Posted: Tuesday September 12, 2006 10:26AM; Updated: Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:22PM
Chicago, Ill. :: Opened: 1914 :: Capacity: 41,188
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Average Ticket Price: $34.30
Average Cost of Concessions and Souvenirs: $82.00
How expensive is stadium parking? FREE: 12% $5-$10: 4% $10-$15: 10% $15-$20: 24% More than $20: 46%
Is public transportation a viable option? Never: 1% Worth it if you have a lot of time and patience: 7% A good option to avoid rush hour: 7% Pretty easy if you know the system well: 27% The only way to go: 58%
How would you rate traffic getting to and from the game? To the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 24% Slow, but usually steady: 35% Moves well outside of rush hour: 20% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 14% A smooth ride at all times: 3%
From the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 32% Slow, but usually steady: 38% Moves well outside of rush hour: 14% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 10% A smooth ride at all times: 2%
How would you rate the number of restrooms for men and women? Bring a map: 12% It depends on your section: 30% Never more than a short walk away: 17% A satisfactory amount: 19% Plenty: 17%
How long is the wait to use a bathroom? Always available: 28% 1-5 minutes: 55% 5-10 minutes: 10% More than 10 minutes: 6%
How would you rate the variety of food/beer concession options? Limp hot dogs, bland peanuts, even blander beer: 10% Nothing fancy, but the staple foods are tasty: 36% A little variety of food and drinks available at specific locations: 24% A nice variety but locations are spread out: 15% You name it, they have it around almost every corner: 13%
How much will a meal at the ballpark cost you? $5-$10: 18% $10-$20: 66% $20-$30: 11% $30-$40: 2% More than $40: 2%
How would you rate the entertainment options aside from the game? Nonexistent: 54% So many games/promotions and scoreboard highlights that the game is lost in the background: 1% Typical mascot antics/scoreboard quizzes and fun music: 8% Some unique promotions/antics, but it sometimes distracts from the game: 3% A nice balance that draws your attention when the game is stopped but doesn't distract from the action on the field: 31%
There may be "no bells and whistles, but there's no better place to enjoy a game." From the hand-operated scoreboard to the ivy on the brick outfield wall, Wrigley is as iconic a stadium as there is in sports. "The moment you walk in, it feels like a time warp. You can clearly picture all the great players that have suited up in that park, from Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, to Babe Ruth." The price for this piece of history, though, is a lack of creature comforts, lackluster food and a team that ... well, you know. In some ways, such as the trough-style urinals in the men's rooms, this is quirky; in others "you could have a big support column in your sightline." No matter, because win or lose, the Cubs pack them in. "Wrigley's crowd depends on the section you are in. The lower deck is where the sports buffs sit with their scorecards; the upper deck is for the more casual fans who are just there to catch a ball game; and the bleachers are an area for drunken parties and heckling." Still, considering the "depressing" product on the field, many find that "the fans are what make it worth going to the games." And with a beer in hand on a sunny day in the bleachers, who can argue?
Clark Street "brims with bars -- and crowds." For some that means "you can't walk in any direction without finding a decent place"; for others that means "if you're an alcoholic college student (or enjoy acting like one), this is the neighborhood for you." Murphy's Bleachers and the Cubby Bear, both located across the street from the park, have long been "the places to grab a drink before and after games." But prices are high and tourists plentiful at both, sending many "a few blocks west to Southport Avenue, where the bars and restaurants are not nearly so crowded after the games during the week." If none of that appeals, downtown Chicago is a mere 10 minutes away on the El.
2006 record: 56-87 (all statistics through Sept. 10) Players worth the price of admission: Aramis Ramirez (.282 Avg., 32 HRs, 94 RBIs), Carlos Zambrano (14-6, 3.50 ERA, 188 Ks)
See, there's a difference between making people pay a premium for a rare opportunity and gouging them. The Red Sox and their prices are fleecing their fans; the Cubs are merely at the high end of the typical major league scale. And in this case it's worth the cost. From the brick outfield wall to the ivy to the hand-operated scoreboard, Wrigley is a glimpse of baseball's past, complete with a modern neighborhood "scene" the envy of any team. Too bad the Cubs are the envy of no fan base, which has always led us to wonder if the financial success the Cubs have reaped from Wrigley and their image as "lovable losers" soothes the losses a bit too much in the owner's suite. Ever hear the Cubs mentioned as a potential destination for free agents despite coffers similar in size to the New York teams? We haven't either.