Wrigley Field is the second oldest major league ballpark in America, with only Fenway Park in Boston being its senior. Both ballparks are such grand old girls that most baseball fans consider them a must for the bucket list to visit them. Having been to three games in both, I heartily agree. Both are wonderful.
But both ballparks were built before that whole “open concourses with trusses” became prevalent in ballpark architecture, and as such the upper decks in both parks are held up by support poles. These support poles, of course, can cause a serious view problem to someone sitting in the wrong seat.
The Cubs and Red Sox do stamp the words “obstructed view” on certain seat tickets, but both clubs will not say as much unless the support pole nearly blocks the view of the entire infield.
Some time ago I wrote about the “Precise Seating” website, which gives a description of nearly every seat at Fenway Park. While working on the coming Wrigley Field E-Guide, I came upon a similar (although very different in layout) website giving the scoop on seats at Wrigley.
Matt Motyko at WrigleyGuide clearly put a great deal of effort into showing fans how they can avoid being behind the dreaded support poles at The Friendly Confines. In a similar fashion to Precise Seating, the Wrigley Guide shows where a seat is on a seating chart, with the location of the poles marked so you have a good idea whether you will be behind one.
This is an invaluable tool if you are ordering tickets online; how many times have you ordered a ticket for a game and had the seat not be where you expected, even though you looked at the view from the seating chart? Wrigley Guide leaves no doubt of where you’ll be. Honestly, I don’t know how these guys do this, but I’m grateful that they do.
And Motyko doesn’t stop there – he also has plenty of information on how to attend a game at Wrigley Field. And he clearly knows the place well–good knowledge to have.
There are people like me, who are using the Internet to run a hopefully successful enterprise providing a useful product, and there are people like the folks at Precise Seating and Wrigley Guide, who work tirelessly simply so people can have a better experience at the ballgame.
And the smart baseball fan benefits greatly from both. If you’re going to Wrigley and buying tickets online, use the Wrigley guide website. You won’t be sorry.
Wrigley Guide: www.WrigleyGuide.com
I had a thought last night as I was researching Wrigley Field in preparation for a future E-Guide.
Like most classic ballparks (and many new ones), The Friendly Confines is shoehorned into a tightly packed neighborhood of Chicago, known to all who frequent it as Wrigleyville.
It’s a wonderful thing. What makes Wrigley special, even more so than Fenway Park or Camden Yards, is how the entire community for blocks around is connected to events at the local ballpark. People gather everywhere, not just inside the venue. On the surrounding streets, on the rooftops, in the local taverns, a Cubs game is a celebration like no other in baseball. If you want to know why Chicago is such a popular tourist destination, you need only to attend a game somewhere near Wrigley Field.
However, this creates a serious drawback…where to park one’s car. Parking at Wrigley Field isn’t non-existent, but it is sparse, difficult and often wallet-busting.
A problem like this is exactly why I do what I do. The purpose of Ballpark E-Guides is not to tell you that driving to and parking at Wrigley Field is impossible, but rather to tell you how you can with as little pain as possible. Let’s face it, as convenient as the CTA’s Red Line is to the venue, some people might not want to use it.
So I have been looking for places to park, and for free if possible, and on one website a reader left some good tips, but also stated that while he knows a good place to park for free, he wasn’t revealing it because he wanted it to remain “his spot”.
I’m not being critical of him. I understand this completely. But it’s my purpose to ferret out this sort of information wherever I can find it, because it’s my position that Ballpark E-Guides should contain as much information–especially hard to come by secrets–as possible. It has to be worth the customer’s fin.
So I expect I am not going to be popular with some people. I may give away a hard-earned parking secret that on the surface may make life more difficult for the person who found it on his own. So if that’s you, I hope you’ll hear me out on this.
Ballpark E-Guides would be doing very well if it sold guides to 1% of baseball fans who go to games. That is a loftier goal than it sounds, but it would be nice. The Cubs drew about 3 million people to Wrigley Field in 2010, so 1% of that total is 30,000. Of those 30,000, if 10% of them are driving to the game, that is 3,000. Divide that by 81 home games and now there are 37 people who read the guide that are driving to a game on a given day. At two to a car, that’s 19 cars. The E-Guide is going to list as many parking options as possible, so the likelihood of someone going for that secret spot because the E-Guide told them to is actually pretty small.
So chances are good that even if the Wrigley Field E-Guide sells 30,000 copies, which would be an awful lot, your secret will probably still be relatively safe. You may be upset with my revealing something, and I completely understand. But keep in mind that it’s not as though I asked the president to include it in a national address. Ballpark E-Guides are intended for a small, niche market. In fact they’re for people like you…people who want to make their lives easier, especially when it comes to enjoying a ballgame that is supposed to be fun. Hopefully, for every secret you had that Ballpark E-Guides has uncovered, you will learn a few things that you didn’t know about.
So I get it if you’re upset that others will know something you didn’t want them to know. Just remember that the knowledge won’t be as widespread as you think.
And hopefully, if I’ve done my job, you’ll have a better alternative!
See you at the yard,