SBD/Closing Bell

Cubs Unveil Newest Wrigley Field Upgrade Plans, With Price At $375M

The Cubs unveiled new images today for Wrigley Field upgrades they say will now cost $375M, an increase of $75M over previous estimates. The team has put a renewed focus on three aspects of revenue generation: constructing hundreds of new seats, five more premium clubs and seven new outfield signs at the 100-year-old facility. A big piece of the project involves relocating the original bullpens down the foul lines to newly protected, climate-controlled spaces underneath a revamped bleacher section. New seats will occupy the old bullpen spaces.

The bleachers were most recently upgraded in '06, but now they will most likely be torn up again to clear space for the relocated bullpens, said Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney. Moving the bullpens is something the Cubs players want, in part because the existing bullpens factor into the field of play and become a safety issue for infielders and outfielders chasing fly balls down the foul lines, Kenney said. Currently, Wrigley Field and AT&T Park are the only MLB parks with bullpens fully visible to the fans.

The newest plan for renovations has nothing to do with the Cubs’ ongoing dispute with the rooftop clubs across the street from the ballpark, Kenney said. “That’s a red herring,” he said. The newest renovation plan is subject to approval at a June 5 meeting of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. Pending approval, the Cubs start construction after the All-Star break on an entertainment plaza outside the ballpark’s main entrance.

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