The Chicago Cubs plan to do a complete renovation of iconic Wrigley Field, impacting residents and students living in the neighborhood and surrounding areas. The Cubs plan to spend roughly $300 million on the renovation that will take over five seasons to complete.
The plans for the renovation will include an expanded concourse with new clubhouse and locker rooms. Also in the works are a replacement for the existing roof, added concessions, new seating, an increase in restrooms by 42 percent, a batting cage under the grandstand and improvements to luxury suites and press boxes.
Another addition to the renovation will be a Sheraton Hotel where the current McDonalds is located on the corner of Addison and Clark streets. A McDonald’s will remain on the property but may be rebuilt to fit the hotel plans.
Junior music student Eddie Rumzis said he “is sort of sad” to see the old stadium get renovated, although he admits that “the facilities are pretty gross” and need remodeling.
There will also be development of the field’s adjacent triangle property which is currently occupied by a temporary ice rink and parking. Plans are for the spot to be transformed into an entertainment and community area. It will feature an open space for farmers markets, outdoor movie screenings and a better ice rink
“As long as no, or a minimum of, public money is used and there is consent from the neighbors, the Cubs can feel free to do whatever they want,” said DePaul professor Michael Conklin. “The city has too many more serious, pressing problems to be taking care of at this point in its history.”
Nick Wilder, a junior journalism student at DePaul, is cautiously optimistic for the renovations. “I’ve always loved the old-fashioned look to Wrigley, but it has been the same stadium my whole life. Part of me is excited to see how it turns out.”
Wrigley Field is under landmark protection, so many of the proposed upgrades to the park will have to be approved by the city.
The renovation is expected to start this fall and since construction work will occur during the off-season, the Cubs will continue to play at the field while development is under way.