Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Tribune Details Two Phase Plan, Bunker Suites, 2017 Completion Date on Majority of Wrigley

Wrigley-71014The Chicago Tribune acquired documents with additional details of the Cubs’ plan to expand, restore and renovate Wrigley Field. The report indicates the team has divided the project in two phases that includes bunker suites being built near the Cubs dugout and along the third baseline.

The expansion and restoration of Wrigley Field is scheduled to begin this fall, after the season, with the left field video board, expansion of the bleachers and installation of interior signs being the first priority. Those additions would start providing necessary revenue for the team and the project. The construction of the Cubs new clubhouse is also scheduled to begin this fall.

According to the report, a majority of the work to Wrigley Field will be done by Opening Day 2017, but work will continue during the 2017 off-season and the team is anticipating completion of the entire project, including the surrounding areas, by Opening Day 2018.

According to the reports from the Tribune, along with the graphics supplied online, the Cubs plan on splitting the Wrigley Field project in two phases, beginning after the team wraps up their home schedule this season that will take a minimum of four off-seasons to complete.

The Tribune pointed to the documents submitted by the team to the city saying “most of its stadium related upgrades” will be completed by Opening Day of 2017.

The Tribune provided details of the Cubs plan that had not been previously reported.

  • Some of the ramps leading to the terrace and upper levels will be redesigned with more than half of the ramps replaced by stairs
  • Renovation of the Caretaker’s Cottage
  • Increase the size of the LED boards down the right and left field lines on the upper deck
  • Signage on the grandstand façade was revised based on input from the National Park Service. According to the report, the Cubs have been working with the agency in order to “earn a spot on the coveted National Register of Historic Places and receive federal tax credits. The historic preservation tax credit is equal to 20 percent of qualifying rehabilitation costs.” The Red Sox “received $40 million in federal tax credits toward the $285 million upgrade of Fenway Park.”
Phase One: 2014-2015

The first phase of the Wrigley project includes the following:

  1. Wrigley - Phase 1Proposed Waveland and Sheffield Bleacher expansions and façade
  2. Field Lighting – Two light poles added, one in left field and one in right
  3. Outfield Brick Wall and Ivy – Repair to the outfield wall, removal of the ivy, rebuilding the wall and replacing the ivy
  4. Bleacher Entrance and Outfield Bleacher Deck at the Bleacher Gate – Moves bleacher gate approximately six feet toward Waveland and Sheffield.
  5. Interior Signage, Upper Level – New LED sign and boards added on the upper level of the interior bowl
  • Elevators in Various Areas – About 10 added to Wrigley to access the Upper Levels
  • Suites – Three bunker suites added below the stands near the Cubs dugout and down the third baseline. The bunker suites will not have a view of the field, but will lead to seating areas. Cubs have not said how the suites will be used.
  • Caretaker’s Cottage – Renovating the historic building to replicate its original appearance
  • Outfield Signage – Installation of signs in the outfield, including the video board in left field, the see-through sign in right field and the proposed LED board for right field. The three main outfield signs would be installed prior to Opening Day 2015, the other outfield signs would be installed as the advertising space is sold
  • Wrigley Foundation and Steel – Upgraded to meet current Chicago building codes
Phase Two: 2015-2016
  1. Wrigley - Phase 2Western Gate
  2. Relocation of Bullpens
  3. Additional Seating in Current Bullpen Locations
  4. Visitor’s Clubhouse – A new clubhouse on the club level, was originally planned for second level
  5. New Service Entrance on Clark Street
  6. Ticket Windows and Exhaust Venting on Clark Street and Gate F
  • Ramps – Some ramps in various areas replaced with stairs. New upper level concourse that would connect new open-air concession areas between the dormers along the roofline
  • Suites – Three bunker suites added below the stands near the Cubs dugout and down the third baseline. The bunker suites will not have a view of the field, but will lead to seating areas. Cubs have not said how the suites will be used.
  • Caretaker’s Cottage – Renovating the historic building to replicate its original appearance
  • Outfield Signage – Installation of signs in the outfield, including the video board in left field, the see-through sign in right field and the proposed LED board for right field. The three main outfield signs would be installed prior to Opening Day 2015, the other outfield signs would be installed as the advertising space is sold
  • Wrigley Foundation and Steel – Upgraded to meet current Chicago building codes

The completion dates for the phases are estimate and could change based on construction delays and the ongoing negotiations between the team and Wrigleyville Rooftop Association. The Cubs and rooftops are still discussing ways in which to find a common ground and avoid legal action as the Mayor requested last month.

Lakeview Community Park School Street Playlot

Tom Ricketts, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Tom Tunney were at the ground breaking ceremony Sunday for the School Street Playlot.

“The Chicago Cubs are committed to giving back to the community by being a good neighbor. We believe being a part of the fabric of Chicago is an important part of our identity as a team. The Cubs have extended a helping hand to hundreds of organizations and causes through hours of volunteer service and significant donations. We are excited to bring this park to the families of the Lakeview area.”

The Cubs donated $1 million to the construction of the playlot according to the release from the team.

Wrigley Field Restoration Updates
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