I have read with great interest about the controversy regarding the Wrigley Field rehabilitation. The Cubs, Rooftop Owners, local alderman, Chicago mayor and Wrigleyville neighbors are all mentioned in accounts of the negotiations. The most important group not mentioned which does not have a seat at the table is the fans who attend the games.
First of all, I have no sympathy for the Rooftop Owners. They have stolen a product which is not theirs. Their only claim, as I see it, is the contract signed by previous Cub owners. The current Cub ownership will have to pay for what remains on that contract.
The area I wish to address is the Jumbotron. Please do not call it a scoreboard or a fan amenity. It is not! The Jumbotron is a denial of all that is sacred about Wrigley Field. The thought of cartoon characters racing across a massive screen, blooper videos, noisy canned music, advertising without end, noisy messages designed to get the attention of the fans is more than I can bear.
Baseball, to me, is a contemplative sport. It is a "thinking man's (or woman's) game." The time between innings is sacred. Fans should have time to discuss the game or anything else on their minds as they wait for the next innings to unfold. Not every half inning should be filled with advertising noise and racket.
The history and tradition of this 100 year old "cathedral" should be protected from the intrusion of a Jumbotron. There have to be other ways that the Cub ownership can make money. Cub executives are bright people. I saw and heard them at the last Cub Convention. Let them use their creative talents to protect the tradition of Wrigley Field.
No Jumbotron at Wrigley Field!
Joseph W. Hafenscher
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