Change is good, Replacement is hard

The Chicago Tribune’s editorial staff wrote an article about how Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs might be in for some major changes.  The team’s owner, Tom Ricketts, has shared plans for a $300 million renovation project.  At first the plan included using city and county amusement taxes to fund the renovations, but the Ricketts family has announced their plans to foot the bill.  The only thing they expect from the city now is some leniency on zoning and landmark restrictions.  

Fans are worried that “Wrigley Field wouldn’t be Wrigley Field without the ivy, center field scoreboard and the iconic red-and-white marquee. The stadium is a landmark, but it houses a functioning business that can’t survive unless the owners are allowed to adapt to consumer demands” (Chicago Tribune).  Adapting to those consumer demands could mean more events held at the stadium, more fans, and a better atmosphere.  “A winning team would be the stadium’s biggest improvement.  But bathrooms are a start.”

I think the policy claim in this editorial is that even though Wrigley Field is a landmark, renovations need to occur to allow the business side of things to prosper.  The stadium isn’t going to keep bringing in large crowds if they don’t have an adequate facility.  

The smaller claims that support the policy claim are that renovations should be allowed because it’s not coming from taxpayers money, but a private fund.  Also, some leniency on zoning and landmark restrictions would allow for much more business to be drawn to the area, which would generate more consumer traffic for other establishments.  Last some of the renovation plans are wanted by fans, like a Jumbotron, more bathrooms, and more concession stand choices.

I chose this article because it reminded me of Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha.  It was full of history and tradition, which was traded for newer, bigger, better as TD Ameritrade Stadium was built.  I was sad to see the site change because it was a place I had been going to watch baseball for years and I loved everything about it.  I have been to the new stadium and I’ll admit it is pretty nice.  I know that in order to keep the College World Series in Omaha they had to make some upgrades.  So like Wrigley Field, it might be hard to let go of a landmark, but change is good, especially for business.