Though the area around Wrigley Field is still very much a construction zone, the Chicago Cubs are ready to welcome fans into the Friendly Confines for an April 11 season opener against the Cincinnati Reds.
First off: the iconic and restored Wrigley Field marquee will be back up for Opening Day, the marquee gate will be open, and the team has installed a new Marquee Grill on the Wrigley Field terrace level. Fans may have to avoid some construction on the main concourse as they make their way to their seats, causing some delays.
In fact, this season fans will need to be sure and exhibit a whole lot of patience, as there are many obstacles between a fan and their season. The first delay will be at the gate: The MLB-mandated metal detectors now in place. Yes, they will show down entry to Wrigley Field; no, there’s no avoiding them. The advice from the Cubs — and every other MLB team, for that matter — is to come down to the ballpark early, partake in a malt pop or two, and hit the metal detectors when there are short lines. If you can hear Wayne Messmer from outside the ballpark, you’re probably in for a long wait.
And the Cubs will definitely be ready to accommodate those fans, especially at the Budweiser Bleachers (as shown above in a 2015 photo via flickr.com). A new Budweiser Bleacher Bar is now set up at the entrance at the corner of Sheffield and Waveland avenues, offering beer, cocktails and wine on the main concourse level. Also on tap for those with bleacher seats: five new display cases showcasing Cubs and Wrigley Field history, a replica ivy wall perfect for photo opportunities and additional décor throughout the bleacher concourse.
There will be some new food and drink items, including a Sunday brunch Chicago Dog Bloody Mary (a classic Bloody Mary served with a miniature Vienna Beef Chicago dog in a souvenir mason jar). The Hot Doug’s stand remains in the bleachers (treat yourself to a Barry Foote!), while a new Gilbert’s Grill Cart will be located on the main concourse and offer riffs on three sausage offerings, including a Beef and Cheddar topped with macaroni and cheese.
The old Budweiser Bleacher Suite is now the Fannie May Bleacher Sweet, as the Chicago-based candy company does a little local marketing. The space is being marketed toward corporate or large group gatherings that offers heating and air conditioning, private restrooms, limited parking passes and all-inclusive food and beverage, including the chance to purchase upgraded dessert packages.