It’s Friday and time for the latest from the CCO Feedback column. Raul Barraza does not like the idea of possibly renaming the old ballpark at 1060 West Addison….
I never thought I would see the day Wrigley Field was anything other than Wrigley Field, but Sam Zell is looking to selling the naming rights. He’s a businessman and has every right to maximize his return on his investment but as a Cubs fan and baseball fan, this makes me feel worse than the words “Steve Bartman.” The only way I would be okay with this would be if the Wrigley Company stepped up and paid to keep it as Wrigley Field. If Zell is trying to maximize his bottom line, he should find a way to sell broadcasts rights to Cubs games in Japan or add more advertisements in or around the Friendly Confines. Wrigley is one of the few things that can connect us to the good ole days of baseball.
Its the same field where Babe Ruth called his shot, Kerry Wood burst on the national scene with his 20 strikeout game, where Sammy Sosa slugged his way into the record books and into our hearts. It’s the same field where the ’69 Cubs blew their division lead and where Glenallen Hill crushed a ball to a rooftop across Waveland. All of this took place at Wrigley Field, not Starbucks Park or Bank One Field, or Allstate Park at Wrigley Field.
While fans may argue that the Tribune Company was not a very good group to own the Cubs, they at least resisted the temptation to sell the naming rights to the Friendly Confines. I view Wrigley as the last stadium to go fully commercial. Fenway Park and its huge ads on the Green Monster and its Red Sox Nation have gone commercial. I’m not against teams going commercial, hell; you basically have to with the ridiculous player salaries. I just hate to see established stadiums all of a sudden change names.
Case in point, Comiskey Park became US Cellular Field. It would be different if the stadium was being built today with naming rights being sold before the stadium would even be complete, which is pretty standard nowadays. I, for one, would hate to see Cingular Park on the North Side.
For those interested, the CCO received an email about a site dedicated to saving the name Wrigley Field…. www.KeepItWrigley.org. Included in the site is an online petition.