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SBJ/February 2 - 8, 2004/Facilities
Aramark plans for new seats at Wrigley Field
Published February 2, 2004
Aramark expects to expand its food operation to include the 200 new dugout seats planned for Wrigley Field after the seats were approved by the Chicago City Council's Landmarks Committee last week.
Chicago Cubs officials are withholding comment on a list of long-delayed capital improvements that would start with the dugout seats until the full council acts Feb. 11 regarding landmark status for certain parts of the 90-year-old ballpark. The city's OK would allow the Cubs to build those premium seats in time for the 2004 season.
Aramark Senior Vice President Michael Thompson said his firm is discussing the issue of providing food service for the new seats. Aramark has the contract for all in-seat service at Wrigley. Levy Restaurants caters to the suites.
A concession stand/lounge for the dugout seats is part of the overall stadium expansion project the Cubs first announced in 2001. Introducing a higher-end menu for the seats, which will be priced up to $250, would depend on additional kitchen space created elsewhere in the ballpark's cramped confines.
"We are literally working with square inches," said Aramark's on-site GM, Kurt Radle. "We are completely maxed out taking care of the existing 38,000 people. I go to other ballparks, see all that square footage and break out in a cold sweat knowing what I could do with that at Wrigley Field."
— Don Muret