Renovation work has already fundamentally changed the fan experience at Wrigley Field, and on Tuesday the Chicago Cubs revealed the next step in their grand plan for the venerable stadium.
The team announced a new project called the “1914 Club,” which will give fans access to an area beneath the stadium for food and drinks before and during games. The club is the first of multiple “premier experiences” that the team will announce, and access to the area will be restricted to fans that pay for tickets in the seating area behind home plate.
“We’ve done a lot of research over the past several years – focus groups and surveys – with the fans sitting there in season tickets currently,” Colin Faulkner, senior VP of sales and marketing for the Cubs, told the Chicago Tribune. “They’re paying up to $350 a ticket in that area, and the value we’re providing them right now is not in line with what they expect.”
The playing surface will not be visible from the new club area, but the seating area above it will be refurbished with brand new, more comfortable seats, according to the team. The new club won’t be ready until the 2018 season, but the seating area above it will be prepared at the beginning of the 2017 campaign.
The 1914 Club will be just the first of four new “premier experiences” that the Cubs plan to add to Wrigley Field. New clubs below the seating bowl on the first and third base sides of the ballpark will also be added, as will a new Upper Level Club below the press box. Renovated suites will also be on the docket for the Cubs, according to a website detailing the new projects.
For fans looking to get in on the action, the access comes with a significant price. Fans looking to get on the waiting list for the premier experiences will have to fork over a deposit of $500, according to the website.