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Carlos Zambrano would like a new stadium; Could anything replace Wrigley Field?

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carlos-zambrano-wrigley-field.jpgWith the Cubs in New York to help the Yankees christen their new ballpark this weekend, it was only a matter of time before the question of whether Wrigley Field needs to be replaced came up.

And who better than the outspoken Carlos Zambrano to weigh in on the state of the stadium?

Big Z -- clearly impressed by the plush amenities found at the Yankees' new yard -- made a plea for a new facility on Saturday.
"You come into a ballpark like this and you see great things," the Cubs ace told The Associated Press on Saturday before his team's 10-1 exhibition loss at the sparkling ballpark in the Bronx.

"You wish that Chicago'd build a new stadium for the Cubs," he said.

Now, a statement like this borders on blasphemy for both baseball purists and ardent Cub fans who view Wrigley Field as more of a cathedral than a baseball field. To many, the Friendly Confines are at the core of what the Cubs organization is all about -- a very tangible romanticism that has a long history on the North side.

To Zambrano's credit, he seems to understand that.

Zambrano wasn't just being his unpredictable self Saturday. As a player he wants a relaxing environment to work in, and he understands Wrigley's appeal for fans despite the lack of amenities -- who needs a martini bar, as there is in the new, $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium, when you can go loopy just trying to figure out the wind direction for that day's game?

"People are used to Wrigley Field," he said. "As a fan it's hard to think of a new ballpark."

While this is true, it was just as hard for fans to think of a different Yankee Stadium and a different Tiger Stadium. But, the early returns on the new Yankee park are spectacular, and Comerica Park in Detroit is also a magnificent place to watch a game.

So, is there anything to what Zambrano says? How long can Wrigley remain? Will there ever be a point when a newer, more up-to-date facility will be a necessity? Do the fireballer's comments change the way you feel about him at all?

Zambrano asks for a new ballpark     (Sun-Times)

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34 Comments

I'm with Zambrano. It's time for a new better ballpark!

Absolutely not!!! That is heresy!! Cubs park is an institution that is as beloved as the team itself...guess you can't expect anything else from someone who isn't a TRUE Cubs fan....


The Cubs can have the best of both worlds with a new multi-purpose building on the "triange" between the Wrigley and Clark where the car wash, player parking lot and the closed hot dog stand is. A new clubhouse and training facilities for the players, a parking garage for the players and the VIP's and retail for the "Martini Bar" if that floats your boat. All the amenities and the Wrigley experiance only gets better. Its been talked about before, lets close this ownership deal and make it happen!

Do the same thing they did to Soldier Field. Build a stadium inside a stadium. Go Cardinals !!

Absolutely the Cubs need a new, privately built park with a retractable roof. All things change eventually. I don't believe the Cubs will ever win another World Series in Wrigley.

Restore, but NEVER replace.

Go ahead and upgrade the player's and other necessary facilities but don't change the scoreboard, outfield wall, sight lines, bullpens, roof, seating, footprint, external features, etc.

Work could be done incrementally over several seasons or MAYBE (if at all possible) the Cubbies could play on the south side for a year during renovations.

Only been there once, but will never forget Wrigley. Don't remember whether Cubs or Giants won , AND ya' know, it doesn't really matter, my daughter and I were there together that day. Took the EL to the game as well - outstanding visit to Chicagoland.

My one Harry Caray moment: One day many years ago at Spring Training in (Mesa I think?) I approached him for some small talk. Noticing a large ring on his right hand, I inquired it's significance. He replied by removing it and handing it to me through the open broadcast booth window to examine. It was a World Series ring awarded to him (as their broadcaster) by the 1964 Cardinals. I was so amazed - he handed it to a total stranger (dressed in Giants gear too!). Class with a capital "C"........

Blago could take a lesson...................

Fans go to see a losing team because of the Wriggly ambience.. and its a real experience. Different from most ball parks. With a new stadium, its will be the same as any other new park, and with a still losing team... whats the reason to go?

As long as we have ivy brick walls, a bleacher section and an old scoreboard, let's build it new.

Once, 1915 to be imprecise, it was where the shortlived Fedral League, Whalers played their few games. Then by the imprecise date of 1922 it became the home of the Cubs. Now, you want to replace it? God forbid

I say, screw him and the horse he rode in on!!! I'll be waiting for him in the parking lot after the game!

Kyle responds: Yeah, be careful what you wish for. Pretty easy to say those things behind your keyboard, but maybe that bravado subsides a little bit in front of Zambrano's 6'5" 255 pound frame.

I agree with Carlos. No one thought Yankee Stadium could be replaced, and the new one is beautiful and has all the same dimensions as the old one. All the major sport facilities in Chicago have been replaced in the last 20 years, so yes, it is time for a new Wrigley on the same site with the same design and dimensions. I guess they would have to share the Cell for at least one season though.

Zambrano is just another overpaid multi-millionare major leaguer who has no respect for the legend that Wrigley Field represents to thousand of Chicagoans. All he wants is a new clubhouse and pitcher friendly dimensions to pad his statistics. Carlos will be gone in a few years, like all the players before him. Wrigley can be updated, but not replaced. Wrigley and Fenway are the only real ballparks left...

The place is a dump, it's crumbling, and the players hate it. Time to let it go, just like it's time to let go of 100+ years of futility. Get your priorities straight people, this team will never win in this ballpark. And it's time to stop limiting night games as well, and if they do build a new stadium, I hope they block the view of all the freeloaders across the street too. These multi-million dollar rooftop clubs have gotten out of hand, that's money that should all be going into building a winning team. Ah, but tradition the 'Cubbies' fans cry. Tradition doesn't win world series rings.

I've been going to Wrigley Field since 1967. I took a tour of The Ballpark at Arlington around 1998 or so and have been to many other parks. Since then, I have wanted Wrigley demolished and have a replica put in it's place. As for it being some sort of shrine or it's ambience can't be replaced, I would love to see it replicated and have a somewhat lit, roomier and clean concourse and urinals replace the trofts in the men's room. Personally, I'd like to see a park with the inside of Wrigley and the concourse of the Cell.

At minimum a renovation is on the way, probably within 4-5 years. The new owners are going to want to sell off the best seats with PSL licenses and that can be done best after a renovation....I don't see the team going through the headaches of trying to build a new stadium in this market anytime soon.

There are few bigger Cubs fans than me, but Wrigley is a dump. I can't think of a better way to break from the futility of the past than to give the players a state of the art facility and the fans a stadium on a par with the absurd ticket prices they have to pay. Speaking of which, building a new stadium could allow the owners to increase revenue with more seats rather than continually jacking up ticket prices.

I agree with Zambrano. The Cubs need a new ballpark. Wrigley is a dump.

Time for a new park. The players and fans deserve state of the art amenities with convenient parking for all. Everyone said the same thing about replacing the old Stadium and the history and ambience. Get with the times!

Someone needs to learn how to spell "blasphemy" in the article. That aside, there are said to be some XLNT reasons to replace Wrigley Field. But if this were done, it would be essential to make a list of the features which make it so beloved now - and transfer them, somehow, to its replacement.

Can't believe how many people don't want a new ball park. Ambiance only takes you so far. I've been a cubs fan for 20 years and I'm to the point I'd rather go to Milwaukee to see the cubs than Wrigley.

I don't feel the Cubs would be the Chicago Cubs without Wrigley Field. I'm not a big fan myself, but it's one is the things that made Chicago home (for me). Without Wrigley, it'd seem like less Home.

Bigger is not always better. Look at the monstrosity we have on the lakefront for the Bears: a stainless steel bowl inserted into (or on top of,) a classic structure.

I liked what I read somewhere else, and that is this; fans want a world series championship. Need I say more???

Wrigley is a broken down dump that needs to be replace. I think a lot of their fans would be upset if they got rid of the troughs though.

Um maybe, but that would be hard to get used to. Cubs need to win a world series first before any Cub players start talking about how they want a new ball park. Many of them are already getting paid millions and we fans have supported them through thick and mostly thin for several decades. I say to the front office don't even considered it until you can spend some money and bring in ball players that are going to win it for the Cubs. If we took an official poll I would bet that a majority of us Cub fans would rather have money spent on producing a winning team and not a new facility that will probably cost tax payers money out of their hard dollars. We are already spending more on tickets at Wrigley with not much of anything to show for our support. So from my perspective Zambrano ought to focus on playing baseball and winning games not on interior decorating concerns. Personally, I get a little worked up when players start complaining about the facilities they have to work in, how about the fact that many people would be thrilled just to play the game full time for a living and on top of that get paid stupid sums of money to do it. Count your blessings, stop whining, play baseball, and bring home a long anticipated world championship.

Wrigley is falling apart. Besides the problems with the clubhouse, Wrigley threatens to drop chunks of concrete on patrons. Unfriendly. The features (brick walls, ivy, score board) can be replicated. The downsides (obstructed seats) can be cured. Otherwise, we'll soon have a Coliseum.

Keep Wrigley as it is...who doesn't like to see netting above your head with concrete ready to crash down on your head while you're watching a game...

Great idea and let the taxpayers pay for it. Whats a couple Billion dollars ?. Then we can pay $10 for a beer and $8 for a hot dog. Gosh just so much Americana I can take.
I have a better idea why not send Carlos over to that great bastion of marketing and big screens and circus's, The Cell. Then he can play for his beloved Sox and watch himself on Diamond Vision.

P.S. Why do I keep hearing Sox fans say that real fans come to the Cell. I went there last year and was overwhelmed by all the Big Screens and loud music and the stupid games. My teen-aged daughter put it best, " I feel like I am at a Bulls Game"

769md8

Do whatever you want with that dump, but do it with private money. I used to love Wrigley too, but then I grew up. I get tickets to see the Cubs in Milwauee, a nice comfortable place to see a game where people have space, decent reasonably priced parking, and cleanliness of the facility. In Milwaukee you know you're going to see a game come rain or come shine. You do have to put up with the sausage race and the totally unacceptable "Bernie Brewer"! After that, it's a great place.
Having said all that, the tickets I get are usually complementary. I'm no longer willing to pay outrageous prices to watch a bunch of millionairs who hardly know the fundimentals of their craft.
So, do what you want with Wrigley. But don't use my dime to do it!!!

What's with the sentimental attatchment to Wrigley? There's never been a championship banner hoisted there (oops..forgot about the '63 Bears). Big Z is right. The only way to change the tradition of losing is to tear it down and build something modern.

How about getting beyond 3 and out in the playoffs first?
maybe show something besides psychotic behavior and physical destruction of the dugout and clubhouse because of a bad outing.

Why not get the state to build the Cubs a new stadium like the White Sox? Maybe they could use the rent money the Sox pay to build the Cubs a new stadium. Oh wait the Sox don't pay much rent because they never reach the required attendance. What a scam deal that is. The state needs money and they get free rent most of the time. The state shouldn't be paying for any of the sports team to get new stadiums.

Carlos, stick to what you do best. Which is drinking too much Red Bull and losing your temper.

how dare you even talk about making it into a new stadium that is one of the best and most original parks!!!!!!! if you tear that down you might as well tear down the statue of liberty for a newer better one. it is a classic monument that should never ever be touched and if it is then there will be a riot. i know there will. i mean you are messing with history

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on April 5, 2009 3:54 PM.

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