Sunday, June 17, 2012
Wrigley Field grass not ready for its closeup
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs' dirty little secret about their unattractive outfield grass went national this weekend with games shown by FOX on Saturday and ESPN on Sunday.
While the grass in many city parks around Chicago have gone brown because of a lack of rain, the same problem at Wrigley Field actually stems from a pair of concerts held during the previous road trip.
Both Roger Waters and Brad Paisley played shows in Wrigley Field with the field covered not only for the stage area but for the field seating as well.
When the Cubs returned home from Minnesota on Sunday night, manager Dale Sveum said he got a look at the field and deemed it completely unplayable. By the start of the homestand Tuesday, the playing surface was in much better shape thanks to some quick work by the grounds crew.
Some areas of the outfield were painted green, some sod had been replaced in right field and other areas remain discolored, most notably a lane that cuts from foul pole to foul pole in front of where the stage had been placed.
The Cubs traveling party was actually witness to similar damage this month at AT&T Park in San Francisco from the same Roger Waters “The Wall Live” show and the team was able to take some precautions to avoid even further damage at Wrigley.
The Red Sox are now trying to learn from the Cubs’ situation since the same show will be at Fenway Park on July 1. The show moves to Yankee Stadium for a pair of shows July 6 and 7.
The damaged areas will be replaced with sod when the team heads out on a six-game road trip beginning Monday and according to a team spokesperson the team and not the concert promoter will have to pay for the damage. The Cubs will play three games across town at U.S. Cellular Field to start the trip then have three more at Arizona after an off day.