CHICAGO – Fans should expect a noticeable change to Wrigley Field’s right field come Opening Day.
President of business operations Crane Kenney revealed the creation of the Budweiser Patio to the section known as Budweiser Bleachers located in the well along the right field foul pole. A 75-foot LED scoreboard also will be added directly above the ivy. The scoreboard likely won’t include replays, Kenney said, but will display pitch count and statistics.
“I think one thing we see and hear from our fans is, if you go to other parks it’ll tell you not only that the pitch was 92 miles per hour but that it was a slider or a fastball,” Kenney said. “People want more information in the park, and with the hand-operated scoreboard and the LED beneath it, this is a chance to get more information to fans.”
The price of the section’s tickets and who can buy them – groups or individuals – are being determined, Kenney said. The changes will reduce capacity and eliminate approximately 100 seats or less as six rows of seating become three rows.
Kenney noticed how empty the right field section was, which in part prompted the change. Additional feedback from fans also indicated a partially obstructed view.
“If you sit in the very center field portion of that section, you’re blocked from seeing the center fielder,” Kenney said. “So we were trying to eliminate the obstruction there and one of the ways to alleviate that is to raise the seats up so you’re not looking over the well.”
The Cubs announced they will introduce dynamic pricing for the bleachers this year. The feature rewards fans who buy tickets early, offering a better deal. The price begins increasing as the number of available tickets decreases. The price of bleacher seats will not go below the season ticket price.
Despite personal seat licenses becoming a hot trend in sports, Kenney said the Cubs have no plans to adopt PSLs.
During a business management panel at Saturday’s Cubs Convention, some fans raised questions about affordability with the current prices of tickets including concerns about the feasibility of taking a family or kids to games. However, Kenney said the Cubs often let the market dictate the prices.