The 2022 MLB All-Star Game is set to be played at Dodger Stadium this coming July. It will mark 32 years since the event was last hosted at Wrigley Field in 1990. As of right now, there are no official plans for the Midsummer Classic to be held at The Friendly Confines anytime soon, either. 2023 is already set for Seattle, with 2026 planned to be in Philadelphia. This does leave 2024 and 2025 open for the possibility of the game returning to the North Side. While it’s no surprise the Cubs didn’t host the festivities in for the last three decades, now is the time for that to change.
Back in 1990, stadiums were different – as were facility standards. Most stadiums were either the remaining classic ballparks like Wrigley, Fenway Park, Tiger Stadium, Cleveland Municipal Stadium and Comiskey Park as well as the “cookie-cutter stadiums” which were mostly built in the 60s and 70s. Wrigley had recently added lights in 1988 and extended the 1914-era visitor’s clubhouse that same year, which helped bring the park up to code to host the 1990 All-Star Game.
However, the 90s and 2000s brought massive change to the Major League Baseball ballpark landscape. While Wrigley and Fenway remained, the other classic ballparks and cookie-cutter stadiums would meet their end and a majority of teams built more modern facilities. Compared to the larger new facilities with the latest technology, Wrigley Field was too small and outdated to for such an event.
The 1990 expansion did not change the fact that the visitor’s clubhouse was a broom closet compared to the others in baseball. Even the home clubhouse was way too small by these new standards. That’s not to mention a complete lack of digital/video scoreboards, a small press box and a number of structural concerns that plagued the Friendly Confines, either.
Here’s why the Cubs are now ready to host the Midsummer Classic
Now, though, things are different. The massive renovations have brought state-of-the-art player facilities, an expanded and more modern press box, video boards, additional seating, improved suites, club areas and retail/event space outside the stadium. Wrigley Field is now primed to host an All-Star Game. It would be great for the Cubs, the Lakeview community and the city of Chicago to host a week-long party, celebrating baseball’s best talent.
Imagine a hot summer evening with the wind blowing out during the Home Run Derby. When the Derby was played at Wrigley in 1990, the weather brought a cool breeze in from the lake and few balls were hit out of the stadium. Give Wrigley another chance to host an epic All-Star week. The events leading up to the on-field actitivies have increased over the years and Gallagher Way and Wrigleyville, as a whole, would make it a lot of fun.
There could be some hope that the Cubs get an All-Star Game over the next decade. They now have a case to host it again and MLB would likely love to have it again at the historic ballpark now that it is up to modern standards. Time will tell, but the Cubs deserve it.