The Cubs in an effort to generate more revenue and seating capacity were able to get the go-ahead to add more seats to the landmark Wrigley Field. The team will be moving the wall forward three feet behind home plate, which will add 56 seats to the club box section of the ballpark. The plan was approved yesterday by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.
Cubs Vice President of Communication and Community Affairs Julian Green said the renovation will allow the team to add additional season tickets from the team’s waiting list. “It will also allow some of our longer tenure season ticket holders to upgrade their seats,” said Green.
Besides the additional seats a portion of the brick wall along third base will be removable for football, soccer or other big sporting events. Wrigley Field ran into the problem of the park’s configuration when it hosted Northwestern and Illinois on November 20, 2010. The restraints of the park forced both teams to play offensively in one direction. The changes will allow the football configuration to go both ways in Wrigley Field. Green says, “We are definitely happy we are able to make alterations that keeps with the historic tradition of the ball park and helps us continue to provide World-Class unique events in Wrigley Field.”
As to the concerns about the distance between home plate and the wall, Green says it is not an issue. ”There are two or three other Major League baseball teams that have the back stop further up then ours,” says Green, “We are not doing anything different or more aggressive than any other major league baseball team in the league.” The height of the wail will remain the same.
The Cubs are continuing their efforts to find ways to allow more revenue streams in this 98-year-old ballpark. Last year the team added a lighted score board on the right field wall. The new construction will be done during the off-season and is expected to be completed by Opening Day next April.