Kap's Corner

The Changes That are Coming to Wrigley Field and the Cubs

With the Ricketts family taking over ownership of the Chicago Cubs things are changing throughout the franchise with many of those changes occurring throughout the ball park. The Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan wrote about some of the changes earlier this week but there are many more that are currently underway. Here are some of the changes that are going on at the Friendly Confines:

Did you know that after taking control of the Chicago Cubs, the Ricketts family has doubled the benefits package for Cubs employees including their contribution into the 401K each employee has. In addition, the word employees is no longer used. Instead everyone is referred to as associates. Also, the vendors are receiving a raise in the commissions that they are paid.

The changes going on at Wrigley Field are costing nearly 10 million dollars and are just the start of a major renovation of the park over the next few years. After touring the ball park recently here are the changes that are currently going on at the Friendly Confines: 

1) Major remodeling of the main restrooms for men and women located behind home plate. The number of toilets will greatly increase and the women's restroom is being expanded significantly with one of the ramps that fans use to get to the grandstand being removed.And yes guys, the troughs are staying.

2) The number of TV's in the ball park are being expanded significantly and all of the television sets are being upgraded to flat panel TV's.

3) Sky box suites 1-6 (down the left field line) are being remodeled and turned into a mezzanine club with a naming rights sponsor tied to it (I hear a financial company will be putting their name on it). Seats will be sold on a season ticket basis.

4) The area underneath the right field bleachers will be turned into a party area with one way glass allowing the fans who are renting the area to watch players take batting practice in the existing batting cages.

5) The concrete panels on the outside of the ballpark at the right field entrance are being removed to allow more sunlight into that area of the park and to allow fans going up the ramps a view of downtown Chicago.

6) The food options at the concession stands are being greatly expanded and a "Cubs Hot Dog" is being created ala the famous "Dodger Dog" that is sold in Los Angeles.

7) The players will have a new weight training center that will occupy the area that formerly was the umpires quarters. The umps have been relocated to the first base side of the field. In addition, the Cubs old weight room which is located in the clubhouse is being turned into a players lounge and dining room. The Cubs have also hired a team nutritionist who will be in charge of upgrading the food served in the locker room and monitoring players nutrition both at home and when the team is on the road.

8) The family lounge for players wives and kids is being completely renovated as the old quarters were embarrassingly spartan.

9) The Ricketts family has stressed that they want to make the Cubs experience the best in sports. Much like Disney World being exceptionally clean that is what the Ricketts family is demanding Wrigley Field be kept like.

10) The Cubs will soon announce the hiring of a Chief Hospitality Officer or Director of Game Day Entertainment and that person's job will be to make sure that every aspect of a fan's experience is held to the highest standards of excellence. There will be uniformed "team ambassadors" who will be monitoring every part of the "Cubs Universe" on game day. Whether a fan takes the train, parks their car in a surrounding lot, rides their bicycle, or takes a bus to the area surrounding the stadium there will be Cubs ambassadors monitoring everything that a fan experiences and trouble shooting any problems that are brought to their attention.

11) More availability of autographs for kids who attend games at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are planning a regular, formal program for kids to obtain autographs.

12) Kids will be allowed to run the bases once a month (probably on a Sunday) in a program that is still being finalized.

13) The Ricketts have told their staff that they want Wrigley Field to be the most fan friendly place in all of sports. To that end there have been and will continue to be a series of season ticket holder luncheons designed to allow long time fans a chance to give the Cubs feedback on what needs to be improved off of the playing field.

14) There will be a customized "Wrigley Grass Seed" developed by Scott's that will be available in stores this summer.

More to come.



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Aisle424 said:


The customer service aspect of the business was part that the Tribune did not understand or did not care to understand. That part will be bigger than any cosmetic changes to the ballpark for most fans.

Edelweiss said:

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The Cubs also need to hire a shorter batbay, no more than 5 feet tall. Should he start growing, he should be replaced. Batboys should not be taller than players.

TracyT said:


These upgrades are great. Now what are the Ricketts doing to help the average family attend games?

joeydafish said:

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Very good stuff! Good for the Ricketts. Did I miss the firing of Jim Hendry? Let me read again...no...no, sigh, well it's a start. Maybe the Ricketts want to address the ambiance first so there is an immediate impact for us loyal fans and when they get around to improving the chances of a World Series appearance THEN they will fire Hendry.

George Bliss said:


He has done it again!! The Story told by Kap on Friday Night regarding the Scottie Pippen/Sean Kemp blocked trade. If Kap doesn't follow through with his knowledge of the trade (up front) the Bulls were ready to Trade Pippen for Kemp. It would have been a total disaster. I taped the whole story-- David Kaplan is a compelling sports pro that this city has not seen for decades. He is clearly the very best at what he does. Who knows more about roundball than Kap?? Answer: NO BODY!! I will send you the mp3 file at your request as you have to hear the whole story. I will be pleased to do so. Just email me at geobliss@aol.com

davesime said:

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Now that the new owners have made ticket prices even more out of control for the average family and wow? A new hot dog?? I say who the hell cares Cub fans and we should all be ready to boy cotte this organization until the philosophy of signing free agents over growing your own talent and completely tearing the whole organization down to the ground and start over and then only then can people mines change. Kap? Why not promote the Florida?? Arizona?? Way of running a team? Last time I checked they have both one at least 3 World Series championship? People are more worried about a dam hot dog and where they are going to stand and take a dam pee or a party room out in right field they forget that Jim Henry has put a division play off team on the field and not a world champs team on the field. Hey? Cub fans? Here is one of my biggest pet peeves about the cubs? We can’t trade players because of there dam no trade clause? I say “bs”!!! It is very easy to get rid of big “z” who is one of the biggest lazy “sob” ever to put-on a cub uniform. The left fielder and our third basemen are 2 of the most heartless and lazy players to put-on the Cub uniform and when I hear Kap say? We can’t trade them because there no trade Claus? I say?: do not play them and make them sit on the bench and how long Cub fans do you think it would be before they all ask for a trade? I know we are paying them all of this money and they have to play? “bs” if I ran a businesslike the Cubs do I’d be out of business real quick. Tell “z” and the other 2 clowns see you later and just drop them because your paying them to do nothing so why not just let them go because your still paying them but with some new attitudes just maybe the next crop of over priced free agents will get it. Ron Santoe must cringed when ever he see’s “Z” and the other 2 clowns not giving it all he must want to just reach out an kick there sorry ass back to south America.

Edelweiss said:

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Sometimes silence says more than words we say. So far, Kap has said nothing about Ryan Theriot's pending arbitration. Kap is not afraid of offending the Cubs, so if he thought Theriot would win, he would have been championing his cause on CTL and his blog. He is much more concerned with offending Theriot, who is his best contact with the Cubs, so apparently he thinks that Theriot will lose his case, because he has , so far, avoided the subject. It looks to fans that Kap has gone out of his way to not comment on the pending case.

David Kaplan said:


I have commented on Ryan's pending arbitration case. I've talked about it a number of times on both TV and radio. I find it hard to believe that both sides haven't been able to come to an agreement but business is business. If both sides are so entrenched that they won't move off of their original numbers then this negotiation could get nasty. Split the difference and get a deal done.

Hagsag said:


off the subject but where can I order a 2010 Cubs Media Guide?

David Kaplan said:


I'd call Cubs media relations and see if you can order one before Opening Day.

davesime said:

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Why know talk? about RT.? Kap? you can't have it both ways like telling us the truth about certain players and hammering other players you do not like but when it comes to RT. you are losing all credibility with cub fans?.

joeydafish said:

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Well, we all (most of us?) have jobs to hang onto so it may be a fine line what professionals like Kap and Muskat can get away with saying? Just guessing here but if Kap (and Muskat) had the lucrative contracts most baseball players have they may comment on how average (yet servicable) Theriot is or for that matter how overtated, lucky and plain bad Hendry is.

Alex Quigley said:


I think the Cubs may have missed a few opportunities to make some awesome changes.

Ryno said:

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Douchebag laser canon... brilliant.

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