Tiger fans take over Wrigley

June, 14, 2012
6/14/12
7:21
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive

CHICAGO -- One Chicago Cubs player almost went into a full-blown Lee Elia-style meltdown when describing the Detroit Tiger fans’ dominance of the Friendly Confines over this week’s three-game series.

“Boy it really (stinks) when your busting it in your own park and you only here the other teams fans cheering,” said the Cub who asked not to be identified.

While setting a midweek record for attendance in a three-game set (124,782), the franchise took a hit on Tuesday for having the field ripped up by two weekend concerts. Furthermore, the team’s home-field advantage was minimized with Tiger fans dictating the noise level of the historic park.

“Obviously it is a little strange,” said manager Dale Sveum. “Today it seemed like (there were) quite a bit more (Tiger fans). That is kind of the adage of interleague play, sometimes they will spend a lot of money to take their vacation and come to a landmark stadium.”

Many Cubs’ season-ticket holders sell their prime dates like the Detroit and Boston series hoping to recoup some of their large investment in a last-place team. Cubs’ ticket prices are still in the top 5 of major league teams (averaging $53 per a seat).

It may only get worse over the weekend when the Boston Red Sox bring their entourage to Wrigley.

“That’s part of the game and the reason interleague play has stuck around as long as it has,” Darwin Barney said after the Cubs’ 5-3 loss to the Tigers. “Our fans -- they tried they came out with their ‘let’s go Cubbies’ a few times and it makes it sound like an English Premier (League) game.”

Sveum was unsure if his team was going to have to hear three days of a crowd that favors the visiting team when the Boston series begins on Friday.

“It could happen but our fans might keep their own tickets,” he said. “You hope so anyway. “

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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