Wrigley Field Getting Upgraded Roof

In an effort to lure Craig Counsell to Chicago, the Cubs are putting a new roof on Wrigley Field. Okay, this has nothing to do with placating a salty skipper or preventing rainouts in the future, it’s just about upgrading a structure that’s been around for a very long time.

According to an announcement from the Cubs, the four-month project includes “replacement of wood structural beams and wood slates with high-strength steel, as well as the installation of a new roof membrane.”

Sounds like one of those things no one would really notice if they weren’t aware of it, but I’m guessing a few Cubs Convention attendees will nevertheless be up in arms about the changes. When you really think about it, though, Wrigley Field as it currently stands contains almost nothing of its original structure. Ongoing renovations, particularly the 1060 Project, have seen to it that nearly all of the old materials have been swapped out over the years.

That’s a matter of preservation and safety as much as anything, though it’s obviously about further monetizing the ballpark with suites and other premium experiences. All the concrete has been replaced, the bleachers have been redone more than once, brick has been moved and replaced, seats have been updated, the marquee has gotten several upgrades, and the façade has been totally refurbished. Then you’ve got the wholesale additions like videoboards and a damn sportsbook.

I’m not actually upset about any of it other than the sportsbook, which just seemed totally incongruous to me from the start, this is just a matter of pointing out that the ballpark we visit now literally isn’t the same as it once was.

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