What’s the Difference?

I was lucky enough to attend my second ever Cubs game at Wrigley Field on Sunday. My friend’s dad received tickets from work and graciously gave them to us to watch the Cubs take on the (unfortunately) surging Dodgers. I was rooting for the Cubs because the Diamondbacks are quickly falling behind the Dodgers and needed some help. It was too bad that the Dodgers were able to hold onto a 1-0 lead to clinch their 14th straight away game victory and the Diamondbacks were shutout for only the fourth time this season by the Red Sox.

After helping Experience Baseball put on an event at U.S. Cellular on July 5, I have had the privilege to tour the surrounding area a number of times. I was able to tour the Wrigleyville area for many hours after the game and came to realize how different it was from the area around U.S. Cellular. From the name of the community alone, one can tell that Wrigleyville is more involved with Wrigley than Bronzeville and South Side are involved with U.S. Cellular. These communities are not called Soxville or even Comiskeytown. The former stadium is incorporated into its community, while the latter seems to be completely separate; the former seems to have a thriving economy, while the latter is struggling; the former radiates out blue and red into the surrounding community, while the latter’s colors stop at the gate.

However, a Cubs game is more expensive, on average, to attend than a White Sox game. Along with game costs, rent and housing costs are also much higher in the Wrigleyville area in comparison to Bronzeville. Using Chicago Apartment Finders rent was $500 more for a one-room apartment in Wrigleyville than in Bronzeville. There is a $1000 difference when speaking about a two- or three-room apartment.

Before and after Cubs games there are a multitude of blue and red throughout the community: coming out of apartments, restaurants, and bars. But the Sox colors are limited to the the stadiums vicinity and people walking to US Cellular from the El-stop. There is no festivity or community aspect around White Sox games. And my question is why is that? Why did two teams in the same city develop in such different ways and what can be done to change that? How can we as fans help develop areas such as Bronzeville to Wrigleyville-like standards without pushing the people who have lived there for generations out of their homes?

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