Originally Posted by TaylorStSox
We can all talk in circles until we're blue in the face, but what this really comes down to is attracting the casual fan. The Sox dropped the ball on that 20 years ago when they decided to rebuild the park in Bridgeport and not the South Loop or Near West Side. They should have marketed against the Cubs by promoting night games vs day games in a modern ballpark with the skyline as the back drop. They could have tied it in the success of the Bulls and Blackhawks (present).
The only place to go from here is to market the team to families based on affordability vs. other forms of entertainment. That will probably only help marginally. Hell, build a water park in one of the parking lots. That will get the kids back out.
I want to say that it was Harold Washington who told the Sox that the city would accept only the Bridgeport location for a new Sox stadium. That's my recollection - that it wasn't the Sox decision to stay at their current location.
Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm not certain I'm remembering this correctly.
Originally Posted by kittle42
Amen. Location of park v. Wrigley was horrible idea given the lack of neighborhood entertainment and the perception that the neighborhood sucks.
It was even worse during the 1st decade of New Comiskey's existence. To many people in Chicago, all they knew was that the new park faced crime-ridden housing projects. The area has gotten much better since then, but there's still essentially nothing around the park to attract the casual fan.
I have to wonder, though, if any location for the new Sox Park would have been good enough. Even if they had built the park in the South Loop, people would still say that "it's not Wrigleyville" and "there's not that much right around the park to draw casual fans".
....I don't know....there's no denying that Wrigleyville is a huge draw for the Cubs and that the Sox would benefit if they had their own Wrigleyville-type area around their park. I just think maybe this issue is a bit overrated as the core of this team's problems. After 2005, people didn't seem to be complaining about the neighborhood or how "ugly" the park is. I just think that if the Sox hadn't spent the last 23 years with only 2 stretches where they were considered legitimate playoff/pennant contenders (1991-94 and 2004-2006) - and each of those with only 1 playoff appearance, the ballpark location wouldn't be as big of an issue.