Originally Posted by LITTLE NELL
We will never know but me thinks that the Sox would have been a lot better off if the folks in Addison had given the OK to build the new stadium out there.
, it would be exactly the same and, as Brian points out, likely far, far worse. Instead of building a depressing Ball Mall surrounded by parking lots in a dull corner of the city, they would have built a depressing Ball Mall in a dull corner of the suburbs (EDIT - This is not to say I don't like the Cell, because I do... post-renovations
. But let's be honest, when it first opened, the Cell had all the charm of a blank concrete slab). The problem with the park has never been the location, it's been the execution; Sox Park was obsolete within a year of it's opening when Camden Yards ushered in the new era of retro parks and the sea of empty lots around Sox Park has just destroyed the neighborhood it's in. Seriously, Bridgeport is a nice place, there's a lot going on down there that's cool; Maria's is one the best bars in the city, Nana is about as good as any restaurant you'll find on the North Side (save for, maybe the very top of the line), etc. It's just none of that approaches the park because the park has always tried to be absent from it's surroundings. I'm not saying let's get rid of all the lots, I understand that driving is still the only option for a lot of people, but the park was designed in that '70s-style "sprawl is great!" kind of thinking that is just not popular at all any more. It's why suburbs all over the region are focusing more resources on redeveloping their traditional downtown business districts or why '50s-era malls are being retrofitted to be more "walkable." That's just the wave of the future and as long as the Sox continue to buck the trend, they're going to need to play excellent baseball year in and year out to not grapple with attendance numbers.
Originally Posted by Brian26
If the Sox had been playing in Addison for the past 20 years, they'd be about as irrelevant now as the Kane County Cougars.
Case in point, which nobody ever even considers in discussion, what Chicago media would, on a nightly basis in the summer, drive the hell out to Addison to cover the team? It takes ten minutes to get down to the Cell using Canal Street from downtown. The Sox would get less coverage than any of the other teams, and they'd be the red-headed step child of Chicago sports.
The other issue that people seem to diregard is that the population of the City is growing larger, which wasn't the case in the 70s and 80s. Suburban sprawl has come to a grinding halt. Young people want to live in the city or the nearby burbs.
Yes, the South Loop would have been an interesting location and a cool view of the skyline, but whatever. It's water under the bridge. The product on the field is what counts. See 2006 attendance figures.
Pretty much. More than anything else, the transportation network of the whole area really precludes building a pro sports stadium anywhere outside of the city's central area, maybe except for the Bears who only need to fill the park 8 times per year almost exclusively on weekends.