So, About the Lack of a Jumbotron at Wrigley Field

This discussion is apropos of little more than the ongoing efforts to renovate Wrigley Field/reduce various restrictions imposed upon the Cubs by the city. But when I saw the Mariners’ plans for a new jumbotron at Safeco Field, I knew I had to both share it here, and discuss the implications for the Cubs.

From the Seattle Times:

Last week the team began work on what will be the biggest video display in Major League Baseball and one of the largest in professional sports. It’s the centerpiece of the biggest upgrade to the ballpark since it opened in 1999 and a technical marvel that could become a tourist attraction on its own.

At 201.5 feet by 56.7 feet, the display is nearly a block long and wider than the record-holding jumbo display at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It’s ten times the size of the ballpark’s current video screen and has a viewing area of roughly 2,182 42-inch TVs.

Here’s a rendering of what the massive, insane jumbotron will look like:

And it can be reconfigured on the fly to look like a multi-paned, more traditional board:

That thing is nuts. And awesome.

There are so many things about which this makes me curious, vis a vis the Cubs. Could a board that size even be possible at Wrigley Field? I just don’t see how it could be, given the surrounding rooftops, and the structural limitations of the ballpark.

If a board that size was possible at Wrigley Field, would you want it? On the one hand, it’s kind of bad-ass. The detail on replays (heck, we’re used to having no replays at all), the reconfigurability of the board … the tech geek in me is drooling. On the other hand, it’s a bit much, no?

And then there’s the general jumbotron question that always looms – do we want one at Wrigley Field at all? Obviously it would not fit in with the historic feel of the park, but I’d argue that the new LED board fits in just fine (it is considerably smaller and more “embedded” than a jumbotron would be, though). It could be distracting, and gauche. But it could also generating a huge additional chunk of revenue with increased advertising. It would also supply replays, which, I’ll confess, I do miss when I’m at Wrigley.

Thoughts? Reactions? Are you in the pro-jumbotron camp? Anti? If you want a jumbotron, just how jumbo would you like to see?

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

62 responses to “So, About the Lack of a Jumbotron at Wrigley Field”

  1. Kev

    Just my two cents here:

    Some of the photoshop whiz-kids out there should do some different renderings of what Wrigley would look like with a massive jumbotron—either Seattle’s or maybe that giant monstrosity from Dallas.

    That would probably be both horrifying and enjoyable. Get on it, people!

  2. Kevin Pawell

    That thing is obnoxious. I love the huge jumbotrons don’t get me wrong I love the new one at Miller Park, but good lord. If the Cubs ever did this though I think they ould have to have a digital version of the current scoreboard along with everything else that comes with a jumbotron.

  3. CUB5

    Don’t need it and don’t want it. I might be in the minority for Cubs and/or baseball fans in general, but I like actually watching the game. I don’t need a huge jumbotron flashing 5,000 replays (of things I’ve already seen) and commercials at me when I’m trying to watch. I just want scores and some stats. That’s it. Plus at Wrigley it’s already distracting enough with 1/2 the crowd not watching the game. I guess that’s why I take in more games at the Cell lol. Well, that and the price!

  4. DB

    Where can I get me one of those?