We’ll see more changes at Wrigley Field for the 2018 season, as the Chicago Cubs updated fans on the latest round of improvements, including the move of dugouts and extended netting, at the team’s fan convention this past weekend.
The 2017 changes to Wrigley Field was one of our big stories of the year, and the Cubs have already unveiled plans for upgraded suites in 2018 and other specialty spots in 2019. 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, in 2019 the Cubs will introduce some new premium spaces–including the W Club, Maker’s Mark Barrel Room, and Catalina Club–while renovating their existing suites.
The biggest change for fans: the dugouts are being moved. Again, this has been announced before, but the specifics were discussed by team officials. From MLB.com:
“By the end of this offseason and next, our initial plan [will be] complete,” said [Cubs chairman Tom] Ricketts, whose family bought the team from Tribune Company in 2009. “That doesn’t mean we’re done, because it’s a 100-year-old ballpark. There will be something else we have to fix after that. But it will be great to have the major construction done a year from now. We’ll get the upper-deck renovation done after the 2018 season, and that will really help the ballpark a lot.”
Ricketts said the dugouts are being moved largely because they needed to be upgraded, but said the move also will allow the team to add some premium seats.
“The dugouts are shifting about 25 or 30 feet,” Ricketts said. “The fact is we had to redo the dugouts. We had to make them better. [They’re] pretty old-school. Doing that gives the players more room, and doing that gives us more seats where we can put the fans closer to the action. It also allows us to build in camera wells. … It’s a win-win-win for everyone.”
The Cubs had already announced plans for extended netting of some sort, but the information provided by the team over the weekend indicates a much more extensive plan than originally anticipated. Instead of running the netting to the inside of the Wrigley Field dugouts, it appears the Cubs will extend them to the far end of the dugouts after examining spray patterns for foul balls at the Friendly Confines.
Over the last several months–particularly in the period since a young girl was severely struck by a foul at Yankee Stadium in September–several Major League Baseball teams have announced plans to extend their protective netting in 2018. Among the clubs that have already unveiled plans to extend protective netting at their ballparks include the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers.
Other changes to Wrigley Field for 2018 include upgraded cell service, with new WiFi service on top for 2019.
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