We end 2017 with a countdown of the 10 biggest stories of the year on Ballpark Digest, as chosen by editors and partially based on page views. Today, #6: The latest renovations to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.
The modernization of Wrigley Field continued in 2017. In their latest round of renovations, the Chicago Cubs addressed a variety of areas of the fan experience, and laid the groundwork for additional improvements in 2018.
Work has been unfolding over the last several years to improve Wrigley Field, and that continued with some key upgrades that were completed prior to the 2017 season. One of the most noticeable areas that was affected was seating, as the Cubs upgraded the seats behind home plate. In addition, the team added more seats down the foul lines by removing the bullpens from foul territory and relocating them to an area under the bleachers.
Shifting the bullpens to a new location marked the end of a long tradition at Wrigley Field, but it did position the ballpark to be more suited for hosting football. The Cubs have made it a goal to stage more football at the ballpark, and this year confirmed plans to host a Northwestern game in 2020 and expressed desire to eventually be the site a bowl game.
Outside of Wrigley Field, the Cubs unveiled The Park at Wrigley, providing Wrigleyville with a new year-round gathering space. There were some changes to The Park at Wrigley experience along the way, with some new bars opening in the development during the season.
While the renovations that took place in 2017 were notable in their own right, the Cubs have some major changes on tap for 2018. The upgrades completed in time for next season will spruce up the premium spaces at Wrigley Field, as the American Airlines 1914 Club will highlight the latest changes. Furthermore, the Cubs will introduce some new premium spaces–including the W Club, Maker’s Mark Barrel Room, and Catalina Club (shown below)–while renovating their existing suites.
Certainly, the Cubs took steps in 2017 to continue their effort to bring a more modern look and feel to one of baseball’s classic ballparks. Along with creating immediate change, however, the Wrigley Field renovations of 2017 reflected the approach the Cubs will take going forward as they fine tune their ballpark experience.
Rendering courtesy Chicago Cubs.
Previously in our Top Ten Stories of 2017 List: