Cubs unveil Budweiser Patio
A dramatically-overhauled roster won't be the only fresh look at Wrigley Field next season.
The Cubs announced plans to reconfigure the right-field bleachers by elevating seating in the newly-constructed Budweiser Patio section. The new design was revealed on Saturday at the team's annual fan convention.
"We're thrilled to expand our partnership with Budweiser and offer our fans an exciting new experience in the right field Budweiser Bleacher section at Wrigley Field," said Wally Hayward, the Cubs' executive vice president of chief sales and marketing officer. "The Budweiser Patio will provide our fans with a rooftop experience inside the ballpark and more baseball content during the game on our new 75-foot LED board."
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The section will hold up to 150 fans and won't require an actual addition to the stadium. Standing room only and seated tickets will come with an all-inclusive food and beverage package.
"We are still formulating the plan as to how the section would be sold and the pricing," said Crane Kenney, the team's president of business operations. "I think it will be a great section for groups because you're going to be able to aggregate seats. What we are finding about our suites and other areas is that people want to circulate. You see it on the rooftops and that's what kind of generated this. We are still working on whether it will be sold to groups or individuals."
Kenney said the Cubs' plan for the Budweiser Patio wasn't inspired by the seats the Boston Red Sox installed on top of Fenway Park's famed Green Monster in 2003.
"No, not at all," Kenney said when asked if the plan was similar to seats on top of the Green Monster. "I get that question asked all the time. Why isn't that section full even though the rest of the bleachers are full? So we've done some research into that as to why, and one of the issues is that there's some obstruction. So if you sit in the very center field section of that section, you're blocked from seeing the center-fielder. So we're trying to alleviate the obstruction there. One of the ways to do that is to raise the seats up. So you're not looking over the well and the way the well cuts in there. So that depression there creates the obstructed view. So the elevation was really generated by trying to avoid obstructed views."
The team expects the renovation to be done in advance of Opening Day 2012.
ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine contributed to this report.