WRIGLEY FIELD — The Chicago Cubs are looking to up the luxe for season ticket holders by adding three fancy new ballpark clubs in addition to the club set to open next year.
Three of the four clubs will be underneath seats now behind home plate and the first and third base lines, providing peeks into batting tunnels and an underground experience that complements the prime club box seats.
The fourth club, located on the upper level behind home plate, offers a panoramic view of the ballpark that extends as far as Lake Michigan.
The Cubs also will revamp private suites and create VIP entrances for premier clients near the marquee at Clark and Addison streets. Private entrances also are planned for each club from inside the ballpark.
Renderings of revamped suites at Wrigley Field. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
The VIP entrance to Wrigley Field's four premier clubs [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
Almost one year after the Cubs unveiled plans for the American Airlines 1914 Club, the team is contacting ticket holders who will be impacted and potentially displaced by the three other clubs, which will open several years after the 1914 Club debuts Opening Day 2018.
"That's actually why we're having this conversation today, to make sure our season ticket holders have 18 months to make their decision," said Cale Vennum, vice president of ticket operations.
Over the next few weeks, the Cubs hope to contact each season ticket holder to discuss options "so that if this isn't the right fit for them, we can find something that is," Vennum added.
Access to the premier clubs, cushier ballpark seats and premium food and drink options mean a hike in price for the affected seats, which require multiyear season ticket packages.
With a $500 deposit, interested fans can join a 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 able to apply the deposit to the ticket purchase.
In the year since the 1914 Club was announced, about 1,500 fans have signed up for the priority list for a shot at one of the roughly 1,500 premier club seats. The premier seats — the only ones with access to the four clubs — will make up about 4 percent of the ballpark's 41,159 capacity, and affected season ticket holders will have first dibs on their current seats — for a higher price that automatically includes club access.
The Cubs declined to say how much more expensive the premier club tickets would be for current season ticket holders. The average ticket price for the 1914 Club seats will be $495, with less expensive tickets for the other clubs.
The shake-up could mean a shift in season ticket availability for some 115,000 fans on a waiting list for general season tickets, who typically wait years before getting an offer to buy season tickets.
Either way, Vennum said, there will still be plenty of options for fans at every price point.
"We're not changing the dynamics of who's coming to Wrigley Field," he said. "We knew this was an underserved part of our park, but if you want fun in the sun in the bleachers, we've got that. Affordable tickets in the upper level? We've got that. This is just one offering we didn't have in the past."
The 1914 Club will be the largest and most luxurious of the four premier clubs. With room for about 600 fans, renderings of the 1914 Club depict a lavish design honoring the century of history at Wrigley Field.
Reserved for fans seated between the dugouts behind home plate, the 1914 Club will feature multiple bars with beer, liquor and wine included for ticket holders. Also included are food options from carving stations, ballpark favorites, desserts and grab-and-go snacks for fans on their way to their seats.
The 1914 Club will also be the only one with dedicated vendors serving fans at their seats.
The 1914 Club will open in 2018 and be the largest and most expensive of the four premier clubs. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
Multiple bars will serve alcohol while chefs prepare entrees and snacks at the all-inclusive 1914 Club. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
The 1914 Club will be the first to open in 2018. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
The only club with views of the ballpark will be the Catalina Club, which will be on the upper level behind home plate.
Meant to evoke the breezy summer vibes of the Cubs' former spring training site on California's Catalina Island, the club has retractable glass windows for "the perfect summer day at Wrigley Field, where the wind is blowing through."
The Catalina Club will absorb the current Jim Beam patio behind the press box, adding an outdoor grill and patio area for about 400 premier club ticket holders.
Food highlights will include small plates and grilled dishes, with beer and wines included in ticket packages and liquor available for purchase.
The Catalina Club, located in the upper level behind home plate, is meant to evoke a summery sense of California breezes inspired by the island where the Cubs hosted spring training from the 1920s to the 1950s. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
Fans seated behind third base will have access to the W Club, a sporty area devoted to celebrating the greatest Cubs players over the years.
With large-screen televisions and jersey-numbered tables for about 250 people, the W Club also will have an underground view of the Cubs batting tunnels.
"Get down there before a game, have a meal, and you might see Anthony Rizzo or Kyle Schwarber getting ready for the game," Vennum said.
The W Club will serve food buffet style, with portable options for fans heading to their seats. Craft beers and wine are included in ticket packages, with liquor available for purchase.
The W Club will celebrate the histories of the greatest Cub players, with a plaque at each numbered table describing their achievements. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
The Maker's Mark Barrel Room will be behind first base and offer its own glimpse of the visitor's batting tunnels.
Designed like an old Chicago speakeasy, the Barrel Room will have membership for around 250 people and offer tableside service and carving stations. Food and drinks are included in the ticket package.
The Maker's Mark Barrel Room is meant to resemble an old-school speakeasy and will be located behind first base. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled 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.