Tradition. Beauty. Charm.
“Beautiful Wrigley Field” is what fans and broadcasters called the Friendly Confines when it was just over 20 years old. After new bleachers, a manually operated scoreboard and an attractive brick wall with hand-planted ivy were installed in 1937, there was no more magnificent site in baseball. Seventy five years later, the Ricketts family seeks to preserve the original beauty, charm and traditions of the ballpark, while enhancing the fan experience and ensuring the viability of the ballpark for future generations.
The vision of an expanded and restored Wrigley Field includes improving and ensuring the viability of this extraordinary ballpark for future generations of Cubs fans, while preserving the beauty, charm and historic features fans have come to know and love.
The restoration of Wrigley Field and enhancements to the surrounding area will create more modern amenities for fans, better facilities for players and beautiful new open spaces for visitors and families in the community.
The Plan: An Unprecedented Investment
The Ricketts family will invest $500 million into the project, which will take five off-seasons to complete. The restoration will create approximately 2,100 jobs and generate $1.2 billion in net new revenue to the local economy over the next 30 years, as well as provide benefits to the neighborhood. It will preserve the third largest tourist attraction in the State of Illinois and ensure future generations of Cubs fans can enjoy the great tradition of baseball at Wrigley Field. All without a single penny of direct dollars from existing taxes.
Here’s how those improvements will complement the traditions and enhance the experience of the millions of fans who visit Wrigley Field every year.
Great Ballpark Tradition
The proposed restorations will ensure Wrigley Field remains the best ballpark in America. Open concourses, expanded concession and dining options and better restroom facilities will reduce lines and ensure fans can enjoy more baseball from their seats. Replaced and renovated concrete and steel, new roofs and other structural repairs will keep the Friendly Confines alive and thriving for another generation.
Great Baseball Tradition
From Tinker, Evers, Chance to Phil Cavarretta to Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, the Chicago Cubs have enjoyed a great tradition of baseball talent. The proposed improvements for Wrigley Field will include better clubhouse, strength and conditioning facilities and training and practice areas. The current clubhouse will grow from 1,725 square feet to approximately 3,200 square feet; the clubhouse offices (including manager, coaches, meeting and video space) will increase to approximately 1,500 square feet from 150 square feet; and the medical, strength/conditioning, training and hydrotherapy areas will more than double from 4,560 square feet to approximately 9,700 square feet. These upgraded player facilities and new amenities will put the Cubs in a better position for sustained on-field success.
Great Neighborhood Tradition
A renewed Wrigley Field will help maintain the neighborhood’s great character and enhance the quality of life in the Lakeview community. Neighbors, visitors and fans will have an opportunity to experience the excitement of Wrigley Field in an open, fun and entertaining atmosphere. These additions will help support local businesses and keep Wrigley Field as a thriving contributor to the local economy.
Great Business Tradition
Wrigley Field’s neighborhood location supports local business. Every home game, Cubs fans patronize locally owned bars, restaurants, hotels and stores in unprecedented numbers. A recent report indicated visiting fans spend, on average, $104 per visit, bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars to local businesses during every home game. Making sure Wrigley Field continues to provide a great fan experience is vital to the thriving Lakeview neighborhood.
Tradition of Helping Communities
The Chicago Cubs actively participate in the community and have supported donations of more than $2 million a year to children and families in need. As the project moves forward, this involvement will continue to expand. Partnering with the people of Chicago is important to the Cubs’ mission and efforts to be a good neighbor.
The Chicago Cubs have also enjoyed a strong relationship with the Lakeview community donating $323,000 directly to Lakeview causes in 2012. Since the year 2000, the team has supported more than $2.3 million in grants directly to organizations serving Lakeview.