There is a key part of the renovated Wrigley Field that fans are unlikely to see firsthand.
New work on the historic ballpark debuting this season includes a vastly improved clubhouse and facilities for Cubs players and coaches. The 30,000-square-foot area includes an expanded locker room, strength and conditioning center, training areas, offices and a lounge, as well as a media center, according to the team.
Players will walk through a tunnel from the dugout to the new facilities located outside the ballpark and under the triangle area, which eventually will be home to an open-air plaza and an office building. The area had been the Red and Purple parking lots. The cramped old clubhouse and facilities were about 11,000 square feet, and all were located under the seats near the dugout.
Not all work on player facilities will be done this season. Only one of the Cubs batting tunnels, under the stadium, will be done, and a future 200-seat auditorium the team and officials can use is yet to be completed. The visiting team facilities, along the first-base side, are temporary this year.
This new 30,000-square-foot clubhouse will be the second biggest in baseball (the new Yankee Stadium has the biggest). Amenities include touch-screen ThinkPad computers installed in players’ lockers and a central lounge area in the middle of the circular locker room.