Wrigley Field > Sox Park….wat????
July 8, 2018
Hi friends, it’s your pal BeefLoaf, coming at you with a different sort of blog post. I’m usually the guy in the 108 crew that writes the tongue-in-cheek basebally type stuff…….I don’t normally hit you up with critiques on ballpark conditions or fan pieces, but the 108 boss MySoxSummer has granted me some one time immunity to write up a painful article about the situations where Wrigley Field is better than Sox Park. I was recently at a game at Wrigley Field for a “work outting” and happened to notice several areas where I thought the game / fan experience was better. The areas I am about to get into are downright embarrassing triumphs for Wrigley Field over Sox Park. They don’t just edge out our favorite teams ballpark, they run 60 yds for the touchdown, Deion Sanders high stepping it half the way,
and then they celebrate in the star at the middle of the field, TO style. Well, let’s get on with it.
My man MSS wrote this exceptional article about how to fix some of the bathroom issues at Sox Park that occur anytime you get > 20k people at the ballpark. I was at Wrigley on a Wednesday, for a 1:20pm start and there were 41k people there….and guess what, not a fucking second wait for the bathroom. I went to the can for the first time in the middle of the game, 5th inning and I was in and out in a flash. My initial observations were that the troughs are a key to this. Now I know, some of you might find the “meat gazing” aspect of the troughs as a negative (or possibly a positive, I don’t know), but they are efficient af.
The bathroom that I was using, which was on the lower level, directly down the RF line, had outer urinals and inner troughs and the bathroom was set up to have traffic flow out towards the exit as you make your way to wash your hands. I talked to my boy KC (he’s a long time Cub fan and we’ve worked together almost a decade now…he’s my trusted source for all Cub fan stuffs) and he told me that they put in extra bathrooms to accommodate the fans. To me, this is a shocking development…..a professional sports team putting money into an aspect of the fan experience that isn’t a direct revenue generator. I’d prefer more attention to these sorts of details and less to free t-shirts.
Tickets being checked
We’ve gone into detail on twitter and in various blog posts how fucking ridiculous it is that in a sparsely crowded Sox Park that the 108ers (usually sitting in our section by ourselves AND full season ticket holders) would get their tickets checked multiple times in a 9 inning game. I don’t know what dipshit is in charge of this policy, but they clearly don’t exhibit their “talents” on the northside. At Wrigley, there is no such policy that I could note. We never got our tickets checked….in fact, I didn’t see anyone get their tickets checked. What a nice experience. Wrigley Field staff is very helpful though from what I can tell, I saw them being asked questions by fans and happily directing people around the ballpark. It was a small sample size, but the employees seemed happy to be there.
Getting into the stadium
As I mentioned before, there were 41k fans at the game I attended and shockingly, there weren’t lines down the fucking street to get into the ballpark. Wrigley Field staff get the fans through security and into the ballpark quickly. There were A LOT of staff and gates / metal detectors open. I didn’t have to wait in line, I was literally in the ballpark in under a minute. At Sox Park, if there are 22k fans on a Sunday afternoon, it takes 15-30 minutes to get into the ballpark. The quicker you get into the ballpark, the sooner you can get to your seat and enjoy the product, the sooner your group can buy hundreds of dollars of overpriced beer. #Business
This was most impactful to me, but I had various people tryna shout me down when I was talking about it. Wrigley Field sound is loud and makes you feel like you are at an event. Of course, MSS, always bustin’ balls noted “It could’ve been the 41k people that made it sound like an event.” Good point, a big crowd does make an event feel bigger and more fun to watch. I think Wrigley Field does a good job with the level of “over-the-top” sound that they push through the speakers out into the ballpark. It makes you feel like you are at something BIG, something FUN!!! I talked to a couple of Cubs fans about it and they feel like it is over done and annoying, and maybe I’d feel that way over 81 home games, but I can only give you my visceral reaction and it felt awesome and really got my enthusiasm up for an event in which I had absolutely no rooting interest. I got so hyped I was ready to rock the Kid’N Play dance, but my man MSS wasn’t there to fill out the 2nd half of the hustle
Bars Open more then 20 mins after the game
(Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern)
The post-game experience at the Budweiser branded bar which is located just off the NorthWest corner of the stadium was terrific. There was no rushing killing the loss leader post game special 5 minutes after people arrived. There was no “last call” an hour after conclusion of the game. The service was fast and friendly. We had a large group and we had only one dedicated wait staffer, but we were getting drinks quickly and it was a fun atmosphere. It was clear that they wanted you to stay out, drink, eat and party for as long as you could stand. The ChiSox Bar and Grill could take notes from such establishment, because the food at ChiSox is most definitely better, but the all around experience is worse because they don’t stay open late enough or work to cater to their patrons like this bar does. If ChiSox Bar and Grill operated like this bar, the 108ers would end up cracking open their 401k’s to keep a flush drinking budget for hanging there.
In conclusion…..I still think Wrigley Field is a fucking dump. That’s been my position for ever and it still stands. You can’t put up a few scoreboards and some extra paint and cover over the fact that it’s an old tired ballpark, but you can tell from the reasons I posted above that management DOES CARE about the fan experience and wants people to come away talking about it. Fuck, I’m a FULL SEASON TICKET HOLDER for the WhiteSox and I noticed enough stuff in one afternoon to tell the whole interwebs (the literally dozens of people that will read this). Both teams are selling an entertainment product, but at Wrigley, they really treat the fans like a customer.
If the White Sox management is reading this……DO BETTER!!
I agree on all these points. I’m a long time, full season ticket holder for the Sox, and carry a hatred that seaths and burns for everything Cub.
I would also add that the new Cub scoreboards are vastly superior to the Sox in how they present game info. It’s clean and simple and has what you need. The new Sox boards are so cluttered and busy, half the time you can’t figure out who’s batting, who’s pitching or any of the basics you need. Clean it up Sox!