Wrigley Field, located in the Lakeview area of Chicago’s North Side, opened in 1914, and became the home of the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball on April 20, 1916, when the Cubs hosted the Cincinnati Reds. The only Major League venue older than Wrigley Field is Boston’s Fenway Park which opened in 1912. Wrigley is an open-air facility with a natural grass playing surface and a seating capacity of 41,160. See the Wrigley Field seating chart for more information about the seating offered for Cubs home games.
A prominent exterior feature of Wrigley Field is the famous red sign over the main entrance that reads: “Wrigley Field Home of Chicago Cubs.” The stadium did not have lights until 1988, and on August 8 of that year, the Cubs played a night game at Wrigley for the first time when they hosted the Philadelphia Phillies in a game cut short by rain.
One of the things that sets Wrigley Field apart from other Major League stadiums is the ivy-covered brick wall that stretches across the entire outfield. In the beginning of the season, there are no leaves on the ivy vines, but as the season progresses and the weather warms up, the leaves appear and conceal the brick wall. The ivy dates back to 1937 when Bill Veeck, the Cubs’ general manager, decided it might be a good way to enhance the visual appeal of Wrigley Field.
The hand-operated scoreboard that sits above the bleachers in center field also dates back to 1937. The clock that now appears at the top of the scoreboard did not come along until 1941, and the electronic message board that lies under the scoreboard was a 1982 modification. Fans at a Cubs game get a kick out of seeing the scoreboard operators watching the game through open slots for numbers. Fans will notice three flagpoles above the clock. These flagpoles stand for each of the three divisions in the National League–East, West and Central. There is a flag for each of the 16 National League teams, and the arrangement of the flags on each pole reflects the standings of the teams in their respective divisions.
In 2004, the Chicago city council afforded landmark status to the Wrigley Field scoreboard. This means that the scoreboard must remain as it was on the day it received this special recognition. The Cubs, however, were able to find a way to provide more information to the fans than the hand-operated scoreboard would allow. Before the 2012 season, they installed an LED board above the right field wall adjacent to the foul pole. This high-tech addition measures 7.5 feet wide and 75 feet long.
Hot dogs seem to taste better at the ballpark. In Wrigley Field, fans can choose concession stands that offer a variety of tasty and unusual hot dogs. For example, there is The Works Loaded Dogs at section 121 which serves the Taco Dog, Nacho Dog, Frito Dog and Deli Dog. Then, there is Chicago Style Big Dawgs at section 108 for the Footlong Kosher Hot Dog and the Footlong Buffalo Dog.