The Chicago Cubs announced a new restoration plan for historic Wrigley Field at their fan convention Saturday. The proposed project would be completed over five offseasons, beginning in the fall of 2014 if the team’s ownership can get approval from the city of Chicago.
The project would have an estimated cost of $300 million and would create 2,100 jobs. The proposal states that the project would have an economic impact of $1.2 billion of new revenue for the city and the Cubs, according to the teams study and research. President of business operations Crane Kenney said that the team will not have to play their home games at another venue while the project is being completed. He also said that they are only in the concept stage at this time. The Cubs will need the city's agreement to sign off on the project and funding before work can begin.
New batting cages and clubhouse: This would be the first project undertaken by the team to improve conditions for the players. An underground batting cage would be configured with access to the new clubhouse and dugout.
Expanded concourses in the upper and lower bowls: The renovation would include removing the 98-year-old wooden roof and expanding the area to accommodate new restaurants and clubs for fans.
Telecommunications and upgrades: The plan is to rewire the ballpark and upgrade the entire plumbing system. New wiring will give the Cubs the technical support they need to use all the social media upgrades for fans.
Restoration of the exterior: The team hired a top architect to bring the brick exterior of the park back to its form from 1935. Also, six elevators will be installed in strategic areas of the structure. Two miles of handrails and a quarter mile of concession stands will also be a part of the new construction.
Renovated suites and luxury boxes: The team will expand and enhance the pre-existing 64 suites in the area between the lower boxes and the upper deck without adding any new suites.
LED board: Adding another board in left field similar to the one installed in right field is a consideration. This may also be a precursor to adding a modified digital scoreboard in the future. The scoreboard in center field will not be altered except to have the LED board directly under the scoreboard removed. That LED board was installed in 1983.
Upper deck concession and entertainment: A new area behind the upper deck will be created with extra space for entertainment and concessions after the new steel room is in place. Concession stands will increase by 100 percent. A new fan deck will be placed behind the left field bleachers with a proposed lounge and restaurant attached.