The friendly confines of Wrigley Field will turn more modern ahead of both the 2018 and 2019 seasons with a total of four new premium spaces.
To coincide with the start of the 2018 season, the Cubs will open the American Airlines 1914 Club. A year later, the Maker's Mark Barrel Room, W Club and Catalina Club all will open in renovated space of the 103-year-old Wrigley Field. The changes come as part of the club's 1060 Project, a multi-year upgrade of the stadium and surrounding area including the clubhouses and a video board in left-center field.
"Creating new and updated environments while maintaining the history of Wrigley Field and the Cubs brand was very important to us from the start of this project," says Adam Stover, principal at sports architecture firm Populous. "The tailored finishes and modern amenities of these premier clubs will keep Wrigley Field's charm while adding to the hospitality the Cubs brand is known for."
The American Airlines 1914 Club, a tie to the year Wrigley Field opened, will also aesthetically show off that same year, Stover says. "Inspired by Wrigley Field's inaugural year, the American Airlines 1914 Club celebrates the history of the venue through its rich use of architecture and refined materials," he says. "This exclusive club will feature multiple bars and unique culinary offerings with nods to the 1914 era."
A VIP lobby will welcome premium patrons to the ballpark from below the iconic marquee. From there, fans ascend to the 1914 club, located a few steps across the main concourse behind home plate.
Drawing on the history of the speakeasy in Chicago, the Maker's Mark Barrel Room will serve as an all-inclusive food and beverage experience just beyond the visitors' dugout. This in-ground placement offers views of the visitor's batting tunnel under the grandstand. The W Club, under the seats along the third base, will celebrate the past and current Chicago players via memorabilia and a view into the Cubs’ batting tunnel. Each club can house about 250 fans.
In the upper level behind home plate, the Catalina Club, named after the Cubs' former spring training site on Catalina Island, will have both indoor and outdoor areas with views of Wrigley Field and the Chicago skyline. Retractable glass walls allow the space to open or close to the environment. As part of the space, the existing Jim Beam Patio will fold into the 400-person club.
"This is right in line with the vision of the project from the very beginning," says Cale Vennum, the Cubs’ vice president of ticketing. "We want to enhance the fan experience while preserving the history of Wrigley Field. We’re really excited about what these spaces can offer folks."
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.