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Famous Wrigley Field Marquee Is Back Up

Chicago CubsThe famous Wrigley Field marquee is back up, but already tongues are wagging because the old 1983 LED crawl underneath has been replaced by a modern, spiffy and (gasp!) color videoboard.

It’s good that folks feel invested in their ballparks, and the famous marquee is worthy of reverence, even if it has been changed a lot over the years. The marquee, installed in 1934, was originally green (hard to tell in these black and white photos, of course), and it denoted the home of “The Cubs,” as in this 1935 shot:

Wrigley Field marquee

The color scheme, according to Benjamin Moore, was “Mallard Green,” and the trim was gold, not white. The marquee was repainted in these colors in 2014 in a retro promotion. (The marquee was also painted purple as part of Northwestern’s home football game.)

The marquee shows some changes by 1945:

Wrigley Field

And, of course, in this era the marquee was blue, not green or red. In fact, the marquee was blue through 1964:


Still, all of this change over the years isn’t prevented preservationists from questioning how the Cubs have approached the marquee. There are two parts to the marquee: the actual marquee, and a much newer extension with the antiquated LED crawl and a sponsor area (i.e., the Toyota ad in recent years). The marquee remains the same, but the Cubs don’t expect to activate the color videoboard any time soon, per DNAInfo:

The marquee, which got a facelift in the off-season, now has a new LED video board beneath it, a strip of technology that can feature color, video and graphics that are better then the ones served up by the old black and white video board beneath the marquee,  Cubs spokesman Julian Green said Wednesday.

Those new options, however, won’t be visible on Opening Day, Green said. While it was “prudent” to add the options for down the road, there are currently “no plans” to enable the new features at this time, Green said….

“Taking the marquee down is a huge undertaking, and not something you do every year due to the costs,” Green said. “It was prudent to have the ability to leverage new technology if an opportunity presents itself to do so.”

Don’t worry: the marquee is protected, and it will always be at Wrigley.

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