Vitamin Water Stadium?
Kentucky Fried Chicken Ballpark?
With word that the chief executive officer of the Tribune Company wonâ€™t hesitate to sell the naming rights to the legendary ballpark we now call Wrigley Field, outrage has emerged from Cubs fans and baseball communities.Â Wrigley ranks among the likes of Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Lambeau Field, and Madison Square Garden as some of the most historical venues in all of sports.Â Traditionalists of the game are in an up-roar at even the suggestion that the ballpark at 1060 West Addison be called anything other than Wrigley Field.Â
So am I.
The Cubs are still one of the most profitable franchises in Major League Baseball. Regardless of where the north-siders may fall in the standings, hoards of people still fill the stands at Wrigley Field; some to support their beloved team, others to enjoy a sunny afternoon with friends (a.k.a. get hammered), others to take in the ivy walls and hand-operated scoreboard for their first time.Â So why is there even the mention of ruining the tradition of one of the most hallowed ballparks in baseball history just to make a few extra bucks?Â Remember when our rivals to the South sold out, re-naming Comiskey Park to U.S. Cellular Field, or when they switched the start times of all their night games to 7:11 because the lure of free Slurpees was too much?Â Those moves were not highly regarded and received plenty of criticism.Â Cub owners donâ€™t need the money, so why make the move?
If Sam Zell does sell to the highest bidder, whatâ€™s next?Â Auctioning off the naming rights to the Statue of Liberty or Mount Rushmore?Â Letting a local corporation sponsor the singing of the National Anthem?Â Just imagine, â€œPlease rise for the singing of the National Anthem, brought to you tonight by DÃ©jÃ vu, where when you buy one lap dance, you get the second one at half price.â€Â
While I do consider myself â€œold schoolâ€ in regards to the tradition and respect of our national pastime, I am well aware that corporations and sponsorships are becoming more and more a staple in all of professional sports.Â And yes, I understand that â€œWrigleyâ€ is just the name that hangs on the facade of the ballpark and changing it does not erase its importance or historic value, but certain characteristics should never be changed when it comes to the Cubs.Â Ivy should always drape the walls of the outfield.Â Somebody should always lead the singing of the seventh inning stretch from the press box.Â Wrigley Field should always be where the Cubs play ball.
Before Wrigley becomes the Friendly Confines of Tampax Field, can we please think this over thoroughly and not jeopardize the image of the one winner in the past 100 years of Chicago Cubs history.Â Unless itâ€™s named Old Style Field, in which case, I will fully support that decision.
You can see the building where “The Sports Bank is headquartered” in the background. HQ is somewhere in one of those high-risesÂ
Would Wrigleyville celebrations like this be the same if they occurred in Tampaxville?