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Wrigley Field will need some changes before MLB awards the Cubs an All-Star Game

It has to do with ballpark security.

Looking west down Addison Street past Wrigley Field, January 17, 2024
Mike Bojanowski

The Cubs last hosted an All-Star Game at Wrigley Field in 1990. The only current MLB park that previously hosted a Midsummer Classic that’s had a longer hosting drought is the Oakland Coliseum, which last hosted one in 1987 — and I’m pretty sure you can understand why there isn’t going to be another one at that stadium.

There are two current stadiums that have never hosted an All-Star Game. One is Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, and again, the Rays are likely not going to host the Midsummer Classic until they get their stadium situation sorted out. Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas also hasn’t, but this summer’s ASG will be hosted by the Rangers at their new ballpark.

Among the reasons the Cubs haven’t been chosen as an All-Star host, according to this article, are some security issues in the area surrounding the ballpark:

“Active streets around Wrigley Field [are] very difficult, from a security perspective, from the league’s judgment,” Cubs Business Operations Head Crane Kenney said on WBBM-sister station 670 the Score over the weekend. “The league assessed every ballpark for risks for terrorism through an automobile, and we were in one of the bottom rungs there.”

Kenney said the Cubs met with three high-ranking city officials last week and that there is an emerging plan to surround Wrigley with bollards — small posts that could stop dangerous traffic, thereby allowing the streets and Wrigleyville’s bars and restaurants to stay open.

You can see in the photo above, taken earlier today, how close the ballpark is to other buildings in the neighborhood. Here’s another view:

Mike Bojanowski

Bollards would probably have to be placed along all four sides of Wrigley Field, on Clark, Addison, Waveland and Sheffield, before Major League Baseball would sign off on having the Cubs host an All-Star Game again.

After this year, the 2025 game is scheduled to be at Truist Park in Atlanta and the 2026 game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Thus the earliest the Cubs could host the Midsummer Classic would be three years from now.

If the city of Chicago and the Cubs can get these protections in place, perhaps Major League Baseball will select Wrigley Field as the All-Star Game host in 2027.

As always, we await developments. (And thanks to Mike for heading over to the Addison L stop to take these photos on a very cold Chicago day.)