I am going to upset many people with this post today but I have been thinking about this for awhile and today's announcement of the Bears finally purchasing the land pictured above of the former Arlington Park Race Track property made this the right time to share my thoughts.
It is time for a change of scenery for not only the Bears but the Cubs too, and toss in the White Sox for good measure.
Soldier Field above left, and Wrigley Field above center, are considered cathedrals to sports by many. Soldier Field was until they landed a space ship inside of it and ruined a perfectly lovely looking stadium and I'll give you Wrigley Field. No question they both hold a ton of history and memories and some good times. The White Sox park,above far right, has no history and nobody cares about it based on the lack of people going to games.
But here is the thing. The Bears won more championships at Wrigley than they did at Soldier Field and the Cubs won one championship in 114 years at Wrigley Field. This is not the kind of tradition we deserve in the third largest market in the USA. As for the White Sox they are on their second version of their home field where they won one in each in nearly 80 years.
It is time for new digs for everyone and with the Bears purchase today and the governor saying the state will not kick in any money to help build it, they are going to need some help paying for this venture. Here is where the two baseball teams can help.
If I'm the McCaskey family I am on the phone to the Rickett's and the Reinsdorf's families and offering them the parcel on the west side where the practice track and stables are located to build a new ballpark for baseball that the Cubs and Sox can share. All for the low price of whatever they come up with to help build both places along with the entertainment facilities that will be going in there too.
Let's not forget that this is going to need new road access, new on and off ramps from 53, and probably new train disembarkation points from the Northwestern train statin. Toss in building shops, restaurants, and hotels here and you are looking at a massive amount of money needed to build this right. The one thing we know for sure is that the McCaskey family is not know for tossing money around so they will need help.
The Rickett's can sell off everything they bought in Wrigleyville for some nice cash and then donate the stadium to the city for a ginormous tax break. Let the city use it for whatever they want to do with it. Same goes for whatever the White Sox are calling their field this year. Now they can build a domed football stadium and a retractable roofed baseball field that both baseball teams can share and the fans have just upgraded their sports viewing opportunity to Vegas, LA, or Atlanta worthy.
Will I miss Wrigley Field, not really. It is a crumbling mess and not what it once was many years ago. In fact inside it doesn't even resemble the old park anymore so we've already crossed that bridge. White Sox park is nice but it is impossible to get there and so nobody goes. They don't sell out during playoffs anymore. As for Soldier Field it stopped being useful long before they ruined it. Parking stinks, traffic stinks, and weather stinks.
I know Chicago sports fans are die hard traditionalists but as a former local now living in a beautiful part of the world, I can tell you that there is sports life outside of these stadiums. Petco in San Diego is fantastic. SoFi in LA is magnificent. The Staple Center in LA is wonderful, and two teams share both LA arenas. So it can be done.
It is time Chicago for changes. History is good but bad history is not.