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Wrigley Field Renovations: Why Not Spend the Money on a New Stadium?

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer INovember 12, 2010

CHICAGO - JULY 21: Gulls invade the bleachers in right field during the 11th inning of a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field on July 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Astros defeated the Cubs 4-3 in 12 innings. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Now I realize this will be considered blasphemous to most Cubs fans, but I have an idea. Instead of trying to pass a bill in the Illinois legislature to take part of the 12 percent city of Chicago and Cook County amusement tax and set it aside for the purpose of renovating Wrigley Field, why not build a new one?

Look, I understand the quaint charm of the old ballpark on the north side, but let's face it, folks: It is antiquated and needs to be used for other purposes if it cannot be torn down.

It's like having an old car that you continue to pour money into in order to keep it running. "But this is a classic car!" you say.  Fair enough, but even old Yankee stadium came crashing down, and no ballpark had the history of that one.

Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and on and on, all played there, and yet no one shed a tear when they built the new cathedral in the Bronx. Maybe that's the difference between New York and Chicago—they think championships, we think nostalgia.

Now I'm not saying the Cubs cannot win a title in this old building, but its lack of amenities for the players and the ridiculous neighborhood that regulates how many night games can be played detracts from the team's ability to compete at times.

New stadiums offer better facilities for the players and creature comforts for the fans, so what is not to like? It doesn't have to be sterile and mall-like as Cellular One Field is on the south side. No, some of the newer ballparks are gorgeous and team-friendly.

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If the Cubs can get Illinois to sink $200 million into renovating a decaying, obsolete building, why can't this money be paired with the Ricketts cash to build a park that is worthy of these loyal fans?

Ah, but therein lies the rub, for the Ricketts don't want to use too much of their own money to finance a new stadium. But look at the White Sox: They got a brand new park without Jerry Reinsdorf having to shell out a lot of dough, so it is possible.

While we're at it, why not get all of the surrounding taverns and apartment buildings to pony up with some cold, hard cabbage to help finance a new stadium? For if the Cubs were to move, those businesses would lose a hell of a lot of money.

The C.U.B.S. (Citizens United for Baseball in Sunshine) can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned. If I were the owner, I'd tell them they can go root for the Windy City Thunderbolts if they don't give me the night games I want. After all, Wrigley Field was there before they were.

The lack of night games may not be the only reason the Cubs can't win, but it sure as hell doesn't help. Let's get into the 20th century, people, and give the Cubs the same advantages the other teams enjoy.

The "friendly confines"? The only ones whom the ballpark has been friendly to in the last century has been the damn opposition!

If you are opposed to this idea, is it on the grounds that you'd rather have nostalgia over winning? Then I say you are not a baseball fan; you are a Wrigley Field fan, and you are part of the problem, by the way.

There is more to baseball than sitting in the bleachers and getting blasted, Cubs fans. How about ending this long, embarrassing reign of futility and putting the Cubs players in a position where they can succeed?

Or do you not care about winning?

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