Jumbotron At Wrigley? Don't Bother.
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Mar 8, 2010 9:30PM
Photo by wallyg
As renovations and modernizations at Wrigley Field are underway, the Trib's Paul Sullivan raises a good question: what about a jumbotron? Just about every Major League stadium these days has some sort of High-Def behemoth videoscreen on which player stats and replays are shown. But does Wrigley really need one? And, if so, where do you put it? Most players Sullivan talked to thought it's a pretty good idea; only Ryan Theriot seemed to be against it. As for where to put it, we've been through this once before as far as blocking rooftops go. Though the Cubs may be able to kill two birds with one stone by, as Jeff Samardzija suggests, putting it up on the building that now hosts the giant Horseshoe Casino ad. No rooftop owners are angered and the Cubs take care of an ad they're trying really hard to block. Of course, that'll take some money to buy the space, not to mention the problem that the location isn't even in the ballpark. The only other solution? Replace the old-time scoreboard currently entrenched atop center field.
So we'll go ahead and say it: no, Wrigley doesn't need a Jumbotron. We're not necessarily purists - though the DH is a load of crap - but in an age of the Super Stadium, it seems gaudy and unnecessary. Nothing against what's been done at places like U.S. Cellular Field, but we kind of like the idea of a quaint, small ballpark with organ music, and a scoreboard devoid of obtrusive between-inning commercials, obnoxious music for every batter, and KISS CAM segments. As the stadium undergoes renovations over the next few years, maybe the Ricketts could simply upgrade the televisions spaced around the stadium showing the television feed. After all - and not to get too maudlin or sentimental - the point of going to a baseball game is to enjoy the game and ambiance of the ballpark on a sunny, warm summer afternoon. Too many sports are now about the entertainment experience (see: the NBA). If you're that concerned with replays and added entertainment, stay home and watch the game on television. Besides, new management should be concerned about giving fans a team worth watching replays of before they worry about any other extravagance; the extravagance means little if the base product is mediocre to begin with.