Just How Big Would That Wrigley Jumbotron Be?

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images (Photo illustration: Mike Bojanowski)

6,000 square feet is the size put forth for a Wrigley Field video board in the Cubs' "framework" released Monday. Look above. That's really, really large. It would be the seventh-biggest video screen in the major leagues.

The Cubs' proposal for renovation (they officially call it "restoration") of Wrigley Field ran to nearly four pages of a news release that was sent out Monday morning.

Naturally, the only thing that people are talking about is the team's desire for a 6,000-square-foot video scoreboard behind the left-field bleachers. I asked Mike to create a picture of what such a board would look like, in perspective, showing exactly how large such a board would be. The photo at the top of this post shows a 40-by-150-foot version of this board. You can see a fullsize version of that photo by clicking on the image below (it will open in a new browser window or tab):

As I have written here many times, I am not opposed to a video board (or Jumbotron, or whatever you want to call it) at Wrigley Field. But this size is way too big. It overwhelms the bleachers, as you can see; the wall in front of the bleachers is 12 feet high and the bleacher structure, at its tallest point, is maybe 30 feet higher than that. A structure like this would be as tall or taller than the left-field bleachers (although it wouldn't be as high as the center-field bleachers or existing scoreboard). Especially at night, it would completely dominate the view from the main seating bowl.

So I think the Cubs will eventually need to scale down this size request; maybe somewhere in the area of 3,000-4,000 square feet would still serve the purpose, while fitting in better with the look and feel of Wrigley Field. For comparison, here's a good view of the video boards at Fenway Park (also click on the image to open a larger version in a new browser window or tab):


Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

As you can see, though the bigger of the two boards (the one in center field) is large, it doesn't overwhelm the entire view and it fits in quite well with its surroundings. According to this chart from Sunday's Tribune, that board is 3,800 square feet. That would seem to be a much better size for Wrigley. Also, remember the Cubs also want to put a "see-through" video board in right field; in the Fenway photo, look at the smaller board to the left of the bigger one. Something along those lines and size would probably work.

As hinted in Tom Ricketts' news conference Monday, the "framework" announced is exactly that, a first step in a process. I doubt the Cubs expect to get 100 percent of what they set out in that document in exactly the way they proposed it. Scaling down the video board request would be one way of getting many more people on board with the whole proposal.

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