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Chicago's Wrigley Field given US landmark status

(AFP photo)

(AFP)

Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs for over a 100 years, became the second Major League Baseball ballpark to be granted National Historic Landmark status, the owners of the team announced on Thursday.

The Ricketts family bought the team in 2009 and have been asking the federal government to give the north side stadium landmark status since 2013.

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“Wrigley Field is a special place in the hearts of generations of fans,” Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts said. 

“That’s why, from our first day as owners, we committed to preserving Wrigley, which will now take its well-earned place in the lineup of American history and culture as a national treasure.”

Boston’s Fenway Park is the only other MLB stadium with Historic Landmark status from the federal government’s US Department of Interior.

The Ricketts have spent more than $1 billion upgrading the facility since 2014.

The Cubs have called Wrigley home since 1916, when it was still known as Weeghman Park. The name was changed to Wrigley Field in 1926. 

“The historical significance of Wrigley Field is interwoven into our nation’s story,” a spokesman for the Department of Interior said. “A key part of what has become America’s beloved pastime for over a century. 

“It is with great enthusiasm that I designate this iconic national treasure, the site of many legendary events, innovations and traditions in baseball history, as a National Historic Landmark.” 

Over the last century, the ivy-covered Wrigley Field has hosted five World Series, the 1963 NFL Championship game, and the 2009 NHL outdoor game. Elton John, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen have performed concerts there.

Wrigley Field was already on the list of National Register of Historic Places, an honor it received in 1987.

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