In a significant development for the renovations at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs are unveiling plans for the 1914 Club.
More ballparks are incorporating all-inclusive club areas, and the Cubs are putting their spin on the trend. Rather than being built into the seating bowl, the 1914 Club lounge will be constructed under sections of seating behind home plate.
Some of the final details–including pricing–remain unresolved at this time, but a few key elements are in place. American Airlines has signed on as a sponsor, making the area’s official name the American Airlines 1914 Club. The Cubs have also put a timeline in place for the project, which will begin after this season and be ready by 2018. At that rate, it will be the first premium area to have resulted from the ongoing renovations.
The size of the club will be 7,200 square feet–the largest of four planned premium areas at Wrigley Field–and will come with a variety of food and drink options. Potential changes also include the installation of new seats behind home plate.
According to the Cubs vice president of sales and marketing Colin Faulkner, the concept resulted from fan feedback. More from the Sporting News:
“We’ve done a ton of research with fans through surveys and focus groups. Our fans told us they wanted to embrace Cubs history and the 1914 name reflects the first year of Wrigley Field. They wanted all-inclusive, grab-and-go concessions and comfortable seats.”
Excavation on the first club space starts after the 2016 season with construction taking place under the club box seats. The project is similar to the process for building the Cubs’ new clubhouse underground that opened in April, Faulkner said.
After the American Airlines 1914 Club opens in 2018, the Cubs will turn their attention to developing the three additional clubs. As it now stands, the Cubs have one premium club, the Assurance Club, that first opened in 2010 as the PNC Club. The all-inclusive club, tied to 70 outdoor seats, is sold out with season-ticket holders paying $320 a game. Apart from the new club projects, the Cubs plan to renovate and expand the ballpark’s 57 suites. All told, the multiple renovations will be completed prior to the 2020 season.
First priority is given to those who currently have season ticket behind home plate, and the Cubs are charging a $500 deposit to anyone who wishes to join the waiting list for the American Airlines 1914 Club.
Rendering courtesy of the Chicago Cubs.