Make no mistake about it. Chicago is a baseball town. Two games, two different teams, two sellouts. The Cubs were the last Major League team to install lights and play more day games than any other two teams combined. This is a Cubs tradition, but how do all these people get a Friday afternoon off from work? This was the youngest crowd I have witnessed. I saw at least four infants (why would you bring them to a game?), numerous large families, 5 or more members and more delightful looking young ladies than I would care to mention. The end result was an average age of about 34 by my count. I hadn't realized how old the patrons at the other parks were until today.
The game featured 8 home runs and 0 instant replays. You see they adhere to the old traditions and as a result information is severely lacking. The out of town scoreboard is the same mechanical one they've had since what, 1916? While this preserves the park's claim to an earlier age, it deprives unknowing fans of information pertinent to the game and to the fan's enjoyment of the game. However, the public address system is 2004 for sure. It is so loud I could feel the cilia (is that a word?) in my ears move. This is auditorially the worst park in baseball. The undercurrent is so overbearing that you cannot hear the crack of the bat hitting the ball. Disconcerting to say the least.
The seats are wider than Fenway's and angled toward the pitcher's mound, an improvement on the Fenway situation. One really negative aspect is that the lines for the rest rooms are unbearable and constant. If you add to this the fact that smoking is ALLOWED in the dull, dark, dank and dreary concession areas, time spent waiting to get into the rest rooms could be hazardous to your health. Just what I always wanted, a hot dog bun that tastes like smoke!
Meanwhile, even with all the above gripes, it is a great place to watch baseball. Scanning the stands I observed a sea of Cubs blue with, at this game, a host of yellow construction hard hats bearing the logo Q101. It seems this game was almost postponed due to concrete chunks falling onto the lower stands from the upper ones. A local radio station capitalized on this by giving away the hard hats.
This is a tired stadium but a great place for baseball. A 10.