University of Illinois basketball coach John Groce returns to Wrigley Field on May 30. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs return home on Memorial Day to host the Nationals from May 25-27 and the Royals from May 29-31. The homestand features several promotional giveaways, including a Cubs hat presented by the Conquer Cancer Foundation, a Chicago Whales replica throwback jersey presented by Benjamin Moore, a Clark W Flag bobblehead presented by Jewel-Osco and summer sunglasses presented by Budweiser during the debut of the team’s Budweiser Bleacher Fridays.
Budweiser Bleacher Fridays kick off in true summer style with a Beach Bash on May 29. Each guest in the Budweiser Bleachers will receive a pair of summer sunglasses for the game, as well as free Blue Lizard Sunscreen, while enjoying special entertainment, music and a beach-themed postgame party in Wrigleyville. Fans in the Budweiser Bleachers are encouraged to wear their favorite beach attire for the event and share photos on Twitter and Instagram using the #BudFridays hashtag. One creative winner will be selected to take home four tickets to the following Budweiser Bleacher Friday (Country Day, June 12 vs. the Cincinnati Reds).
May 29 also marks Jersey Day in Chicago and at Wrigley Field. Majestic Athletic, makers of the official on-field uniform of Major League Baseball, created Jersey Day in partnership with MLB and its 30 clubs to encourage baseball fans to celebrate their teams by donning their official jerseys to work, school, games and all over town. Cubs fans can stake their claim as the best fans in baseball by posting the #JerseyDayCHC hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, with votes being gathered at MajesticJerseyDay.com. Majestic is running a Superfan Sweepstakes on the microsite as well.
The following day, May 30, marks 100 years to the date of when the Federal League-champion Chicago Whales hosted the Kansas City Packers at then-Weeghman Park. The Cubs will wear throwback Chicago Whales uniforms that day, and the first 10,000 fans at the game will receive a Chicago Whales replica throwback jersey presented by Benjamin Moore. The Royals will wear throwback Kansas City Federal League uniforms, while the bases used during the game will feature Weeghman Park commemorative base jewels.
Following the game on Friday, May 29, Cubs manager Joe Maddon will continue his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative by representing the USO of Illinois Discovery Kids Program during his postgame press conference. The program helps lift the spirits of children whose parents are training or deployed through year-round educational, recreational and cultural events and programs.
Tickets remain available for the upcoming homestand at cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827). Highlights of the homestand follow.
The first 10,000 fans at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, May 27, will receive a Cubs hat presented by the Conquer Cancer Foundation. The Conquer Cancer Foundation, established by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), is a charitable organization that supports clinical research in the field of oncology, patient education and patient advocacy programs.
Each guest in the Budweiser Bleachers on Friday, May 29, will receive a pair of summer sunglasses, as well as free Blue Lizard Sunscreen, during the first Budweiser Bleacher Friday of the season. The Beach Bash also will include special entertainment, music and a beach-themed postgame party in Wrigleyville. Invitations to the postgame party will be shared on-site.
On Saturday, May 30, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Chicago Whales replica throwback jersey presented by Benjamin Moore. The Cubs will wear throwback Chicago Whales uniforms on the field to mark 100 years to the date of when the Federal League-champion Whales hosted the Kansas City Packers at then-Weeghman Park.
The homestand concludes on Sunday, May 31, when the first 5,000 children age 13 and younger will receive a Clark W Flag bobblehead presented by Jewel-Osco. The first 1,000 kids in the ballpark can run the bases postgame, weather permitting, as part of the team’s ongoing Kids Sundays.
This homestand, the Decade Diner located in the right-field concourse will serve a Beef Kabob Gyro, featuring juicy grilled skewered beef, pickled sweet onions, fresh cucumbers, vine ripe tomatoes and garlic yogurt aioli served with warm pita bread. In addition, the Classic Tuna Melt will feature Levy Restaurants’ signature tuna salad and cheddar cheese on toasted caraway rye bread.
Homestand Recap, May 25-31:
Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day) vs. Washington Nationals, 1:20 p.m.
- First pitches: Principal cast members of Broadway Chicago’s On Your Feet!, Ana Villafañe and Josh Segarra
- Seventh-inning stretch: Country music artist, to be announced leading up to their upcoming surprise concert in Wrigleyville
- Broadcast: WGN, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Tuesday, May 26 vs. Washington Nationals, 6:05 p.m.
- Broadcast: CSN, ESPN, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Wednesday, May 27 vs. Washington Nationals, 7:05 p.m.
- Promotion: Cubs hat presented by the Conquer Cancer Foundation (first 10,000 fans)
- First pitch: Host of TLC’s Overhaulin, Chris Jacobs
- Seventh-inning stretch: Star of CNBC’s reality series The Profit, Marcus Lemonis
- Broadcast: CSN+, MLB Network, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Friday, May 29 vs. Kansas City Royals, 3:05 p.m.
- Budweiser Bleacher Fridays Beach Bash: Summer sunglasses presented by Budweiser, all Budweiser Bleacher guests 21 and older
- First pitch: United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus
- Broadcast: CSN, WBBM 780-AM, WRTO 1200-AM Spanish Radio, Cubs.com
Saturday, May 30 vs. Kansas City Royals, 6:15 p.m.
- Promotion: Chicago Whales replica throwback jersey presented by Benjamin Moore (first 10,000 fans)
- First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: University of Illinois men’s basketball coach John Groce
- Broadcast: FOX, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Sunday, May 31 vs. Kansas City Royals, 1:20 p.m.
- Promotion: Clark W Flag bobblehead presented by Jewel-Osco (first 5,000 children age 13 and younger)
- First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Actor and Chicago native Joe Mantegna
- Broadcast: ABC 7, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
- Kids Run the Bases postgame (first 1,000 children 13 and under)
When the long winter hit Huntley, Illinois, a quaint farm town about 50 miles northwest of Chicago, the Donahue kids would take to a nearby sledding hill. Margaret, the oldest of seven, was routinely elected to head down the hill first to test the run. She was, after all, the de facto leader and therefore the one tasked with carving that first swath through the snow so her kin could follow safely.
And what a fitting allegory that would turn out to be.
In 1919, not long after those sledding days were finished and with very little formal schooling under her belt, Donahue blazed a new trail into baseball history as a pioneer for women in professional sports.
“She was the first [female] executive who actually worked her way up into the position throughout all of Major League Baseball,” said Cubs historian Ed Hartig.
Hired as a stenographer by then-team Vice President Bill Veeck Sr., Donahue was quickly elected club secretary by vote of the Cubs stockholders at a board of directors meeting. She held that role for a quarter century, until she was elevated to team vice president in 1950, becoming the first woman in the game to hold such a lofty position. But Donahue was much more than just a token female executive.
“The things she did helped change the way people appreciate baseball,” Hartig said.
Donahue is considered a vital part of the team’s storied history, gender notwithstanding. She is largely credited with championing the concept of season tickets, helping usher in record-setting attendance, and attracting generations of fans through her projects and promotions. Upon her retirement on Feb. 1, 1958, the Cubs board of directors gave her an ornately calligraphed farewell letter expressing, among other sentiments, that she “provided valuable service to the club as a capable and conscientious corporate officer, and as a nationally acknowledged authority on the intricacies of baseball rules and regulations.”
In June, a half-acre park in the Lakeview neighborhood, just a few blocks southwest of Wrigley Field, will be dedicated to Donahue’s memory, an honor her family, the Cubs and the city of Chicago worked together to bring to fruition.
“What a fitting tribute to a woman who was a great part of our history,” said Mike Lufrano, executive vice president of community affairs for the Cubs.
Donahue’s work and the elevated position she held, coupled with the era in which she held it, are incomparable, if not widely known. The Cubs won five National League pennants under her watch, and attendance hit the 1 million mark for the first time in any NL ballpark. Wrigley Field doubled in size, and the Cubs brand became synonymous with radio and television broadcasts.
Closing in on a century after she was first hired, women are still underrepresented in executive positions in sports. But Donahue more than did her part for gender equality.
In the tidy living room of a Victorian home a block away from small-town Huntley’s Main Street, three sisters spoke of their beloved, warmhearted, hat-loving aunt.
“Work did not scare her away,” said Barbara Ernesti, 87, the eldest of Mabel Donahue Emmer’s three daughters and Margaret Donahue’s only nieces. “She just got in there and did it.”
Ernesti was perched near her sisters, Mary Beth Manning, who turns 84 this month, and Margaret Manning, 77, (their husbands are unrelated) at the latter’s home on a warm mid-March day. Dozens of Donahue-related newspaper clippings, photos and mementos the sisters had collected over the years were spread atop the dining table.
“She was a great manager,” Mary Beth Manning said.
That talent, she surmised, may have been honed early in life.
Donahue was born on a Huntley farm on Dec. 13, 1892. Six other children swiftly followed. She had an older brother by one year, Daniel, but he died at age 7 when diphtheria swept through the town.
When Donahue was young, the family rented out the farm and moved into town so the kids would be closer to school. After graduating eighth grade, Donahue logged just one year of high school and a year at a business college in nearby Elgin, Illinois, before heading out into the workforce.
And that meant big-city Chicago.
Living with her aunt on the South Side, Donahue landed a job in 1919 at a chemical company that manufactured soap and laundry supplies. It was a brief employment, according to Margaret Manning, as Donahue lost her job to a veteran returning from the trenches of World War I.
She then decided to place an ad in the Chicago Tribune seeking a position as a secretary or stenographer. Bill Veeck, vice president and treasurer of the Chicago Cubs, spotted her ad and phoned her home while she was away at Sunday Mass. Her father took the call and told Veeck she’d be happy to meet with him.
But there was one problem: Donahue didn’t want the interview. She wanted a job in the Loop, where she had received other offers, not way out on the North Side. Her father persisted, and she met with Veeck on June 22, 1919. The following day, she reported to work at then-Cubs Park for the first time.
Donahue was a force of nature. She handled season tickets, press passes, stock transfers for the Cubs and all Wrigley Field events, Hartig said. She was the keeper of receipts and paid the players and umpires after the games, forking over cash out on the field before depositing the remainder in a downtown vault, her nieces said.
The only other woman in the small Cubs front office was the bookkeeper, who retired in 1920. Donahue assumed those duties too “temporarily” until they could hire someone new—which happened almost a decade later in 1929.
“Today you’d almost need a law degree to do all that,” Hartig said, adding that Donahue even advised her boss on the occasional trade.
Being an industrious sort (the office motto was “longevity, loyalty, versatility”), Donahue also took on some payroll duties for the Bears when they moved to Cubs Park in 1921. Two years later, she was promoted to Cubs assistant club secretary and would serve as acting secretary while John Seys, the man who held the position, was on the road. In late 1926, at the same board meeting that saw Cubs Park become Wrigley Field, she assumed Seys’ role as club secretary when he was advanced to second vice president of the team, according to Hartig.
“Baseball changed a lot in those 25 years she was secretary,” Hartig said. “It wasn’t the same job.”
In just a few short decades, the Cubs franchise experienced the advent of radio and television, integration, war, multiple World Series bids and the Great Depression, among other things.
What Donahue did would require the work of an entire office staff today. It seems almost any task fell within her domain, including the aforementioned handling of payroll and receipts, with which she was famously fastidious; drafting contracts and waivers; assisting injured players on the field; entertaining kids lost in the ballpark; and even washing the shirt of a fan who had an unfortunate run-in with some falling wet plaster.
“She was good at it,” Ernesti said. “She could keep her finger on a lot of things.”
Donahue is credited with popularizing and standardizing the practice of seat-specific season tickets, encouraging special pricing for children, and following through with the concept of Ladies Day, which had foundered at Wrigley Field and at other parks.
“For Margaret,” Hartig said, “it went gangbusters.”
The Cubs brass had a cautiously optimistic approach to Ladies Day, even though it hadn’t been successful in previous attempts. Before the Veeck-Seys-Donahue tenure, Cubs Park was a madhouse. Attendees were rowdy, often drunk and hardly polite—not the most hospitable environment for a mother and her children looking to have some wholesome fun. Veeck, who became team president shortly after Donahue was hired, spearheaded cleaning up the park, with uniformed ushers as well as improved concessions and trash pick-up. He then handed the weekly Ladies Day reins over to the executive secretary.
“She tried to make the games more family-oriented,” Ernesti said.
On Aug. 6, 1929, an otherwise unspectacular game against the Dodgers drew close to 50,000 fans, nearly 30,000 of whom were women looking to see the game for free. The Cubs had to turn roughly 10,000 people away at the gate.
The Cubs would continue with a Ladies Day promotion in some form until 1990, and eventually had to cap the number of free tickets at 20,000 per game due to its popularity. The team’s model under Donahue was considered the most effective promotion in Major League Baseball.
Of course, being a pioneering woman in professional sports did have its drawbacks. When Veeck died in 1933, Donahue supporters thought she could easily have been promoted, Mary Beth Manning said.
“If she had been a man,” Ernesti said, “she would have been the one to move up.”
Donahue made a healthy living, especially during the Great Depression, but she wasn’t without her detractors—some of whom were presumably uncomfortable taking orders from a woman.
“She had a couple of tough years,” Mary Beth Manning said, referring to occasional run-ins with management.
Upon her promotion to executive secretary, people were shocked, Hartig said. But the stockholders voted her in year after year, a feat her family called amazing.
A 1941 Chicago Tribune article about women executives in baseball titled “Men Beware! Women Prove They Can Run a Team” mentions Donahue as “helping run the club, in one capacity or another, since 1919.” Donahue was also a fan of the game and had played a bit as a teenager. She was a novelty back home, her nieces said, where she would hold conversational court with women and men at family gatherings.
“She would always be very much talked to by the men, about baseball and so forth,” Ernesti said.
While taking in a game for fun was a rarity—she usually gave her box seats away—Donahue worked a lot and was often the first one in and last one out of the office each day. She never married, but she shared a Rogers Park apartment with, at times, upward of three siblings. She also played hostess to two of her nieces for years. She sent money home to care for her parents and took one vacation per year every February, often inviting a relative to join her. Sundays were reserved for church.
In 1950, she was elected team vice president, a position she held while continuing as executive secretary. She retired in 1958 at age 65 with close to 40 years as part of the Cubs front office under her belt. At that point, she lived in Evanston with siblings but eventually moved back home to Huntley, where she died in 1978.
“It’s quite amazing what she did,” said Mary Beth Manning, her eyes falling to the table heaped with the archives of her aunt’s life and work. “It really is.”
Other than her gravesite, there is no public marker in Donahue’s hometown commemorating her achievements. But the city of Chicago, the Cubs and her nieces are seeing to it that her life will be remembered near the place where she lived so much of it.
The large public park in her name has been designed to attract folks across ages and interests in the hopes of beautifying the community as well as providing a teachable moment about its namesake.
“We realize that so many of our fans are women,” Lufrano said. “Margaret was a part of making that happen.”
Fans supported last year’s Pink Out event in the bleachers. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Budweiser Bleacher seating option will return to Cubs fans for the first time in 2015 as the North Siders host the Mets from May 11-14 and the Pirates from May 15-17. The bleachers in left field and center field open for occupancy starting May 11.
The homestand opener coincides with Cubs Charities’ “Pink Out” presented by Advocate Health Care on the first Cubs home game following Mother’s Day. Each guest in the Budweiser Bleachers will receive a “Pink Out” T-shirt to promote breast cancer prevention awareness while celebrating moms and women everywhere who are survivors. Fans who aren’t sitting in the bleachers but would still like to participate may visit Gate F, where wives of Cubs players and coaches will accept donations in exchange for a “Pink Out” shirt. These donations will help provide mammograms for under- and uninsured women through Cubs Charities and Advocate Charitable Foundation.
In support of the event, Cubs players will wear pink batting practice jerseys that will later be available by auction through Cubs Authentics, with proceeds also funding mammograms for under- and uninsured women. The bases used on the field—also available through Cubs Authentics—will feature commemorative #PinkOut base jewels, and guests are encouraged to share pictures from the evening using the hashtag to promote breast cancer prevention awareness.
Ginny Cooper, a 10-year survivor, will serve as MLB’s Honorary Bat Girl and deliver the game’s lineup card. She was selected based on her story about “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer.” She will be joined by other breast cancer survivors and volunteers who will throw the game’s ceremonial first pitch, sing the National Anthem and lead the seventh-inning stretch. Overall, Advocate will bring more than 50 survivors to enjoy the game in the stands.
In addition to Monday’s “Pink Out,” Cubs Charities will continue this year’s Let’s Give campaign by supporting the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation’s Third Annual Cook-Off for Cancer on May 14. The event will feature upscale versions of ballpark food prepared by notable Chicago chefs and served by Cubs players at Revel Downtown. Tips and event net proceeds will benefit pediatric cancer research as well as provide support to children and their families battling the disease. For more information, visit cubs.com/cook.
On Friday, May 15, Cubs manager Joe Maddon will continue his Respect Community charity T-shirt initiative by representing Cubs Rookie League Baseball during his postgame press conference.
Tickets remain available for the upcoming homestand at cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827). Highlights of the homestand follow:
The homestand will begin May 11 with all fans in the Budweiser Bleachers receiving a Cubs Charities “Pink Out” T-shirt presented by Advocate Health Care. On Saturday, May 16, the first 20,000 fans will receive a Cubs Reusable Tote Bag presented by MLB Network. The first 1,000 kids 13-and-under can run the bases postgame Sunday, May 17.
This homestand, the Decade Diner located in the right-field concourse will serve a Turkey Club Sandwich—a triple decker with toasted bread, sliced turkey, bacon, sliced tomatoes, crisp lettuce and mayo—as well as the Reuben Sandwich with warm pastrami, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and Louie dressing on toasted marble rye bread.
Homestand Recap and Guests, May 11-17
Monday, May 11 vs. New York Mets, 7:05 p.m.
- Promotion: Cubs Charities “Pink Out” T-shirt presented by Advocate Health Care, all Budweiser Bleacher fans
- First pitches and seventh-inning stretch: Breast cancer survivors
- MLB Honorary Bat Girl: Ginny Cooper, 10-year breast cancer survivor
- Broadcast: CSN, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Tuesday, May 12 vs. New York Mets, 7:05 p.m.
- First pitch: WNBA Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley
- Broadcast: CSN+, MLB Network, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Wednesday, May 13 vs. New York Mets, 7:05 p.m.
- First pitch: Chicago Bears defensive end David Bass
- Broadcast: WGN, ESPN, WBBM 780-AM, WRTO 1200-AM Spanish Radio, Cubs.com
Thursday, May 14 vs. New York Mets, 1:20 p.m.
- Seventh-inning stretch: DePaul Men’s Basketball Coach Dave Leitao
- Broadcast: CSN, WBBM 780-AM, WRTO 1200-AM Spanish Radio, Cubs.com
- Postgame: Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation’s Third Annual Cook-Off for Cancer
Friday, May 15 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.
- First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: UIC Men’s Basketball Coach Steve McClain
- Broadcast: CSN, MLB Network, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Saturday, May 16 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 3:05 p.m.
- Promotion: Cubs Reusable Tote Bag presented by MLB Network, first 20,000 fans
- Seventh-inning stretch: Former Cubs infielder Bill Madlock
- Broadcast: WLS-TV, FS1, WBBM 780-AM, ESPN Radio, Cubs.com
Sunday, May 17 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.
- Broadcast: WGN, MLBN, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
- Kids Run the Bases post-game, first 1,000 kids 13-and-under
The April 7 game between the Cubs and Cardinals that was postponed due to weather is scheduled to be made up on Tuesday, July 7, as the first game of a split doubleheader at Wrigley Field. The makeup game will be played at 12:20 p.m. and will be followed by the regularly scheduled game at 7:05 p.m.
Tickets to the April 7 game at Wrigley Field will be honored for the 12:20 p.m. July 7 game. No ticket exchange is necessary.
Separate tickets are required for each game, and gates will reopen approximately 90 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
Tickets for both July 7 games are available for sale at cubs.com, by phone at 1-800-THE-CUBS or at the Wrigley Field ticket windows.
Wrigley Field’s Budweiser Bleachers will have a new look and feel this season as the Chicago Cubs reopen the bleachers in phases with new group spaces, improved concessions and additional room for fans to socialize and watch the game.
The bleachers in left and center field remain on track to open for occupancy May 11, which will coincide with Cubs Charities’ Pink Out presented by Advocate Health Care on the first home game following Mother’s Day. Each guest in the Budweiser Bleachers that day will receive a “Pink Out” T-shirt to promote breast cancer prevention awareness and celebrate moms and women everywhere who are survivors. The right-field bleachers will open for occupancy as planned June 11. Work will continue throughout May and June as the team finishes the new spaces and additional amenities, including new concessions and food offerings. The overall enhanced Budweiser Bleachers will be completed in early July. The team will host a celebratory event for guests in the Budweiser Bleachers on Friday, July 3.
“There’s no experience quite like sitting in the Budweiser Bleachers for a Cubs game,” said Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney. “With new group spaces, wider concourses and expanded concession service, we are excited to open the Budweiser Bleachers for our next homestand and celebrate the relaunch of one of the most popular seats in sports with our legacy partner, Anheuser-Busch.”
A combination of portable and fixed concessions and vendors will be available in the Budweiser Bleachers beginning May 11. The new Platform 14, an outdoor concession area located behind the historic scoreboard, is scheduled to open in early July. Platform 14 will offer expanded food preparation spaces and a larger variety of freshly prepared food items. When the Budweiser Bleacher expansion is completed, fans will enjoy shorter wait times with additional points of sale and a wider variety of food and beverage offerings.
The new Budweiser Bleachers also include new video boards and signage that feature a mix of game and player stats, video replays, historical Cubs footage and behind-the-scenes interviews with the team, as well as baseball content from around the league.
In addition to the expanded spaces and amenities, the Cubs and Budweiser have teamed 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 for all game attendees featuring Fitz & The Tantrums on Friday, July 10. 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), ‘90s Day (Aug. 21), and Singles and Doubles Day (Sept. 18).
In addition to general admission seating in the Budweiser Bleachers, several new and enhanced spaces are available that provide a fun atmosphere, additional amenities and space for groups of various sizes.
Budweiser Bleacher Group Spaces:
Budweiser Patio: The Budweiser Patio offers standing room and reserved seating below the new video board in right field with all-inclusive food and beverage. This space is perfect for large groups of 50-150 fans. Beginning this season, the Budweiser Patio will feature an expanded footprint and additional concessions options. The Budweiser Patio will open June 11.
Budweiser Bleacher Suite: The enclosed Budweiser Bleacher Suite offers a premier gameday experience for groups of 50-100 guests. Located in center field, guests in the Budweiser Bleacher Suite will enjoy a food and beverage package and easy access to the Budweiser Bleachers. This is a great space for corporate gatherings or large group events. The Budweiser Bleacher Suite will open May 11.
Left-Field Porch: This large group space offers a mix of standing-room and bleacher seating options beneath the new left-field video board for groups of up to 100 people. Featuring an all-inclusive beverage package, the Left-Field Porch is a great space for corporate employee engagement events or large group gatherings. The Left Field Porch will open May 11.
Right-Field Porch: Similar to the Left-Field Porch, this large group space offers a mix of standing-room and bleacher seating options for groups of up to 100 people. Featuring an all-inclusive beverage package, the Right-Field Porch is a great space for corporate employee engagement events or large group gatherings. The Right-Field Porch will be open to all Budweiser Bleacher guests on select dates this season. The Right-Field Porch will open June 11.
Left-Field Well: The new Left-Field Well features space close to the action in the first two rows above the left-field wall with designated standing-room and limited seating for groups of 15 to 50 fans. The Left-Field Well offers guests the best view in the bleachers to catch all the action on the field and is perfect for bachelor/bachelorette parties and special events. The Left-Field Well will open May 11.
“With new offerings to complement the bleacher experience fans already know and love, we are thrilled to open the enhanced Budweiser Bleachers and welcome back our fans in the coming weeks,” said Vice President of Sales and Partnerships Colin Faulkner. “Guests can begin booking these new spaces today to ensure they are part of an exciting season of Cubs baseball.”
Budweiser Bleacher tickets are available for sale now at www.cubs.com/bleachers, by phone at 1-800-THE-CUBS or at the Wrigley Field Ticket Windows. Fans can find more information about each Budweiser Bleacher group space and directions for booking at www.cubs.com/bleachers.
This season, the Cubs will debut a new twist on an old tradition. After each Cubs win at Wrigley Field, the team will keep the Wintrust “W” lit above the new video board once the ballpark lights turn off.
Though the left-field video board is definitely new, the concept of keeping a blue light shining after Cubs wins is not. During the major renovation of 1937, when the team constructed the modern-style bleachers and scoreboard and planted the ivy, the idea came about to install two lights atop the scoreboard along with the W and L flags. That way, commuters on the El would still be able to tell if the Cubs won or lost even after it got dark and it was no longer possible to see the flags.
The Cubs installed a blue light on the third-base side of the scoreboard to be lit following wins and a white light on first-base side for losses. More than 75 years later, those lights were still being used.
To continue to preserve this history while utilizing Wrigley Field’s newest assets to their best effect, the Cubs will have a new tradition following Cubs wins. Long after “Go, Cubs, Go” has finished playing and the crowds have poured back out into Wrigleyville, the blue W in the Wintrust logo atop the video board will keep fans and commuters posted on the fate of their beloved Cubs. Watch for it all season at the Friendly Confines.
The Cubs announced Monday that the organization and its fans will help those affected by tornadoes that swept through Fairdale and Rochelle, Illinois, last week, during Tuesday night’s game against the Reds.
Cubs associates will collect monetary donations at the gates at Wrigley Field before the start of the game. Money raised during the evening will benefit the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort, a campaign of the McCormick Foundation to support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hit hardest by the tornadoes.
Proceeds from the night’s Cubs Charities 50/50 Raffle also will benefit the cause.
The Illinois Tornado Relief Effort, a campaign of the McCormick Foundation, supports nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hit hardest by the tornadoes. The McCormick Foundation will match the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents on the dollar. All administrative costs are paid by the foundation and its partners, allowing 100 percent of all funds raised, plus the match, to be granted directly to nonprofit organizations helping those most affected by the storm.
Fans who cannot attend the game but would like to make a donation to the tornado disaster relief effort can give through Sunday, April 19, by visiting cubs.com/give.
After a short three-game set in Colorado, the Cubs return home for the second homestand of the year at Wrigley Field. From April 13-19, the Cubs welcome the division-rival Reds and the rebuilt and reloaded Padres squad. They’ll also welcome the cast of the Book of Mormon and The Second City Mainstage.
Here are the other guests and promotions you’ll find at the Friendly Confines during the six-game set.
Homestand Recap, April 13-19
Monday, April 13, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m.
- Broadcast: CSN+, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
- National Anthem and first pitch: Book of Mormon star David Larsen (Elder Price)
- Seventh-inning stretch: Book of Mormon stars David Larsen and Cody Jamison Strand (Elder Cunningham)
Tuesday, April 14, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m.
- First pitch: WNBA Chicago Sky guard Cappie Pondexter
- Broadcast: CSN, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Wednesday, April 15, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m.
- Pregame ceremony and seventh-inning stretch: Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars
- Broadcast: WPWR-TV, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Friday, April 17, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, 1:20 p.m.
- Promotion: Cubs Winter Aviator Hat presented by Pepsi (first 10,000 fans)
- Broadcast: WLS-TV, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Saturday, April 18, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, 1:20 p.m.
- Broadcast: CSN, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
Sunday, April 19, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, 1:20 p.m.
- Seventh-inning stretch: Cast members from The Second City Mainstage
- Broadcast: WGN-TV, WBBM 780-AM, Cubs.com
- Kids Run the Bases postgame (first 1,000 kids 13 and under)
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs return to Wrigley Field to host the Reds and Padres for their second homestand of the season, which will stretch from April 13-19.
On Wednesday, April 15, the Cubs will join all of Major League Baseball when they host Jackie Robinson Day at Wrigley Field. Jackie Robinson’s legacy is memorialized each year on April 15 to recognize the anniversary of the Hall of Famer breaking baseball’s color barrier.
Uniformed players and personnel at each major league ballpark will wear Jackie Robinson’s retired No. 42 on their jerseys that day. The bases used at Wrigley Field will feature a commemorative Jackie Robinson Day base jewel, and these game-used bases and No. 42 jerseys will be available through Cubs Authentics to benefit Cubs Charities.
A pregame ceremony will include a video highlighting Jackie Robinson’s career and legacy. The team will also present the ninth-annual Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award, which recognizes diverse business partners who continue the legacy of Jackie Robinson. Finally, several Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars will be recognized on the field, and these students will have the honor of leading the evening’s seventh-inning stretch.
This homestand, the Decade Diner—located in the right field concourse—will serve a Loaded Grilled Cheese with Smoked Brisket special, featuring two grilled cheese sandwiches, gourmet mac and cheese and smoked brisket. The Caprese Flatbread special features grilled flatbread, light tomato sauce, fresh ovalini mozzarella and fresh basil.
Tickets remain available for the upcoming homestand at cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).
(Photo courtesy of Chicago Cubs)
As most people certainly know by now, historic Wrigley Field is undergoing a massive facelift as the 1060 Project restoration continues. And while the upgrades promise to make the ballpark experience even better down the line, fans should understand that—like with anything new—some of the kinks are still being worked out.
On Wednesday afternoon, Kristian Bush of the country group Sugarland faced some backlash after performing what sounded like a rather out-of-tune rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The Cubs would like to clarify that the tough performance was of no fault of the singer’s, but rather a sound system issue.
While some fans guessed Bush may have celebrated his appearance a little too much before taking the mic, rest assured, he had only hot dogs and Diet Pepsi at the game. The tough performance was the result of different timing between the organ and the music being played over the loudspeakers on the new sound system.
The Cubs say they are working out the details for future singers so the stretch goes back to being a pleasant break in the action for everyone.