on the bleachers
By Jimmy Greefield
Published February 9, 2006, 10:18 AM CST
Walk past Wrigley Field at the corner of Sheffield and
Waveland avenues and it's clear there's still cement
to be poured and brick walls to be built before the
$13.5 million bleacher expansion project is completed.
But in a news conference at the Friendly Confines on
Wednesday, Cubs vice president of operations Marc McGuire
said the project will, indeed, be completed in time
for the April 7 home opener.
What else did we learn on Wednesday besides the project
being on schedule?
So $13.5 million, eh? That's a lot of money just
to put in a few seats, isn't it?
Well, with 1,800 new seats, and 145,000 extra bleacher
tickets sold per year at an average of around $40 per
ticket, that's nearly $6 million in added revenue each
season if they sell out the bleachers. And the Cubs
always sell out the bleachers.
Fair enough. So what will be the biggest change?
Probably the addition of a walkway that snakes around
the back of the bleachers from one foul pole to the
Great, then there will be more room to watch the
game while standing behind the bleacher seats.
Actually, there won't. The field will not be visible
from the walkway except in the far left field corner.
I heard the Cubs are putting some kind of window
in the outfield wall so some fans can watch the game
from the street.
Sorry, but that's not the case. On non-game days
there will be a ground-level view of the field through
the right field wall that makes the field visible. But
it likely won't be available on game days. McGuire explained
it this way: "Frankly, we're not believing that the
person on the sidewalk who hasn't bought a ticket is
entitled to any view."
I've also heard that I'll be able to exit the bleachers
and go into the grandstand area. True?
Yes, that one's true. But because most of the bleachers
are still unreserved seating, fans with grandstand tickets
won't be able to get into the bleachers.
Most of the bleachers are unreserved? I thought all
All the seating will be unreserved and on traditional
benches except for approximately 250 bleacher box seats
in the right field corner. Those will cost $60 and go
on sale in mid-March along with the dugout and bullpen
Is a restaurant really being built into the center
Actually, the Cubs are building what is essentially
a bleacher version of a skybox. It will hold between
75-100 people and be sold to single groups on a game-by-game
basis. They also intend to use it for private events
on non-game days.
Will there still be a non-drinking area in the bleachers?
Yes and no. Yes, there will still be about 100 seats
in a non-drinking area but it has been moved so that
it's now outside the bleachers and now rests on the
foul side of the left-field foul pole.
Will there by any wheelchair seating areas?
Yes, two of them. One above the batter's eye and
the other in right field near the foul pole.
Will there be added restrooms?
Yes, there will be portable bathrooms on the new
walkway and additional men's and women's restrooms are
also being built.
Will the rooftops still be visible?
It looks that way, but it also appears some rooftops
might have a hard time seeing the field. We just won't
know until the project is completed.
Will smoking be allowed anywhere in the bleachers?
Smoking has been prohibited in the seating area
for several years. The team still is studying the city's
new no-smoking ordinance to see how it affects the open-air
areas in the bleachers and the roof-deck patio facing
the corner of Clark and Addison.