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Wrigley Field: a breakdown of the oldest major league sports venue in Illinois

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July 11, 2022
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Wrigley Field: a breakdown of the oldest major league sports venue in Illinois

Some wines and beautiful people get better with age, while others fade over the years. The same is true of sports venues. Some stadiums and arenas deteriorate and become forlorn after only a couple of decades, while others are still vital and beloved a century after they were built—helped along by occasional renovations. Cubs and Knicks fans are as fond of Wrigley Field and Madison Square Garden, respectively, as they are of their teams.

Vivid Seats determined the oldest major sports venue in every state with at least one top professional league team using data from stadium, arena, league, and news websites. Major sports were defined as all teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLS, and NWSL—pro leagues with teams that play in a total of 145 venues. The average age of these venues is 22.4 years, and only 20 opened in 1990 or earlier.

NBA arenas appear most often on the national list, with nine of the 28 venues hosting men’s basketball teams. The MLB comes in second with eight; the NHL and WNBA venues have six each; the NFL has five; the NWSL has four; and MLS stadiums appear three times.

Venues were chosen based on the original opening date. Renovations were not factored in, except in cases where the original structure was demolished.

Wrigley Field by the numbers

- Year opened: 1914
- City: Chicago
- Capacity: 41,649
- Team: Chicago Cubs (MLB)

Chew on this: Wrigley opened three months before World War I broke out, in 1914. It’s survived through two world wars, two global pandemics, and multiple renovations—not to mention a 108-year drought in the championship fortunes of the Cubs. Because Cubs fans have always loved its “jewel box” design and ivy-covered walls, they kept showing up until the “Cubbies” finally claimed a World Series title in 2016—one year later than the 1989 time-traveling sequel “Back to the Future Part II” had foretold.

Keep reading to see which major league sports venues are the oldest in the country.

Oldest major league sports venues

#1. Fenway Park: opened in 1912 in Boston, Massachusetts
#2. Wrigley Field: opened in 1914 in Chicago, Illinois
#3. Providence Park: opened in 1926 in Portland, Oregon
#4. Lambeau Field: opened in 1957 in Green Bay, Wisconsin
#5. Dodger Stadium: opened in 1962 in Los Angeles, California

This story originally appeared on Vivid Seats and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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