Chicago Cubs ready for next phase of renovation project, including netting
By Ryan Tadych
Even with the Chicago Cubs poised for another deep postseason run, the team is getting ready for the latest round of offseason renovations.
Chicago Cubs President of Business Operations, Crane Kenney, was on The Bernstein and Goff show on Tuesday and gave 670 AM The Score listeners some insight on what lies ahead for the Friendly Confines.
With the recent news of a young girl taking a line drive to the head, the cry for more netting has been the story of the baseball world. MLB has not officially required additional netting but has recommended that teams add it. The Cubs did add more netting 2016 to seats within 70 feet of the field. This offseason, the netting will be expanded even further.
"“Our goal is to create a safe environment,” Kenney said. “One of the things that will be happening next year is we move the dugouts a little farther down the line as part of our restoration plan, which we’ve talked about for years. The netting will get pulled a little farther toward the foul poles as a result of the dugouts moving. We’ve studied the spray charts for where the balls are heading and obviously, we’ve been pulling the nets further and further along from where they were.”"
Kenney confirmed that the dugouts will be moved 30 feet down the line. Additional netting will now be extended all the way to beginning of the new dugouts and could go even further. The moving of the dugouts was always a part of the original plan. It will be interesting to see if how noticeable that move will be.
Premium seating a major focus
Kenney also spoke on the four new luxury clubs being built. The American Airlines 1914 Club that’s currently under construction will be ready by Opening Day 2018. Located under the seats behind home plate, season tickets will range from $400-$695 per game. That’s just over $56,000 for an entire season.
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The Cubs are also building three more clubs that will open in 2019. The first is the Maker’s Mark Barrel Room. Located just beyond the visitor’s dugout, this club will cost between $395-$495 per game. The price for both those clubs includes taxes, food, soft drinks and liquor. This club will available for 600 people and is already nearing a sell-out.
The “W” Club will be located in the left field corner and tickets will range between $285-$375 per game. That club will not include liquor as part of the price.
Finally, the Cubs will also unveil the Catalina Club, which will be located under the press box behind home plate. Tickets for that club will range between $235-$325.
Other work included this winter
The Cubs have not released full renderings of the other three clubs, but based on their locations, they should include views of the game, unlike the 1914 Club.
The Cubs also stated that all ticket buyers must commit to either two, four or six years for the W Club or three, five or seven years for the other three.
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It does not appear that these clubs will be open to single-game tickets, but I am sure plenty of season ticket holders will sell seats to these clubs on third-party sites like StubHub.
That won’t be the extent of the work in the offseason as work on the hotel across the street will be ongoing as well.