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Among the oldest baseball stadiums in the United States, Wrigley Field is a historic marker that any baseball lover can appreciate. It has cycled through a few names since opening, including Weeghman Park and Cubs Park. Locals have nicknamed it the Friendly Confines. Since opening in 1914, it has become an icon.
Part of the magic of Wrigley Field is that it is true to its past. Designed by Zachary Taylor and Charles G. Davis, the simple steel construct was finished in a mere two months, costing about $250,000. It was owned by – and originally named after – Charles Weeghman. Simple and solid with 14,000 seats, the field held its first major league baseball game in April of 2014. This was so long ago that the Federal League played the Kansas City Packers, a time before the Chicago Cubs existed. When the Federal League collapsed, Weeghman purchased the Cubs, starting the decades-long relationship.
In 1920, William Wrigley, Jr. – the manufacturer of the chewing gum – bought the field and the team, changing its name for the first time to Cubs Park. However, six years later, it was given the name it had for nearly a century: Wrigley Field. When The team and stadium were purchased in 1981 by the Tribune Company for $600,000 – over $6 million in today’s currently -- it kept its name, a nod to the history and culture of baseball in Chicago and the entrepreneurs who made it possible. When it was sold to the Ricketts family in the 2000s, they made the same choice: to preserve the name and preserve the past.
Like any historic structure, Wrigley Field has sustained a number of renovations and updates to keep it up to code and compatible with contemporary spectators. An upper deck was added (1927-1928). The now-famous boomerang-shaped bleacher and stand seating area was added (1937-1938). A red, hand-run scoreboard was put up (1937-1938). An art-deco inspired marquee was added to the entrance, first painted in green then red (1934). All of these features have been maintained. More recently, Wrigley Field has gotten lights for night games, a Jumbotron, and more.
When you go to Wrigley Field, expect to see the Chicago Cubs playing. Although some other resident teams have entered contract with the field over the years, the Chicago Cubs are the truest residents, keeping the relationship consecutively since 1916. Sometimes performers on tour will stop by the field to put on a show, such as pop stars Maroon 5, Meghan Trainor, Guns ‘n Roses, Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Green Day, and Leon Bridges.
If you want to stop by Wrigley Field to soak up the retro feel of a ballgame, head to 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60613. Just blocks away from Lake Michigan’s shoreline in the Lake View neighborhood, it is the perfect destination for an outdoorsy day in the city.