Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Great Debate: Miller Park vs. Wrigley Field

There's no sense in making this a debate but let's do it anyway:

Miller Park vs. Wrigley Field: which stadium is better?

If Wrigley Field didn't have the history that it does, would it even be considered a good field for today's standards? NO it doesn't really compare to today's standards. But, the history of Wrigley and the fans make it a relative topic. The Cubs and Brewers are now the two best teams in the Central so let's take a look at the debate. Note: I am sure I missed some aspects of Wrigley Field so feel free to leave comments and tell me (if you have visited both stadiums) which one in your honest opinion is better...

The case for Wrigley:

You have to love Wrigley Field it is a natural place with a great baseball atmosphere. I went to Wrigley Field when I was a little kid and it was one of the first stadiums that I ever went to. In fact the time I went was when Sammy Sosa hit his 62nd homerun for the second time against the Milwaukee Brewers. I was not overly impressed with the place but I knew the history and it gave me chills just being inside of there. It is a great place to watch a ballgame and I love the ivy on the outfield wall. Being out in the Sun without any roof is the way baseball should be played. The other great thing about Wrigley is it has no bullpen. Relief pitching pitches on the side. Wrigley brings out the inner-baseball child in us because that is how we grew up playing baseball with nothing over our heads and a little room before the foul line to pitch. With the amount of money spent on ballparks these days we have to value a stadium that was built in 1914 and still has the feel of the America's pastime. The history adds another element and pushes Wrigley Field into the forefront of best stadiums in the league.

The case for Miller Park:

Well, simply put, it is a beautiful park. When Milwaukee decided to build another park and tear down County Stadium I was devistated. I had grown up going to games in County Stadium and when you tear down a stadium you lose all history. County Stadium had it's fair share of moments from being in the movie Major League to the Green Bay Packers playing three to four home games a year inside the stadium. I hated that the Yankees built a new stadium let alone when the Brewers did. I have never even been to New York but guys like Micky Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford and so many others played their careers in there and saw several penants. It is all about money now not only with athletes but having the best stadiums. History just isn't that important to some people anymore. Milwaukee fans witnessed not only the Brewers but also the Milwaukee Braves. But enough about County Stadium...

When I first layed eyes on Miller Park in 2001 when it opened I was mesmorized. The County Stadium memories I have I will never forget but when I walked into Miller Park in the first season the hurt of losing County rolled off and for the most part diminished. Miller Park has two easily noticed parts of their park: the retractable roof and the outfield has large panes of glass. The glass allows natural sunlight to come in so the field can have natural grass. Having a retractable roof is starting to be a norm for new fields so there is almost never a delay or cancellation of a game which is great especially for the beginning of a season in the Midwest. They also have a few different LED screens along the wall that show everything from scores to stats to the players who are batting or on deck and so on. In 2005 Sports Illustrated conducted fan surveys and named Miller Park the best ballpark based on value per dollar spent. They have the Bob Uecker seats that cost a dollar and they have kids hot dogs for a buck a piece. The atmosphere is beginning to get better and better with the Brewers starting to become a playoff team but the atmosphere in Wrigley Field is much better with the attendance. But, Miller Park stays very competitive with the luxury box they built on the field that is positioned right next to the bullpen. They also have Bernie who slides down the slide after a homerun and of course fireworks all of which is a crowd pleaser. The one structure I wish they still had was the barrel that was at County Stadium.

There are several other aspects to put into which ballpark is better from the seventh inning stretch: "Take me out to the ballgame" or the Sausage race. Both are two of the greatest traditions in any sport.

What stadium do you think is better? Miller Park or Wrigley Field. It all depends on what you think is more important: the history or the actual stadium.
My pick for best stadium would be Miller Park. Money can buy you the best and I am still amazed every time I walk into Miller Park.

Another Q: What stadium do you consider the best stadium in the world?


  1. Miller Park blows Wrigley Field out of the water! You cannot compare the two fields. Wrigley has history on it's side and that is it. The bleachers are filled with drunk messes and nobody even pays attention to the game. The seating is cramped and they have virtually no scoreboard. Yes, they have more fans because they have a larger city and they are broadcast all over the nation. I do like the old manual scoreboad in center field and the ivy on the wall.

    Miller Park is a great place to watch a baseball game. The seating space is adequate and there are visual distractions during innings to keep you involved in the game. The glass panels and roof open up to create an outdoor atmosphere. The scoreboard is nice and big and I hear that will be upgraded to an LCD screen, similar to what the Braves have, in 2010. The 7th inning is by far the best inning of any ballpark in America. The sausage race is followed by all the fans stretching out and singing "Roll Out The Barrel". State of the art sound and visual effects put this park near the top. The tickets and apparrel are cheaper and the fans in general are nicer. Overall this is a great place to teach a child about the game of baseball.

    Winner: Miller Park

  2. As a die hard Cubs fan it is easy for me to just blindly say Wrigley Field. I have been to Wrigley multiple times, but I have never been to Miler Park. So, I can't directly compare the two.

    But, I will say that I visited Comerica Park over the summer. And, while the trip to Detroit was more than underwhelming, I was blown away by some of the facets that a new ballpark brings to the game. The electronic screens, loud music, and other activites during the game were nice, but I still prefer Wrigley.

    To me, Wrigley just brings more of an overall experience. If your going to make the trip to a Cubs game you can't help but get sucked into the festivities of Wrigleyville. Baseball is played at Wrigley the way it is suppose to be played: old school. The place is filled with tradition. I really feel like I'm apart of something when going to a game in Wrigley.

    For the reason of tradition, I will also go with the 7th Inning Stretch a the better mid-inning break. Once again, I've never seen the sausage race in person, however.

    I wasn't aware of Miller Park being the best deal financial wise. While that is nice I'm still going to take my 6.75 dollars per drink and enjoy a day game at Wrigley.

    However, for the reasons you mentioned I would like to make a visit in the future to Miller Park. Especially if Zambrano throws any more no hitters at "Wrigley North".