WRIGLEY FIELD — The Chicago Cubs unveiled plans for four new premier club experiences coming to Wrigley Field in 2018.
The American Airlines 1914 Club — the first of four — is set to begin service by Opening Day 2018 and will be located behind home plate. The three other clubs are expected to open by 2020.
For a $500 deposit, interested fans can join the priority list for an early shot at season tickets with premier club access. While the deposit does not guarantee tickets with club access, those who do end up with new season tickets will be apply to apply the deposit to the ticket purchase.
The clubs offer premium drinks and unique food offerings, as well as other special services and amenities before, during and after the game. Tickets with club access will only be offered in full-season, multi-year agreements.
Access for each club is granted based on nearby seating, and the physical seats will also be replaced with "enhanced, more comfortable seating," the Cubs said.
The American Airlines 1914 Club will offer a VIP experience for fans starting Opening Day 2018. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
The 1914 Club is reserved for approximately 600 seats between the dugouts behind home plate. Current season ticket holders in ballpark areas associated with the premier clubs will get details at least 18 months before the clubs open, the Cubs said.
The Cubs announcement Tuesday was planned to give current season ticket holders enough time to decide whether to keep the premier seats — which will cost more and automatically include club access — or switch to tickets without club access, said Colin Faulkner, Cubs vice president of sales and marketing.
"We want to be really transparent and upfront with the process so they know their choices and options," Faulkner said. "We want to give them as much time as possible to plan."
The Chicago Cubs will offer premiere experiences for fans, starting with the American Airlines 1914 Club for the 2018 season. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
In the next couple weeks, the Cubs will be reaching out to affected season ticket holders individually to lay out their options, giving them two offseasons to decide before the 1914 Club opens, Faulkner said.
Renderings of the 1914 Club depict a lavish design honoring the century of history at Wrigley Field — something few other teams can celebrate, Faulkner said.
"They just can't manufacture that history at other ballparks, because most of them are new. That makes us unique," he said. "We're trying to accentuate things our fans asked for, and they asked for a celebration of our history."
While ticket prices will increase for those with club access, "we'll offer them a much better value than what we're providing to them today," Faulkner said. The tickets will include club access and dedicated vendor service to seats during the game, as well as private restrooms inside the club.
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.
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