks have done. As much as I appreciate the blast of color, I miss the old humble concrete. Along the first and third baselines are chain link fences, so the back of each deck is exposed to the street it faces.

As part of Wrigley’s multiyear renovation project, the vinyl and chain link have been torn away, replaced with elements that open up the space and hark back to Wrigley’s earlier pre-war state.

Now that’s better. Gone are the concrete board and cage-like chain link fences, replaced by much more ornate galvanized steel gates.

The terra cotta facade, better seen in the Chicago Tribune’s article on the makeover, is somewhat more controversial than the rest, since the material is not exactly in keeping with steel ballpark construction. However, it is a throwback to Wrigley during the 30’s. At scale, it’s applied only to provide a warm accent that wouldn’t otherwise exist, and certainly would be less effective with mere paint or another metallic surface. It makes Wrigley even more approachable, if that was even possible. Wrigley’s famed red marquee was reinstalled only two days ago, and it remains as hot as ever. I look forward to going back sometime soon, even just to admire the exterior.

P.S. – Note the amount of roster turnover signified by the players on the vinyl signs.

10 thoughts on “Wrigley Field gets long-needed facelift

  1. Ballpark/shmallpark: Go A’s

  2. I haven’t been up there in a few weeks, and it was still tarped up with construction. I’ll need to walk by soon once it stops snowing and take a look. Maybe will take pictures.

  3. Chicagoland native, living in Oakland for the last 8 years. I’ve been following all the renovations online during the offseason, and they are doing a fantastic job. Have you checked out the new clubhouse? It’s incredible!

  4. Over a month since a new post. I know there’s been nothing new, but I’m going through withdrawal. Toss us a bone!

  5. Anybody actually think the Raiders will move to Las Vegas?

    • @ Oakland Dave

      I love how Jerry Jones seems to be in favor of Las Vegas getting a team, it’s pretty convenient since he surly doesn’t want Davis in San Antonio. Talk about an alternative motive.
      On the face of it, it would seem like Las Vegas probably would not happen but would the NFL really turn down 700-750 million in public funding? At some point, and we are clearly past that point the Raiders are going to need a new stadium, it really doesn’t matter how it didn’t get done in Oakland, or why the NFL just didn’t force Davis to rent from the 49ers, the fact will (is) they need one.
      Will a majority of owners go along with a 53 man roster of rich 20-28 year old young men being lose in Vegas? That looks like a recipe of disaster from a from a public relations stand point.
      I would think the players union would also have a problem with that, and the Raiders in Vegas don’t get them extra money.
      Will this finally prompt Oakland to come off of more public funds? New taxes? Nothing has to this point, so I guess not.

    • The Las Vegas billionaire potentially financing a Vegas NFL stadium is worth $28 bil. – so there is plenty of cash available for that project (very unlike the municipalities of Oakland, San Diego, San Antonio) Also the Cowboys owner Jerry Jones endorsed an NFL team relocating to Vegas (that guy evidently has clout with other NFL owners)

  6. I thought the Vegas thing was a pretty big development, as was the Chargers’ ballot proposition. Both seem to affect the A’s ballpark quest indirectly. I thought conventional wisdom (just after the NFL’s LA vote) had been San Diego being the Raiders’ option #1 if the Chargers moved in with the Rams because, unlike the Spanos family, Mark Davis is willing to accept a renovated Qualcomm Stadium.

    Back “on topic,” I will be going to Lollapalooza this summer because I want to see Radiohead again in Chicago. The Cubs will be in town that week (against the Pale Hose and Mariners), so I’ll get a chance to see the Wrigley progress up close during a game. I’ve been a Cub Fan for 32 years, but I’m not a big fan of the Cubs’ owners because of their reactionary political leanings. I am appreciative for the upgrades they’ve made on the field, however. All things considered, it’s a good time to be a Cub Fan.

  7. so rangers are going to get a new ballpark even though their current park is just over 20 years old? with atl also getting a new park soon which is actually newer than the one tex has and az of all teams also wanting a new park, what’s up?

    other than atl which stadium was built first to host the olympics in 96 none of these other parks seem like they need to be replaced this soon.

    can’t tex just built a retractable roof over their current stadium if the hot weather is that big of an issue instead of spending another billion plus on a new park?

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