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Wrigley Field Expansion Announced

A look at future bleacher improvements: Enhanced features will include a new entrance, the removal of concrete panels on the exterior bleacher walls, a "knot-hole" that allows pedestrians on Sheffield Avenue to view the field from outside the park, and for the first time, wheelchair-accessible seats.
Photos courtesy of HOK Sport and Venue, Kansas City & the Chicago Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs recently announced proposed Wrigley Field bleacher improvements and a new building planned for the parking lot west of the ballpark. The expansion will include extensive landscape development and we got the inside scoop on what's to come, from landscape architect Peter Schaudt of Peter Lindsay Schaudt Landscape Architecture Inc.

Schaudt says the new developments will include a renovation of the back of the bleachers that face Waveland and Sheffield avenues, which have not been beautified for several years.

"We're going to be replicating the ivy that is found on the walls inside the park," he says, noting they will use Boston and English varieties because of their evergreen properties. "The challenge will be to grow the ivy on a public facing street."

Schaudt says the project will create a "campus feeling" at the historical landmark. New brick pavers will cover the area surrounding the park and new trees will line the sidewalks.

"We spend a lot of time working below ground in our landscape infrastructure," he says, explaining that soil volume beneath the pavement is important to ensure that trees have room to grow. "We design our street trees with a lot of volume under a cantilever vault." The new triangular building will also have trees lining the top of it.

Though every other team in the Cubs' division has made use of public subsidies for park improvements, Schaudt says the entire $50 million project will be funded solely by the team; which, he says, makes the community really appreciative.

"It's an urban project," says Schaudt. "Because the facility is older, the Cubs are playing catch-up to newer stadiums. They need to improve their facilities to accommodate both fans and players."

Aside from the bleacher improvements and new building, a multi-level parking garage will be available to fans, along with new restrooms that can be used before, during and after the game. Schaudt's company collaborated with local venue Vinci-Hemp Architects and HOK Sport and Venue of Kansas City on the project that was four years in the making. For Schaudt, a lifelong Cubs fan, he couldn't be more excited to get to work on the project.

"It's really a dream come true."

For the latest information on the Wrigley Field improvements visit

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December 6, 2019, 12:34 pm PDT

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