Wrigley Field gets another makeover
New clubs, grandstands, bleacher extension unveiled
At least the Cubs’ construction team is getting the job done.
As the baseball crew continues its tailspin in Milwaukee, the Wrigley Field bosses Saturday unveiled the last major stage of the ballpark’s five-year renovation.
Work on the “1060 project,” named for the stadium’s address, began soon after the 2014 season and has included bleachers expansion, new outfield video boards, an expanded grandstand concourse, the Park at Wrigley (now Gallagher Way), the 1914 club behind home plate and relocation of the bullpens from along the foul lines to under the bleachers.
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new at the second-oldest ballpark in the majors. Wrigley opens to the general public Monday for the Cubs’ 1:20 p.m. home opener against the Pirates.
“We’re on schedule,” Carl Rice, Cubs vice president in charge of the ballpark’s restoration and expansion, said.
1. Expanded upper deck
The upper deck has been extended to include outdoor concourses, roughly four times the size of the old Jim Beam patio, now taken over by the Catalina Club (see below). The new left-field outdoor concourse, overlooking Gallagher Way, will be ready on Monday, Rice said. The right-field concourse (overlooking Addison and Sheffield) will open Monday, but concessions won’t be ready until May 1. Rice also said they have doubled the number of restrooms and concessions.
2. Bleacher expansion
The left-field bleachers have been extended with a new deck that has portable concessions and standing-room area with full views of the field. It accommodates roughly 75 people. Rice said the area for now will be for bleacher ticket holders but could become party space or a club once they get a sense of how it is used.
3. Renovated visitor’s clubhouse
Three seasons after the home team got a new clubhouse, the counterpart on the first-base side has been renovated, roughly doubling the size, Rice said. It long had been considered one of the smallest in the major leagues. There are now 40 lockers for players and a separate locker room for coaches, and the visiting manager’s office now has a window overlooking Addison Street.
4. Catalina Club
The concession area under the press box and the outdoor patio directly behind that have been replaced with the Catalina Club, a new premium suite. Catalina ticket holders have access to the club, the patio and 400 padded upperdeck seats behind home plate. The club’s name comes from a former spring training home of the Cubs from 1921-51 on Santa Catalina Island in California.
5. Maker’s Mark Barrel Room
This is just behind the visitor’s dugout down the first-base line. It will accommodate approximately 250 season ticket holders and offer views (through hidden panels) of the visiting team’s batting tunnels. The bourbonmaker’s imprint is everywhere, including on a chandelier made of liquor bottles. “It has a speak-easy feel,” Rice said.
6. W Club
On the third-base side, this new club will accommodate 250 season ticket holders and offer views of the Cubs’ batting tunnels. “We wanted this to mirror the Wrigley experience,” Rice said. Those with W Club tickets also have access to seats along the left-field line. Part of this space was once the old Cubs clubhouse.
7. Upper-deck catwalk
Before this renovation, a walkway stretched from one side of the upper deck to the other, connected the two sides and passed directly under the press box. It was a busy thoroughfare. But the new Catalina Club has closed that connection. Replacing it is a narrower catwalk behind the club linking the two sides. Expect this to be an issue, as some fans stop to enjoy the view — especially until the right-field upperdeck-concourse concessions open.
Windows frame the view from the new Catalina Club in the upper deck behind home plate Saturday at Wrigley Field. The Cubs’ home opener is at Monday. For more photos from the renovations, go to chicagotribune.com/sports