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Keep Wrigley as the people's park

4/23/2014

CHICAGO -- The marquee, the scoreboard and "the generally uninterrupted sweep and contour of the grandstand and bleachers" aren't going anywhere. They're protected.

The ivy will always grow back, a rite of summer in Chicago like street sweeping tickets, and the beer and hot dogs will always be delivered to your seats by union men.

The grass will be green and plentiful, except after concerts, and the Cubs will always, well, sometimes win.

Wrigley Field, the little ballpark at Clark and Addison, 100 years old and still gorgeous, is here to stay.

But you should swing by and see the old gal for her birthday, because changes are coming.

The dank corridors, the lousy concession stands, the netting holding back concrete, the unused space and the remnants of obvious maintenance to a century-old ballpark, those can go.

The view and the ambience, those will stay.

For better or worse -- mostly better we hope -- the ageless charm of Wrigley Field, which celebrates its 100th "birthday" Wednesday, will give way to progress in the coming seasons, as the organization prepares for a four- to five-year renovation of the Friendly Confines. It should start this offseason.

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