Wrigley offers up some pretty polarizing opinions. Many people regard it as the best baseball experience available today. Baseball fans and casual tourists alike flock to the park for a quintessentially American experience - a day game at Wrigley with a hot dog in one hand, a Budweiser in the other, and a look of bliss on the face. The ivy, the hand-operated scoreboard, the marquee, the Wrigley neighborhood - this is all stuff of legends that everybody is familiar with.
However, there are other people who regard the place as a dump that cannot be razed soon enough; popular complaints will include lack of parking, the ever-present smell of a particular human by-product, lousy food, pretentious fan base, crumbling infrastructure, etc.
I understand both opinions. I've felt the strong opinions on either side, but have to admit that I'll agree with those who look at Wrigley as a treasure instead of trash.
I'll admit, I've never been blown away with the whole Wrigley experience, though. Growing up in the 80's and watching my share of Harry Carey-announced games on WGN, you never were inundated with the breathless praise about this "shrine" like you are today.. Just goes to show you what effective marketing can do. Other ballparks throughout the country have an atmosphere that can rival that of Wrigley and have just as impassioned fans. While the loyal Cubbie fanbase deserves more credit than it gets, there is just too much of the "going to be seen" mentality and "world's largest single's bar" truism to regard Wrigley as an experience that's just about the baseball. I've never desired to sit in the overhyped bleachers and the whole roof-top seats from across the street just seem to beg of overpriced silly trendiness (must be great to watch the game from 500+ feet away) as well as outright theft by the building owners.
Despite all that, Wrigley is still something that is best described by experiencing it and a must for any baseball fan. My favorite aspect of Wrigley is how you can check-in your expectations at the gate of what a modern sporting venue should be - no scoreboard kiss cams or noise-o-meters, no sushi bars or expensive restaurants within the park, no trough-free bathrooms. All the excess is stripped away, leaving you in a different era where the beauty of the game and the sheer enjoyment of it all can be fully appreciated.
Favorite Seats: Has to be the upper deck seats. Unlike modern ballparks with club sections and skyboxes that jut the upper deck way above the action, Wrigley's upper deck makes you feel right on top of it all, allowing some great views of the nearby neighborhood and city skyline.
Favorite Food: Just give me a hot dog and beer and I'm good to go. The variety isn't great, but most of Wrigley's concessions are better than advertise.
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