A men's bathroom line at Wrigley Field. (Tribune file photo)
For generations, male Cubs fans have spent the baseball season basking in Wrigley Field’s bleachers, sipping Old Style and awkwardly looking straight ahead while using the men’s rooms’ urinal troughs.
But a survey sent to fans recently asks how eliminating the troughs would impact the “restroom experience and overall Wrigley Field experience.” The answer choices range from “It would greatly improve my experience” to “It would greatly worsen my experience.” The survey also includes queries about concessions, the appeal of the public address announcer and a series of questions about fans’ confidence in the Ricketts family, which purchased the team in 2009 from Tribune Co.
And while a Cubs spokeswoman maintained that “the Cubs do not have any plans to remove the troughs at this time,” the survey’s final question addresses the issue.
Described cheekily as Wrigley Field’s “most iconic feature” by the sports blog Deadspin, the troughs were objects of discussion after the Ricketts family purchased the club. A number of urinals were added last season.
Fans near the ballpark Friday were split on the trough issue, citing everything from hygiene to history.
“I think it would be an improvement,” said Patrick O’Connor, 29, of Albany Park. “It is old school, and the field is old school. But I think people like their privacy when they use the restroom.”
Others say the troughs are better able to handle large amounts of baseball fans quickly, and contribute to Wrigley Field’s character.
“I think they’re disgusting, but they’re part of Wrigley, so I’d like to see them stick around,” said Chris Collins, 27, of Lakeview.
“You’ve got to appreciate the history,” said Wrigleyville resident Aaron Claycomb, 25. “The trough is as part of the park as the ivy walls.”