<
>

Cubs invite fans to "experience exclusivity"

CHICAGO -- Since taking over the Chicago Cubs, the Ricketts family has expressed a strong desire to keep Wrigley Field affordable and family friendly.

“It’s everyone’s house,” Tom Ricketts told ESPNChicago.com at Wrigley Field when the Cubs opened single-game ticket sales in Feb. 2010.

Now, the Cubs are also inviting bigger-spending fans to “experience exclusivity.”

While they haven’t formally announced the pricing of the new exclusive aspects of the Wrigley Field experience, the Cubs have unveiled a pricing scale for the new right field patio, along with a new ultra-premium suite, on their website.

It’s tough to find, but it’s there.

The new Budweiser-sponsored patio in the right field bleachers, which was announced at Cubs Convention last month, is being marketed as “the Wrigleyville rooftop experience inside the ballpark,” and the Cubs are charging rooftop-like prices.

There are four pricing tiers for the section: $125 a ticket (silver), $150 (gold), $190 (platinum) and $250 (marquee). But as of now, fans can’t buy solo tickets. This is aimed solely at large groups, from bachelor parties to corporate outings.

Tickets can be purchased in blocks of 50, 100 or 150 and include food and drinks -- alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Each block of 50 contains 32 seats and 18 standing-room tickets. This is also where the Cubs are debuting a new 70-foot LED board that looks to some like a harbinger to a JumboTron.

The Cubs are focusing extra attention on high-end group sales and have organized their offerings on a page on the website that says, “Experience Exclusivity.”

Last month, the Cubs accidentally posted pricing for the patio section before they decided to make it a group section. Tickets ranged from $31.36/$52.64/$76.16/$87.36/$117.60. The Cubs pulled these prices off the website after a reporter alerted them to their existence.

One new addition to the offerings is the “Legends Suite.” Located on the first base side of the suites level, the suite offers 14 tickets, an “upgraded gourmet menu,” a pregame tour and most importantly, the company of a former Cub, who will autograph a “unique gift.”

The Cubs listed on the website range from Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins to fan favorites such as Dave Otto, Randy Hundley and Doug Glanville.

Of course, this being the Cubs, there is a variable, four-tiered pricing aspect to this suite, depending on which Cub you’re paired with. “Cubs Alumni” pricing ranges from $5,500 to $10,000, while “Cubs Hall of Fame” pricing goes from $7,500 to $12,000.

The Cubs also have the recently renamed Budweiser Bleacher Suite (formerly the Bud Light Batter’s Eye), which still sells all-inclusive tickets between $165 to $295 and the PNC Club of Chicago.

Another change for the Cubs is the availability to rent out the Cubs Trolley, which the team created last season. The decked-out trolley holds as many as 30 people and can be added as a “VIP suite upgrade” for $1,200. That’s a round-trip price of no more than 10 miles each way. The Cubs are also renting it out for weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties and pub crawls.