CHICAGO -- Season-ticket holders at Wrigley Field have asked for more amenities, and the Cubs have responded by creating four premier experiences, including the American Airlines 1914 Club, which will be ready for the 2018 season.Starting at 2 p.m. CT Tuesday, fans can explore the four clubs at cubspremier.com. The
CHICAGO -- Season-ticket holders at Wrigley Field have asked for more amenities, and the Cubs have responded by creating four premier experiences, including the American Airlines 1914 Club, which will be ready for the 2018 season.
Starting at 2 p.m. CT Tuesday, fans can explore the four clubs at cubspremier.com. The goal, according to senior vice president of sales and marketing Colin Faulkner is to provide a VIP experience, offering seats with prime views, unique food and beverage options and other benefits.
The American Airlines 1914 Club will include 600 seats behind home plate, and it will open in 2018. In '19 and '20, the Cubs will introduce a first-base club, a third-base club and an upper-level club. All of the clubs are part of the ongoing renovation at Wrigley Field, known as the 1060 Project.
Faulkner said the Cubs have done extensive research with their season-ticket holders to determine what they want.
"They've said, 'For what we're paying for this, we want the amenities that go along with similar experiences at other ballparks,'" he said. "It's the same thing with clubs at the United Center or other places. We don't have that today. This is about choice, and there may be some fans who say, 'I really like that and can't wait,' and there may be some fans who say, 'That's not for me, and I want some options.'"
Season-ticket holders who are currently located in the area behind home plate will have first priority to the new club seating, as well as to relocating if they chose. Faulkner said they wanted to give everyone a heads-up prior to when the Cubs send out renewals for next season.
"We know that given the demand of the team now and the demand for the spaces, this will probably garner significant interest from season-ticket holders who aren't in this area or from fans in general," Faulkner said. "We wanted a way to capture that interest in a thoughtful way, so that's why we're launching the premier priority list."
The current season-ticket waiting list for Cubs games at Wrigley Field is about 88,000, and it's free. There is a $500 deposit to be on the American Airlines 1914 Club waiting list.
Fans who join the club will have a dedicated entrance under the Wrigley Field marquee, more comfortable seating and a climate-controlled club, with multiple bars and food offerings. There also will be members-only restrooms located in the club.
"The thing that was important for them, they told us, was, 'When I go to the ballpark, I love it, the view from my seat is awesome, the scoreboard, the ivy, I love that,'" Faulkner said of responses from fans. "[They said], 'But I want a place to go pregame to get something a little better than I can buy on the concourse. If it rains and we're sitting in an hour rain delay, I want a place to hang out for an hour and not have to go across the street.' They said, 'I want to have a good grab-and-go option to take back to my seat, and I want to have a quick restroom to duck into.'
"They told us, they love the baseball and the seats down there are full today. Our goal, based on the feedback from the fans, is to give them more baseball and get them back to their seats fast so they can watch more baseball."
Members of the premier club also will have priority access to postseason and concert tickets.
The Cubs have not finalized the seating capacity of the other three clubs, but the American Airlines 1914 Club will be the largest of the four.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.