There’s nothing like Opening Day (or Night) to get you excited for the season. The North Siders are coming off a huge offseason, and this was many fans’ first opportunity to see new manager Joe Maddon, prized free-agent lefty Jon Lester, leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler and the rest of the team in person. Plus, the Cubs were the nationally televised, ESPN2 Opening Night affair—the only game on the major league slate—and debuted the new 3,990-square-foot video board in left field. To make things even better, the Cardinals were in town, and it was Lester toeing the slab versus St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright. The house was packed, and it felt like a playoff atmosphere. If you couldn’t be at Wrigley Field Sunday night, Vine Line was there to give you a look at all the Opening Night festivities.
The Chicago Cubs today announced net proceeds from all MLB-authenticated, game-used and autographed Cubs memorabilia sold through Cubs Authentics will be donated to Cubs Charities. These funds will help support Cubs Charities’ mission to harness the passion of Cubs fans to improve the lives of children and families across Chicago.
“Part of the Cubs’ mission is to support our community and be good neighbors. Cubs Charities is very excited to partner with Cubs Authentics to help improve the lives of children and families across Chicago and beyond,” said Connie Falcone, vice president of development for Cubs Charities. “We hope our fans are just as excited to build their collection of authenticated Cubs memorabilia while supporting great causes through Cubs Charities.”
Cubs Authentics, which launched at the beginning of the 2012 season, is the premier outlet for MLB-authenticated Cubs memorabilia, including game-used jerseys and baseballs, autographed items and one-of-a-kind Wrigley Field Collection items.
Fans and collectors interested in supporting Cubs Charities through the purchase of Cubs Authentics memorabilia can find autographed baseballs, bats and jerseys from new and returning players at www.cubs.com/authentics. You can also pre-purchase game-used bases from Opening Night featuring a commemorative base jewel honoring Ernie Banks; bases from the team’s April home series vs. the Cardinals, Padres and Pirates with specialty matchup base jewels; plus a Jackie Robinson Day base jewel from April 15 vs. the Reds.
Shortly after the Cubs opening series vs. the Cardinals, fans will be able to bid online on a variety of rare merchandise collected by Cubs Authentics, including game-used baseballs, bases, bats, jerseys, nameplates and lineup cards. Cubs Authentics will host an online auction with items collected during Spring Training as well, featuring Spring Training locker room nameplates and game-used hats—including green St. Patrick’s Day hats.
The Cubs are just a few days away from kicking off the 2015 season in grand fashion with a nationally televised Opening Night matchup against the division-rival Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The evening will begin with a tribute to late Hall of Famer, “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, who passed away at the age of 83 in January and will also include an on-field performance by local rock group Fall Out Boy.
Here are the other guests and promotions you’ll find at the Friendly Confines during the three-game opening set.
Opening Homestand Recap, April 5-8
Sunday, April 5, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:05 p.m.
- Special tribute: Ernie Banks pregame ceremony, moment of silence and in-game tributes
- Promotions: Commemorative No. 14 pin (all fans); Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano’s (first 30,000 fans)
- Pregame entertainment: Fall Out Boy
- National Anthem: Wayne Messmer; God Bless America: London Lo
- First pitches and seventh-inning stretch: Ernie Banks’ sons, Joey and Jerry Banks
- Broadcast: ESPN2-TV, WBBM Newsradio 780-AM, Cubs.com
Tuesday, April 7, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:05 p.m.
- Promotion: Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Jack Daniel’s (first 30,000 adults age 21-and-older)
- National Anthem: Members of Chicago-based ‘60s band The Buckinghams
- Seventh-inning stretch: Lombard, Illinois-native band Plain White T’s
- Broadcast: WGN-TV, WBBM Newsradio 780-AM, Cubs.com
Wednesday, April 8, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 1:20 p.m.
- First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kristian Bush from Sugarland
- Broadcast: WLS-TV, WBBM Newsradio 780-AM, Cubs.com
- Cubs Charities Bricks and Ivy Ball post-game at Union Station
The 2015 Major League Baseball season will officially kick off at Wrigley Field this Sunday, April 5, at 7:05 p.m., as the Cubs host Opening Night vs. the Cardinals. The Cardinals remain in town for a three-game series through April 8, when the Cubs conclude their opening homestand, then head to Union Station for Cubs Charities’ annual Bricks and Ivy Ball.
The Cubs will begin their season by honoring the late Hall of Famer “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, who passed away at the age of 83 in January. Mr. Banks will be honored with a pregame ceremony Sunday evening and his sons, Joey and Jerry, will throw the game’s ceremonial first pitches and lead the seventh-inning stretch. The team will wear a commemorative No. 14 patch on both its home and away jerseys this season, and the bases used on Opening Night will be adorned with Ernie Banks tribute base jewels. These game-used bases and jerseys will be available for purchase through Cubs Authentics with proceeds benefiting Cubs Charities. Each fan attending Opening Night will receive a commemorative No. 14 pin in his honor as they enter the gates. Fans will see many other tributes paying homage to Mr. Banks’ remarkable life and career throughout the evening.
Fans attending Opening Night at Wrigley Field will want to arrive early following Major League Baseball’s announcement that Chicago-born, award-winning rock band Fall Out Boy will headline MLB Opening Night’s first-ever live musical performance as part of the pregame festivities. Fall Out Boy will perform three songs live on the field, and the band’s platinum hit “Centuries” will be televised live to a national audience on “Baseball Tonight,” airing on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. CST. With Fall Out Boy’s performance taking place pregame, batting practice for both the Cubs and Cardinals will be moved earlier by approximately 30 minutes. Gates at Wrigley Field will open at 4:35 p.m. CST as a result. The first 30,000 fans entering the ballpark will receive a Cubs magnet schedule.
Tickets remain available for the upcoming three-game homestand and Bricks and Ivy Ball at cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).
In an expanded deal between Audi, its Chicagoland & NW Indiana Audi Dealers and the Chicago Cubs, Audi has become the new naming rights partner for the Audi Club at Wrigley Field. The multiyear agreement furthers the Audi brand’s presence as the Official Luxury Vehicle of the Chicago Cubs.
The Audi Club, formerly known as the United Club, is a pre- and postgame gathering place located on the south side of Wrigley Field, just west of Gate D, at the corner of Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue. The club is open for Cubs Season Ticket Holders who have purchased a membership during each home game and will continue to offer a VIP experience while adding special German fare this season. The club offers an array of gourmet a la carte menu items, along with a delicious pregame Chef’s Table featuring specialties from Levy Restaurants. A club membership and ticket to the game are required to enter the Audi Club.
“Audi and our dealers take pride in providing a luxury experience to our customers, so we’re pleased to extend our presence at Wrigley Field in a premier space where members and their guests can feel like VIPs,” said Andrea Santilli, marketing manager for Audi in the Midwest.
The Audi Club naming rights deal expands an existing relationship with the Cubs that had included the former Audi Legends Suite and ongoing presenting partnership of the Season Ticket Holder Lounge at the team’s annual Cubs Convention.
“Our fans and Season Ticket Holders have enjoyed the premier access and experiences provided by Audi throughout our partnership,” said Cubs Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships Allen Hermeling. “We are very pleased to expand that relationship to now include the Audi Club at Wrigley Field.”
Major League Baseball today announced Chicago-born, award-winning rock band Fall Out Boy will headline MLB Opening Night’s first-ever live musical performance as part of the pregame festivities at Wrigley Field on April 5.
Fall Out Boy will perform three songs live on-field for fans before the Cubs host the Cardinals in the first official game of the 2015 MLB season. The band’s platinum hit, “Centuries” will be televised live to a national audience on Baseball Tonight, airing on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. CST, immediately followed by the live broadcast of the Opening Night at 7 p.m. CST.
With Fall Out Boy’s performance taking place pregame, batting practice for both the Cubs and Cardinals will be moved up by approximately 30 minutes. Gates at Wrigley Field will open at 4:35 p.m. CST as a result.
“Wrigley Field has always been a magical place to me. In some ways, I can chart milestones of my life and growing up there—from going to see Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg play, to going with my dad to one of the first night games they ever had there, to the first time I took the ‘EL’ there on my own for a game with my friends,” said Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy’s bassist. “When our band all lived in an apartment together in Roscoe Village, we used to pass out fliers for shows at the Metro after games. It has been a lifetime dream to get the chance to play at Wrigley Field. We are grateful to MLB for the opportunity and so excited to perform for our hometown crowd.”
In addition to “Centuries,” Fall Out Boy will perform its newest single, “Uma Thurman” as well as the multiplatinum hit “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘em up).”
Fall Out Boy, who won Best Alternative Band at the 2014 People’s Choice Awards, have cemented their position as one of rock music’s biggest-selling bands. Their sixth studio album American Beauty/American Psycho debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and peaked at No. 1 on iTunes in more than 22 countries upon its Jan. 20, 2015, release. The band, which will be heading out on tour this summer (Boys of Zummer with Wiz Khalifa), also has written the song “Immortals,” featured in the Oscar-nominated Disney hit movie Big Hero 6.
Hailing from Chicago, Fall Out Boy—Patrick Stump (vocals/guitar), Wentz, Joe Trohman (guitar) and Andy Hurley (drums)—has appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone and has performed on Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan, The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live and many more. More information can be found at falloutboy.com.
Rock group O.A.R. performed during last year’s Extra Innings Show. Fitz & The Tantrums will rock the stage from the Wrigley Field outfield this year. (Photo by Stephen Green)
This season at Wrigley Field, “Weekends Start Here” as the Cubs and Budweiser team up to present new Budweiser Bleacher Fridays on select dates throughout the 2015 season. Budweiser Bleacher Fridays will feature pre- or postgame entertainment, exclusive giveaway items, special food and beverages and more.
This year’s schedule is headlined by a postgame Extra Innings Show featuring Fitz & The Tantrums, a modern pop combo known for their chart-topping hits including “Fool’s Gold,” “Out Of My League” and “The Walker.” The band will perform from the field shortly after the Cubs host the White Sox on July 10 at Wrigley Field. The show is open to all game attendees and Budweiser Bleacher guests will receive an Extra Innings Concert koozie.
Other Budweiser Bleacher Friday themes include a Beach Bash (May 29); Country Day (June 12); Red, White and Brew (July 3); a ’90s Day (Aug. 21); and a Singles and Doubles Day (Sept. 18).
Tickets to each Budweiser Bleacher Friday game are available through the Budweiser Bleacher Fridays page at cubs.com. Details about each event follow, with future information to be released leading up to each pertaining homestand.
Budweiser Bleacher Fridays:
Beach Bash, May 29 vs. Kansas City Royals, 3:05 p.m. CDT
Budweiser Bleacher Fridays kick off in true summer style with a Beach Bash on May 29 vs. the Kansas City Royals. Each guest in the Budweiser Bleachers will receive a pair of summer sunglasses for the game, while enjoying special entertainment, music, concessions and a beach-themed postgame party in Wrigleyville.
Country Day, June 12 vs. Cincinnati Reds, 3:05 p.m. CDT
The Cubs will go country on June 12 vs. the Cincinnati Reds. Budweiser Bleacher guests will receive a country cap, while country music hits will play between innings throughout the game. Budweiser Bleacher guests should arrive hungry for some homestyle cooking and leave room for fun at a postgame party in Wrigleyville.
Red, White and Brew, July 3 vs. Miami Marlins, 1:20 p.m. CDT
Fans can show their patriotism while catching a game during Red, White and Brew vs. the Miami Marlins. Budweiser Bleacher guests can soak up the sun in their new patriotic Cubs tank while enjoying lively summer hits and patriotic music along with classic American fare.
Extra Innings Show, July 10 vs. Chicago White Sox, 3:05 p.m. CDT
Pop band Fitz & The Tantrums will headline an Extra Innings Show on the field following the Cubs vs. White Sox rivalry opener on July 10. The show is open to all game attendees, and Budweiser Bleacher guests will receive an Extra Innings Concert koozie. Members of the band will throw the game’s ceremonial first pitch and lead the seventh-inning stretch.
’90s Day, Aug. 21 vs. Atlanta Braves, 3:05 p.m. CDT
The ’90s are coming back for at least one afternoon, as the Cubs host ’90s Day on Aug. 21 vs. the Atlanta Braves. Budweiser Bleacher guests will receive a re-issue neon Cubs hat in its popular pink color. The game will feature sounds of the decade with popular ’90s music playing between innings.
Singles and Doubles Day, Sept. 18 vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 1:20 p.m. CDT
The final Budweiser Bleacher Friday will help turn singles into doubles as Cubs fans mingle in the Budweiser Bleachers on Sept. 18 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. Each guest will receive a three-quarter-length-sleeve top and the afternoon will include fun social media interaction and creative food pairings.
On Tuesday morning, the Cubs announced details for purchasing single-game tickets for the 2015 season. Single-game tickets go on sale Friday, March 6, at 10 a.m. CST, and will be available on cubs.com or by calling 1-800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).
Fans may once again participate in the MasterCard Pre-sale prior to the general on-sale date. Starting Tuesday, March 3, at 10 a.m. CST, single-game tickets will be available at cubs.com at a 20 percent premium, or a 15 percent premium for fans using a MasterCard.
“After an offseason filled with exciting additions to the team and improvements to Wrigley Field, we can’t wait to get started on the 2015 season,” said Colin Faulkner, vice president of sales and partnerships for the Cubs. “Our fans will enjoy a schedule with fun promotions, rare Interleague visits and classic rivalry matchups, including Major League Baseball’s Opening Night game versus the St. Louis Cardinals.”
The single-game sale will include a selection of tickets to Opening Night vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, weekend bobblehead promotional games, Family Sundays and Interleague matchups with visits from the Indians, Tigers and Royals. The 2015 Cubs promotional schedule will feature unique items including a Cubs winter aviator hat, Wrigley Field football, Chicago Whales replica throwback jersey and several Cubs player debut bobbleheads.
For the 2015 season, there will be a new “Weekends Start Here” promotion in the Budweiser Bleachers for Friday games. On select Fridays from May-September, the Budweiser Bleachers may feature pre- or postgame entertainment, exclusive giveaway items, special food and beverages, and more. For the most up-to-date promotional schedule, visit cubs.com.
Fans interested in purchasing Cubs tickets in person can visit The Cubs Store located at 3616 N. Clark St., beginning Monday, March 9, at 9 a.m. CST. Due to the ongoing restoration and expansion of Wrigley Field, single-game tickets will be sold at The Cubs Store during regular store hours, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. every day leading up to Opening Night with the exception of Saturday, March 14.
Details for each single-game purchasing option follow:
The Cubs will once again offer the MasterCard Pre-sale starting Tuesday, March 3, at 10 a.m. through Wednesday, March 4, at 10 p.m. Fans using a MasterCard can purchase single-game tickets in advance of the general on-sale date at a 15 percent premium, while fans using other forms of payment may purchase tickets at a 20 percent premium. MasterCard Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at cubs.com.
SINGLE GAME GENERAL ON-SALE:
Via Internet: On Friday, March 6, fans can purchase tickets at cubs.com. A virtual waiting room will begin accepting customers at 9:30 a.m. At 10 a.m., customers will be selected from the virtual waiting room to begin purchasing tickets. All Internet customers will need a valid cubs.com account. It is recommended customers register for an account prior to March 6.
By Telephone: Tickets can be purchased by telephone beginning March 6 at 10 a.m. by dialing 1-800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).
At The Cubs Store: Tickets will be available for purchase starting Monday, March 9, at 9 a.m. Due to offseason construction happening in and around the ballpark, the team will offer in-person single-game tickets for purchase at The Cubs Store every day through Opening Night during regular hours with the exception of Saturday, March 14.
For updated ticket pricing, please visit cubs.com. For more information, please contact the Chicago Cubs Ticket Office at 1-800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).
Following the passing of Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs have announced plans to pay tribute to the Hall of Famer during Spring Training, Opening Night at Wrigley Field and throughout the 2015 season.
Beginning in Spring Training and continuing throughout 2015, the team will wear a commemorative No. 14 patch on both its home and away jerseys. The Cubs will open their Spring Training schedule by wearing No. 14 hats during both split-squad games on March 5, with additional acknowledgments planned for that day’s opening game at Sloan Park.
Banks will also be honored with a pregame ceremony before Major League Baseball’s Cubs vs. Cardinals Season Opener at Wrigley Field on April 5. Each fan attending that night’s game will receive a commemorative pin in honor of the Cubs’ beloved shortstop. Fans will see many other tributes paying homage to Banks’ remarkable life and career throughout the evening.
A collection of videos, photos and articles have been posted to Cubs.com over the last several weeks, and Vine Line will publish a special feature edition honoring Mr. Cub in March.
Additional tributes will be finalized and incorporated throughout the 2015 season.
“There is no level of recognition that can properly acknowledge how much Ernie Banks meant to this franchise and fan base,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “Collectively, we must ensure Mr. Cub’s legacy rightfully lives on at the Friendly Confines and with future generations of baseball fans.”
Inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1977, Banks was a lifelong Cub who played for 19 seasons. He was a 14-time All-Star and back-to-back National League Most Valuable Player in 1958 and 1959. He hit 512 home runs in his career, and his 277 home runs as a shortstop remain a National League record.
Among Cubs players, Banks ranks first in games played (2,528), at-bats (9,421), extra-base hits (1,009) and total bases (4,706); second in home runs (512), RBI (1,636) and hits (2,583); third in doubles (407); fifth in runs scored (1,305); seventh in triples (90); and eighth in walks (763).
While still a player in 1967, Banks turned his eye to coaching and served in that role through 1973, becoming the first African-American to manage a major league team on May 8, 1973, when he took over for the ejected Whitey Lockman.
He was the first Cub to have his number retired in 1982, was voted to Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team in 1999, and was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Ready, set, go! The Cubs will host the 10th Annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run on Saturday, April 25, outside Wrigley Field. In recognition of the Race to Wrigley’s 10th anniversary, the Cubs will introduce an additional race, the “Let’s Run Two” 10K.
Registration for the races is open now through April 24. Participants can register at racetowrigley.com.
The Race to Wrigley 5K begins at 8 a.m. and the 10K will start at 8:20 a.m. The course routes will allow race participants to run through the streets of the scenic Lakeview neighborhood before returning to the Friendly Confines.
Proceeds from this year’s race will benefit Cubs Charities, which provides increased access to sports opportunities and targets improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. Cubs Charities will once again donate all proceeds from personal fundraising to support critical care needs for pediatric patients in Chicago. The top fundraising team will receive tickets to the April 29 Cubs game against the Pirates and be recognized during a pregame ceremony on the field. The top overall individual fundraiser will receive an autographed Cubs jersey and be recognized on the field prior to a Cubs home game. Runners who raise more than $1,000 will receive all of the prizes from each fundraising level as well as the opportunity to run a post-race victory lap with their names displayed on the new video board.
ATI Physical Therapy, the Official Physical Therapy Provider of the Chicago Cubs, will provide post-race massages and lead the group in a pre-race stretch.
“The Race to Wrigley 5K has become a tradition in the Lakeview community attracting runners from Chicago and beyond. We are excited to celebrate 10 years of promoting fitness and raising money for deserving causes in our community,” said Cubs Charities Vice President of Development Connie Falcone. “We especially look forward to growing the race with the introduction of the first ever 10K at Wrigley Field.”
The registration fee for the 5K fun run is $40 and the chip-timed 5K is $45. The chip-timed 10K fee is $55. Packet pickup will be available at the Cubs Store and a downtown Sports Authority location. Registrants will receive details closer to the event.
All participants will receive a race shirt, refreshments and one beverage (Budweiser, Bud Light or Pepsi product) courtesy of Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi at the post-race celebration, and the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets to the April 29 game at Wrigley Field.