Sunday, January 15, 2012

A new scoreboard coming to Wrigley

The biggest news to come out of the Cubs Convention this weekend was not the fact that Kerry Wood was re-signed (and never was), but the fact that the Cubs are going to be replacing the Bleacher Box seats in right field with a new patio deck and a 70 foot wide LED board.

This is quite a stunning turn of events here.

We can only deduce what this is going to actually be from the picture:

It appears, at least from the picture, that the board will contain advertisements and in-game stats.  I would guess that they could put some limited video on it too.

The patio will likely reduce the overall capacity of Wrigley by a few hundred, but should produce more revenue.  The Bleacher Box seats, which were created when the bleachers were expanded in 2006, never sold all that well.  The look of the patio has similarities to the seats that are on top of the Green Monster in Fenway Park and I'd assume the Ricketts family is hoping these seats sell as well as those Green Monster seats.

From the picture, which is obviously just a concept, it looks as if the video board will not be in play and the basket will still remain in place.  Personally, I'd like to see the basket removed and a home run have to be hit over the board itself.

The board will only be about 10 to 15 feet tall, tops, so it is going to be closer to what is already under the center field scoreboard in terms of what it can display than a true video board.

Overall, I like this development and it will be a revenue generator for the Cubs (which is why it is being done).  I'm hoping this doesn't completely extinguish talks about a full video board being put at Wrigley, but this is a step in the right direction.  The location of this board is not the best.  There will be parts of the first base side of the upper deck that will have a hard time seeing the board as well as areas of right field corner...but you are going have a tough time finding a spot inside the ballpark to put a scoreboard that can be seen by everyone.

This is also a very safe renovation to do since will have nothing to do with the mythical renovation of the main grandstand and makes for a very easy revenue increase at the ballpark.

Pretty cool.