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A kid-friendly Wrigley Field?

Mar 12, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

Wrigley Field

I’ve only been to Wrigley Field a couple of times, but it never struck me as a particularly kid-friendly place. But the Cubs are thinking about making some kid-friendly changes:

The Cubs are teaming up with Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management to conduct a survey involving kids’ experiences at Wrigley Field, asking selected fans to help provide the “right opportunities for your kids to connect with the team and grow as the next generation” of fans.

Items included in the survey: “batting cages and radar gun zones, kids apps for smartphones and tablets, a kids section, a new Cubs song and ‘interaction with a mascot.'”

Mascot? Introducing for 2014: Bleachy: an oversized, shirtless dude from Lincoln Park drinking Old Style and shunning his friends from the smaller Midwestern city in which he used to live/Big 10 college he used to attend because they don’t appreciate the cultural opportunities that Chicago offers. He’ll only last a few years, though. After that he’s gonna get married and move to a north suburb that has all the same crap his friends back home have.



  1. dowhatifeellike - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    The most kid-friendly thing any team can do is lower ticket prices for seats close to the action; it doesn’t matter how cheap the nosebleed seats are because kids get bored up there.

  2. danaking - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Wrigley Field is a beautiful place to watch a fame, but it’s not anyone-friendly. I’ve been to ballparks all over the country, and the rudest, surliest ushers anywhere work inside the Friendly Confines. It’s not a Chicago thing. I’ve been to as many games at US Cellular, when it was still Comiskey park, and was always treated very well.

    • Alex K - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      I’ve never had a problem with Wrigley ushers. The worst for me was probably Philly.

      • ireportyoudecide - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        Dodger Stadium is the worst for me, I’ve been to 27 of the 30 stadiums. Last year when I went I had to buy an extra ticket during the game to get to the lower level to take a picture for my ballpark book. Old Shea stadium was pretty bad as well.

      • Alex K - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        I went to dozens of games at Shea and never had any problems. Maybe it was just luck.

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      On point Dana. I have a good friend who lives and dies with each Reds game. He goes to Wrigley every year to catch the Cubs/Reds. The ushers at Wrigley seem to make it their business to let you know who they are…and how terribly wrong you are at several points leading up to the game. At Wrigley…you can’t watch BP at the field level unless you have a ticket in the lower section. Each year…he makes his way down to watch about 2 dude hit then they “usher” him back to his section. He in turn makes it a point of telling them there is nothing “friendly” about those confines.

  3. hojo20 - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    “batting cages and radar gun zones, kids apps for smartphones and tablets,”

    Whatever happened to sitting down and watching the game?

    • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Exactly! Since when did getting to go to a MLB game become a non-kid friendly thing? Expensive, sure…but the kids aren’t paying. The best way to grow fans is to watch baseball…not to distract them will bells and whistles.

      • mybrunoblog - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        MLB games (especially AL) routinely last over 3 hours. Back in the day when games were over in 2 hours it was probably easier to gets kids to sit. Modern day kids who are used to iPads, video games, smart phones, on demand tv etc. get pretty restless after an hour never mind 3 hours. Like it or not that’s the reality. I suspect most parents will agree with me.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Ah yes, let’s foster the inability of the young to focus on a single thing for more than 5 minutes, great idea.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      This will probably make me really unpopular on here, but…Baseball is really wasted on the young. Until kids are old enough to follow a game, I really think you should view it as an age-inappropriate activity. Exposure for younger children really should be limited to watching part of the game on TV with the parents. When they are older, they are ready to go to a ballpark then.

      Ok, fire away now.

      • stlouis1baseball - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        I hear you Philiac. Which is why my (9 and 5) year old girls will be taking in their 1st Cardinals game this Summer. I have been waiting (9) years. It’s time.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        I told my nephew I would take him to his first concert at 13. That’s this year….he will be sorely disappointed, perhaps, when he learns that *I* will be picking the band. :)

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 12, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        histo: Indeed, and I suspect nothing would make them want to go to a ballgame more than telling them they aren’t old enough and will have to wait a couple of years. Seriously!

  4. sawxalicious - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    US Cellular used to have cool ushers, bit they’ve been replaced by Nazis.

    • jwbiii - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      The return of Andy Frain?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      sawx, the Nazis killed millions of people and stole all their possessions, among other crimes. Yes, I know you weren’t serious, but please don’t use that name lightly.

  5. heyblueyoustink - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    My experience with kids at Wrigley? The ones, young ones, that cussed me and a few pals out, unprompted while we were all sharing the urinating troths wearing our teams’ gear.

    It was beautiful, the child telling us to eff off. Felt like home.

    No need for fancy stuff, the kids at Wrigley are allright.

  6. gentbaseball12 - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    If you want to have young kids be Cubs fans, I’d recommend not finishing in 5th place in the division like you have the last three years. The only good news is that the Cubs can’t finish in 6th this year because the Astros have moved to the AL.

    And then, when you actually make the playoffs, try winning an actual honest to goodness playoff game. It’s been damn near a decade since you’ve won one of those. I have a bunch of younger cousins in Chicago who are all White Sox fans, not Cubs fans, based on the Sox winning the 2005 series.

    My recommendation – shoot a member of the Ricketts family out of a cannon at each game – the kids will love that, and the adults will be glad to get rid of the Ricketts family.

    • 18thstreet - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      Everyone’s going to become attached to baseball for a different reason, but winning teams when I was a kid didn’t help me become a Red Sox fan; Dwight Evans did. And the PawSox did.

      I’d suggest, though, as the father of a 4- and 6-year old, that the best way to foster fandom would be to have a minor-league team close by and have the tickets to THAT be affordable. No reason to give away seats at the major league level that the Cubs would be able to sell for $40 a pop.

  7. jlovenotjlo - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    What a great roasting of suburbia.

  8. If the Shoe Fits - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Absoultely nailed it with Bleachy. In 2015, you can introduce his friends, Chugger and Buzzy, the oafish twins who scream nonsensical drunken taunts at the opposing team.

  9. 11thstreetmafia - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Wrigley Field is great, the ushers are fine. I just wish the baseball was better. By the way, I don’t care about your kids, keep them out of the bleachers.

  10. camacho2016 - Mar 12, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    kids love when their teams win – it’s no wonder Wrigley isn’t kid friendly

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