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January 2012

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Cubs Announce Changes To Wrigley Field

Written by , Posted in General

During the Cubs Convention Saturday, the team announced a plan to bring to rooftop experience inside Wrigley Field.  The area above the right field corner (formerly the Bleacher Box Seats) will be renovated in the coming months to create the Budweiser Patio.  With a look reminiscent of the seats on top of the Green Monster in Fenway Park, the section will hold roughly 150 fans, with limited rows of elevated seating.  Perhaps the most dramatic part of the renovation is the installation of a giant LED board directly above the right field basket that will display player photographs, expanded stats, and other in-game information.

Here’s ESPN Chicago’s story.  The Cubs expect the new section to be finished in time for Opening Day.

And here’s an official sketch of what the new section will look like.

My take:  Because of the perspective of the drawing, it’s hard to tell what the renovated section will look like on Opening Day.  What is clear is that it will mean the loss of several front row/basket seats, which seems like a waste.  Those are some of the greatest seats in all of baseball, and the Cubs are throwing them away.  It better be a really nice screen.

  • CubbieDude

    Hmmm! You would think they could build this across the street. Or above the centerfield scoreboard.
    Nevertheless, I might like to sit there (for night games).

  • BLPCB

    Don’t care as long as it brings in more dough to the team.

  • Buddy

    Looks good to me.

  • @JJ / Jedi… where on the Budweiser sign were you teo accosted by the security guard? That drawing is pretty out of whack…but that video was sweet

  • I don’t know if I like this. It looks out of place, a scoreboard ‘wall’ on top of the ivy wall. People are suppose to be sitting on top of the ivy, fans at Wrigley are not suppose to be behind an electronic marketing wall. Baseball field, walls, fans sitting on top of walls, that’s how Wrigley goes, not baseball field, walls, another marketing wall then fans. Fans are suppose to be on top of the field, so close that one could interfere with a pop foul ball in the 8th inning of game 6 of the NLCS, that is how Wrigley has been for many years. This look likes a blend of Anaheim Stadium and Fenway Park in Wrigley. I don’t know if I like this.

  • mrbig

    I like the idea of bringing Wrigley into the 21st century, and I also like that they are not tearing down anything important. But I also agree with Doc, I don’t know how they can build this without it looking out of place.

  • Buddy

    I’m curious…What’s your favorite pre-game or post-game bar/restaurant in Wrigleyville?

  • Doc Raker

    mrbig- An electronic scoreboard? Isn’t part of Wrigley’s charm is that you have the original man operated scoreboard? Where do you put an electronic scoreboard in Wrigley were it won’t look out of place? I can see one being placed on top of the Budweiser building, but were inside Wrigley? Maybe behind the corner bleachers seats instead of the chain link fence? I don’t mind progress but this is tough architecturally.

  • Norm

    I believe the current bleacher seats in that area are group outing only. I’ve sat in the bleachers dozens of times and never had access to the seats in the pictured area.
    The manual scoreboard is for all other game scores. According to the article, the LED board is for in-game information, having no impact on the function of the manual board.
    And if the advertisements are an issue because thats not how Wrigley is, take a look at pics of Wrigley in the 20’s-40’s….advertisements all over the outfield.
    If it brings more revenue, bring it on. Winning is more important than Wrigley.

  • Just noticed that the artist has Demp lighting up at 95mph. There is your nostalgia…

  • mrbig

    Doc- I personally think that Wrigley needs alot of overhaul, and possibly even doing something like they did with Yankee Stadium. It seems like its getting dumpier each time we go there, have you ever sat in the infield terrace? It sucks.

  • mrbig

    You have to constantly look around posts, and it is hard to see the scoreboard, so they put in some fuzzy 30 inch tvs. Being able to look at an electronic scoreboard from their would be much nicer.

  • Doc Raker

    What about razing Wrigley and rebuilding a more modern version in the same spot? The Cubs would have to play a season at the Cell but if done right it could be the best option. This is the Capn’s idea.

  • J.T.

    if it drives some of the idiots away that prefer to pay a $70 cover to get in and drink $8 beers, im all for it. most of the people in the bleachers dont have any idea that theres a game going on.

  • Buddy

    I don’t care what they do to Wrigley, as long as Theo reunites the Zack Attack to perform the National Anthem and “Friends Forever” on opening day.

  • chuck

    If this leads to the removal of the manual scoreboard, I will be very unhappy. I love the timeless charm of the old ballpark and things like this make me uneasy. As long as the new electronics are tastefull and not overwhelming, I will be OK with it. This is a slippery slope.

  • chuck

    Chuck looks at Doc’s post and adds his name to “My List”.
    A pox on your house Mr. Raker.
    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your jock.

  • Doc Raker

    I would design the more modern Wrigley with a similar scoreboard, maybe even the same scoreboard. But you can design it with out all those posts for better sight lines, bigger concourse below the grandstands, less housing for vermin. After taking a tour of Wrigley you see what it lacks internally. Neither team has an accessible batting cage during games, the visiting clubhouse is very small, when rosters expand in September the visiting team has to have players share lockers. They could build down and create modern locker rooms and warm up areas, make the sight lines better and design some modern electronics into the park tastefully while leaving the dimensions, ivy, manual scoreboard and bleachers the same.

  • BLPCB

    They can’t tear down the scoreboard, it’s got landmark status. Why not renovate it, keep the retro look, but give it all the modern toys, like a lot of these new stadiums have been doing

  • Mik

    I like the modernization, but instead why not just put up scoreboards in front of the Miller Lite sign in right and in front of the Kenmore/Waveland intersection in left. that way you cut down on blocking views from the rooftops, everyone in the park can see it and it’s probably less expensive then razing/raising the section in right, which could still be turned into a party deck.

  • mrbig

    Doc- I think that razing Wrigley and building a new stadium with modern features while keeping the same scoreboard, bleachers, ivy, and everything else that adds charm to Wrigley is a great idea.

  • Kris

    I am starting to wonder why they aren’t just starting over with a new stadium. That’s not exactly what I want (although it is inevitable at some point). But there’s only so many upgrades you can do before it just isn’t the same Wrigley Field anymore.

    There was a really funny bit on WGN this morning about some of the other “upgrades” that will be included for 2012…$21 beers, the basket will be turned into a urinal so fans don’t have to leave their seats, and the first 10,000 fans on opening day will be given helmets to protect them from falling cement. 🙂

  • John

    What happens to the area for the “disabled fans”?
    More room for the valued “clients”

  • Doc Raker

    A new stadium would be much more friendly for the disabled based on handicap codes for building. I don’t think there were handicap building codes back in 1910, not an expert but I would think.

  • BLPCB

    And where would Ricketts build this new stadium and get the money for it? He can’t renovate Wrigley because the state won’t give him any money, because Pat Quinn and Wrigleyville alderman Tom Tunney are White Sox fans.

  • Eddie Von White

    I am against change for the sake of change, but when change is needed I am totally on board. Wrigley needs some changes. Mr. Big and Doc should be hired as building consultants – they have some good ideas. When we go to Wrigley I seat my entire family in the left field bleachers (“Right field sucks”). Yes, there is a lot of drinking but that is a valuable lesson for my children to see how stupid alcohol can make people. I don’t care for the other seats becasue of the things mentioned above.

  • MJ

    I like it.
    .
    And I can’t believe no one is arguing whether or not these will block the view from the roof top joints on the other side of the street.
    .
    And how would they put this up on the “Budweiser” Building, which is no longer the Budweiser Building anyway, if they don’t own it???