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Friday, February 5, 2010
Ricketts giving Wrigley a face-lift

By BRUCE LEVINE

Wrigley Field seats
Do you have a taste for buffalo meat? You'll be able to satisfy that hunger at Wrigley Field.

It’s a very busy time around Clark and Addison as Wrigley Field gets a much-needed face-lift.

A newly renovated home clubhouse is part of the construction going on at the fabled ballpark under the watchful eye of the Ricketts family.

A brand-new players lounge with major-league comfort levels is part of the construction in the area of the clubhouse where the weight room and cardio room once existed. The weight room will be relocated down the hall, where the old umpires locker room once stood. The umps will be sent to what was an old storage area under the first-base box seats, halfway up the visiting team’s clubhouse ramp.

The Cubs also have hired a new nutritionist to help with healthier meals during the 81 home dates. The Cubs play 50 day games in which they serve breakfast, a light lunch and postgame meal. That’s at least a third more than any other team is fed because of the number of day games.

The kitchen area in the clubhouse has been gutted and will have state-of-the-art ovens and refridgeration and seating areas.

The team also is building a mirrored opening on the back end of the right-field wall with the intention of allowing fans outside of the park to watch Cubs players take batting practice under the right-field stands.

The window will be open on Sheffield Ave. as part of a plaza the Cubs are building, which will also access their Sheffield Grill, the restaurant that will be open to the public before and after games. New food at the Grill will include bison beef specialties. That’s correct, it is buffalo, which is raised on the Ricketts’ ranch in Omaha, Neb.

The team also is promising to upgrade other food products.

The team will announce a new marketing campaign that will be introduced next week, focusing on the future while retaining the culture of the past.

As previously reported here, ownership has created a new 80-seat lounge/restaurant in the area where the last six sky boxes were located, going north on the third-base line. The seats will be sold to corporations and people who have been on a waiting list for sky boxes. The area will feature a lounge and food stations. The team is hiring a construction manager to oversee the building of their new triangle building that will cover 400,000 square feet.

The new manager will oversee that construction as well as the construction of the new complex in Mesa, Ariz.

The Cubs hope the triangle building will be up and running by 2014, the 100th anniversary of Wrigley field.

The back of the Cubs’ scoreboard has been refurbished, marking the first time any repairs have been done to the famous board since it was built in 1937.