Wrigley Field gets another makeover

New clubs, grand­stands, bleacher ex­ten­sion un­veiled

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - NCAA TOURNAMENT - By Tim Ban­non tban­[email protected]­bune.com Twit­ter @tim­ban­non

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

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