March 15, 2008
Lots of things have been happening in Wrigleyville over the winter. The Cubs are trying to sell their beloved home to the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority in order to raise capital to pay for a pennant-contending team, and it appears likely that the name rights to Wrigley Field will be sold this year. (Sacrilege!) Also, the proposed "Triangle Building" to be built on the west side of the stadium has been postponed for the time being. They are also squeezing in another 70 seats along the third base line, to be called the "Chicago Board Options Exchange" seats. One positive note: "The Cubs will not add a video scoreboard or Jumbotron to the existing scoreboard." See MLB.com; hat tip to Mike Zurawski.
On a similar note, the Tribune Company, which owns the Cubs (for now) is considering a ticket tax to help finance renovations of Wrigley Field, possibly including a totally rebuilt upper deck. See Chicago Sun Times; hat tip to Bruce Orser.
So, with all those things in mind, I've updated my Wrigley Field diagrams, with a few additional details and a proposed alternative future design that may be fairly close to what is being planned. After thinking it over, I've decided to put the distance markers on the inside of the outfield fences, so as not to obstruct details in the outfield seating areas, etc.
In Thursday's Washington Post, Thomas Boswell gave a detailed assessment of the complicated ticket pricing structure at Nationals Park. Seats in the "bleacher" areas (there are no bench seats) cost a surprisingly steep $20 and up, whereas much of the upper deck is relatively affordable, in the $10-$17 range, with a limited number of $5 game day seats in the north end. Perhaps the outfield seats will cost more because D.C. baseball fans have never had decent views from the outfield: All the outfield seats at RFK were in the upper deck, and all the outfield seats at Griffith Stadium were 400 or more feet from home plate.