Changes, improvements begin at Wrigley Field - chicagotribune.com
Changes, improvements begin at Wrigley Field
Cubs are opening up the space underneath right-field bleachers for corporate pregame events and for bleacher fans during game to watch action on flat-screen TVs.
If there indeed are rats roaming the underbelly of Wrigley Field's bleachers, as White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has claimed, they may be mingling with Cubs fans this season.
The Cubs are following the lead of the Red Sox, opening up the space underneath the right-field bleachers for corporate pregame events and for bleacher fans who may want to come down during the game to watch the action on flat-screen TVs.
A pane of one-way glass will separate fans from the right-field batting cage, allowing them to watch batting practice in the area.
A few years ago, the Red Sox added TVs and food stands to the unused area underneath the right-field bleachers at Fenway Park, and it proved to be a big success. The bleacher area is one of several changes in store for Wrigley Field in the first year of the Ricketts era.
Cubs marketing chief Wally Hayward took reporters on a tour of the construction Tuesday and addressed some changes:
Restrooms: The Ricketts family spent much of its opening news conference talking about the need to improve the restrooms and followed up on their promise. There will be a 30 percent increase in capacity, according to stadium manager Carl Rice, along with improvements in the women's restrooms. The men also will have more room, but the look won't change much.
"Don't worry," Hayward said. "The troughs are still there."
Bleachers: Advertising appears to be on its way, though nothing is set in stone. The Cubs did a mock-up signboard in left field over the winter, and though they eventually took it down, they're likely to use that spot for an advertising sign. Hayward said the Cubs still are talking to current and potential sponsors.
"We're looking at options there, and on the on-deck circle as well, which is a high-visibility television shot, with various clients," Hayward said.
The ads would block the Horseshoe Casino rooftop ad on TV shots from home plate.
Scoreboard: The back of the scoreboard is undergoing renovation, but there will be no advertising on it besides the neon "Cubs" sign that has been there for decades.
Outer walls: The rectangular, granite slabs on the sides of the outer walls are being taken down, beginning with right field. Eventually, fencing will be installed. The Cubs are doing it for aesthetic reasons, opening up the park and offering fans inside a view of downtown.
"It really opens up the ballpark to the neighborhood," Hayward said. "I'm not sure whose idea it was to put those up, but I think in the summer when you have the sun coming in, it's really going to brighten up that part of Wrigley Field."
Restaurants/suites: The Sheffield Grill restaurant in the right-field corner will be opened for fans on game days. Previously, the grill was reserved for corporate events, which will be moved under the bleachers.
Tickets are on sale for the yet-to-be-named super suite in the left-field corner, which is selling $24,300-per-seat season tickets in sets of two, four and six. Only 71 tickets will be made available, and the Cubs hope it's a viable alternative for companies that want to entertain a few clients at a time, not 10-15.
"This is really targeting small companies, entrepreneurs that don't have the demand to entertain that many people for 81 games," Hayward said.
The Cubs will announce naming rights soon.
Brick wall: The old brick wall down the left field line is being replaced with new bricks. Hayward said the old bricks eventually will be auctioned off. The height of the wall will remain the same in all areas, gradually rising from the end of the bullpen to the left-field corner.
Cubs fans and Sox fans should check out the ESPN Chicago website, they have a tracker on when Spring Training for the Cubs and Sox begin.
CHICAGO Sports Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Standings, Rumors - ESPN Chicago
Cubs had their MasterCard pre-sale for tickets today. While I had to pay 15% over face value, I am freaking stoked about the seats. Ended up getting dugout box on the Cubs side. Never sat there before and I am so damn excited!
If I forget my camera, I will kill myself on the spot.
High Fives / Like - 1 High Fives, 0 Dislikes
Originally Posted by chicagoan
the jackup sucks big time, but Id rather the Cubs get the jackup than scalpers. Plus, you get seats before they go on sale to the public.
Originally Posted by Chicagoan
Take nice pics
I'm in the virtual waiting room now.
/me crosses fingers
Yeah, well, I got in finally for the game I wanted. Every time I try to do anything, I get an error message that "due to high transaction volumes we are unable to process your request".
Originally Posted by The Benjamin
that completely sucks.
damn overly popular team causing problems for us all
Current sold out games are
Angels - June 19
Brewers - April 12
Cardinals - May 29, July 24
Phillies - July 17
White Sox - June 11,12,13