Wrigley Field, also known as the Friendly Confines, is the home ground of the Chicago Cubs, and has been since 1916.
One of the most iconic parks in the history of Major League Baseball, in fact, in the history of sports in the United States, since it was built in 1914, Wrigley Field has been home to many great sport franchises, witnessing great victories, and hosting some of the greatest players in different sports.
Here are some important things to note about the famed stadium:
- Wrigley Field is located in what is primarily a residential area. As a result, it has no parking lots, and the pitch can be seen from neighbouring rooftops. It is also known for being the last MLB park to have light installations that allow for play in the night.
- The Field was first opened as Weeghman Park in 1914, named after the then owner of the Chicago Whales, Charles Weeghman. Weeghman hired some architects to design the park in 1914, and it cost close to $250,000 to build at that time (approximately $6 million in 2016 dollars). It reportedly took just 2 months to complete the construction and it seated 14,000 people at the time.
- Chicago Whales was a team in the then Federal League, and in their first year at Weeghman Park, the were 2nd in the Federal league. They won the championship the next year, but that same year, the Federal League was disbanded.
- Wrigley Field is the only stadium that hosted the Federal League and is still in use.
- On April 20, 1916, the Chicago Cubs played for the first time at Wrigley Field, it was still named Weeghman Park then.
- Weeghman Park was renamed Cubs Park in 1920, and it retained that name till 1926. It was consequently named Wrigley Field in 1927, after the chewing gum tycoon, William Wrigley Jr., who acquired complete control of the Chicago Cubs in 1921.
- Wrigley Field is the oldest ground in the National League and as of 2017, it seats 41,649 people. It is the second oldest park in the Major League after Fenway Park (opened in 1912).
- Until September 2003, when the Giants Stadium in New Jersey (at the time, it was occupied by the New York Giants and the New York Jets) broke its record, Wrigley Field held the National Football League record for most regular season games hosted in a year. Wrigley Field hosted 365 games when it was home to 2 NFL teams: The Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears.
- In over 100 years of operation, Wrigley Field has been host to NFL games, college football games, boxing bouts, ice hockey games, soccer games, rodeo, movie nights, the circus, rock concerts, opera, the Harlem Globetrotters etc.
MAJOR WRIGLEY FIELD TENANTS
Apart from the Chicago Cubs who have been at Wrigley Field since 1916, other big teams have at one time occupied the park and held home games there. Here are the major teams that have been hosted at Wrigley Field;
The Chicago Bears
National Football League team, the Chicago Bears played their home games at Wrigley Field for 50 seasons (from 1921-1970) before moving to Soldier Field. The Bears’ longevity at Wrigley Field was an NFL record and it was only surpassed in 2007, when the Green Bay Packers exceeded their 50th season in Lambeau Field, where they were hosted since the late 1950s. In their history, the Chicago Bears have won more NFL championships than every other team but the Packers, and they won them all, save one, at Wrigley Field. The only championship they won away from Wrigley Field was their only Super Bowl title.
After 50 years, the Bears had to move away from Wrigley Field because of the AFL-NFL merger and the resulting mandate that required every NFL stadium to have a capacity of not less than 50,000. Wrigley Field hosted 5 NFL championship games (1933, 1937, 1941, 1943 and 1963).
The Chicago Sting
Wrigley Field played home to NASL (North American Soccer League) team, the Chicago String in the late 1970s and the early 80s. at that time, the String’s home games were shared between Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park.
FAMOUS CONCERTS HELD AT WRIGLEY FIELD
- The fastest concert to sell out Wrigley Field was in July 2013. Famous band, Pearl Jam performed, and the concert was halted for over 2 hours because of a lightning threat.
- During his Night Train Tour in 2013, Jason Aldean, performed at Wrigley. Kelly Clarkson, Thomas Rhett, and Jake Owen also performed on the night, and the show was completely sold-out.
- Lady Gaga, the first woman to headline a show at Wrigley Field held her concert at the famous stadium in 2017.