at Wrigley Field?
By Mike Spellman
Daily Herald Sports Writer
Posted Thursday, February 09, 2006
When construction began
on the 1,800-seat bleacher expansion at Wrigley Field
immediately following the 2005 season, Cubs officials
had a simple aim.
Our goal was that
if youre sitting in the grandstand seats and look
out and see the (new bleacher) seats filled with fans,
you will be hard-pressed to notice a difference,
said Mark McGuire, executive vice president of business
Tuesday, McGuire and his
staff held an open house to show the progress. And frankly,
looking at the partially completed work through falling
snow, it was difficult to tell if that will be the case.
Some of the highlights
from McGuires Q&A tour:
The 1,800 new seats
mean 145,000 more people can visit Wrigley each year,
bringing capacity to about 41,000. The $13.5 million
includes more concessions and washrooms.
All except the first
three rows of the juniper bushes in center field will
be replaced by the Batters Eye Lounge,
a 75- to 100-seat enclosed area that McGuire described
as a a group party area, a large mezzanine suite
that will be used for group entertainment. It
will feature tinted glass, angled so that reflections
will not get in the batters eyes.
A walkway (20 feet
at its widest) will extend from both foul poles, but
because of the bleachers it will be difficult to see
the field from it.
About 250 box seats
in right field seats with backs will sell
for $60, compared to $40 for bleacher seats. The right-field
box seats will go on sale about March 15. Wheelchair
seating will be available.
To see the field
from the new knothole along the right-field
sidewalk, plan on doing it when there isnt a game.
Heres how McGuire
described the knothole concept: There will be
two gates. Theres a gate on the street wall, which
is a gate you can see through, and then there will be
some sort of chain-link gate on the outfield wall that
you can see through. In between is a corridor where
fans are allowed to go through that corridor from the
bleachers to the regular grandstand.
In other words, if you
look through the knothole from the sidewalk on game
day, most likely youll see the backside of paying
customers watching the action from the corridor
perhaps through a wind screen.
not believing that the person on the sidewalk who hasnt
brought a ticket is entitled to any view, he said.
Some bricks from
the old exterior wall will be used in the new wall,
which extends 8 feet onto the sidewalks along Waveland
and Sheffield avenues. The plan calls to have ivy growing
on the exterior walls.