David Ross, Jake Arrieta excited to see fans return to Wrigley Field
MESA, Ariz. — Last season, when David Ross made his stroll through Wrigleyville and onto Waveland Avenue as he entered Wrigley Field for a game, he had an uneasy sensation.
“It’s just one of those empty feelings, just because it was,” Ross said. “You got this museum that no one could get in and appreciate, except for the players.”
That “museum” will once again be filled – at 20% capacity to start the season as the City of Chicago announced. That announcement made Ross’ Monday morning.
“You can’t get any better than that,” Ross said. “I’m super excited about that. We’re super grateful for that and can’t wait to get to Wrigley and get the season started with some fans in the stands.”
For Jake Arrieta, he’s excited to return to the Cubs and even more excited for the opportunity to pitch in front of the Wrigley Field faithful.
“We’re very fortunate for that,” Arrieta said. “Looking forward to getting there and playing some real games.
“That’s a stadium that just everybody benefits from seeing fans in the bleachers and being around the park and just enjoying the atmosphere at Wrigley. Even though it’s only 20%, that’s a good start.”
Arrieta mentioned in his introductory press conference that for starting pitchers, the lack of fans in 2020 wasn’t as difficult to get used to, because they could generate that buzz for themselves every fifth day they pitched. But that wasn’t the case for everyday players.
“A starter can kinda get locked in and get in their own zone and make it work,” Arrieta said. “For the position guys that are out there every single day, it is nice to get a little added juice from the fans.”
Ross has seen the impact firsthand in Arizona, where fans are allowed for spring training games. He’s excited for Wrigleyville to return to the vibrant ambiance that fans have come to know and love on game days.
“The atmosphere around Wrigley Field on a day game or just a game in general, I don’t know if there’s anything like it in professional sports,” Ross said. “It is just such a special place to come to and the interactions just between either the bars in the area, out front with big screen and the Gallagher Way area out front there.”