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They’ve changed the ‘NITE GAME’ display on the Wrigley Field scoreboard

And... I’m not sure I like it.

Al Yellon

For decades, since the iconic Wrigley Field scoreboard was constructed over the bleachers in 1937, out-of-town night games have been shown on the board in diagonal fashion. Here are two photos I took at the ballpark in 2019 showing that display:

July 20, 2019
Al Yellon
September 20, 2019
Al Yellon

It’s literally been that way pretty much forever. Here’s a photo of the board from 1963:

May 18, 1963
Photo by: Diamond Images/Getty Images

Incidentally, if you’re wondering why they use “NITE” instead of “NIGHT,” it was (and is) done so that the length of the word would match “GAME” and would fit diagonally on, say, a pair of games as shown in the 1963 or July 2019 photos. Basically, it just looks better that way.

Also note that back in 1963, if a game was rained out, the scoreboard operators put the entire word “RAIN” on the linescore. Today, they’ll simply put “R” at the end of the line where the final score would go. Personally, I like seeing the entire word.

Given all this background, I was quite surprised to see the following configuration (also shown above) when I entered Wrigley Field on Friday:

Al Yellon

Vertical? Uh... this isn’t how it’s done, guys. I mean, it doesn’t look terrible, but... it had been done the other way for more than 80 years.

On Saturday, the scoreboard operators used a bit of both formats:

Al Yellon

Now that just looks strange. Why not just put “NITE” diagonally, since “GAME” was?

(And yes, it’s strictly a coincidence that I took both those photos exactly at 12 noon.)

I grant you, in the grand scheme of all things Cubs, this is not really that important. But for some reason, it bothered me. I’d like to see them go back to the old format. You won’t see “NITE GAME” at all Sunday — as all the games except Cubs/Braves are afternoon games today — nor will you see it for the Cubs’ next home series Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, as the Cubs are scheduled for three night games against the Mets.

But I’m hoping that this coming Friday, when the Cubs host the Brewers at 1:20 p.m. and the rest of the schedule is all at night, that the Wrigley scoreboard operators will go back to the old diagonal “NITE GAME” format.

It just looks better that way.


Showing out-of-town night games on the Wrigley scoreboard...

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    They should go back to the old diagonal format
    (456 votes)
  • 3%
    The new format is okay with me!
    (24 votes)
  • 33%
    Don’t care either way
    (239 votes)
719 votes total Vote Now