Wrigley Field renovations making progress as 2018 begins

February 19, 2018

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Wrigley Field will still feel plenty familiar to Chicago Cubs fans this season even as the 104-year-old ballpark undergoes more major renovations.

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, optimistic about chasing the team's second World Series title in three seasons, visited his team's spring training home Monday for the first full-squad workout by the 2016 World Series champions on a cool day in the desert.

''From the renovations standpoint, for the most part it will look a lot like what you're used to,'' he said. ''We've spent a lot of offseason digging holes underneath the rest of the grandstand to support some more fan amenities.''

Ricketts said features that have been added at Wrigley for this season include a club behind home plate, additional concession stands and a more bathrooms. The fifth offseason of a renovation plan that started after the 2014 season will take place next winter, when the visiting clubhouse will receive upgrades.

''The renovations of the field keep grinding forward,'' Ricketts said. ''What's become a very expensive project to restore and improve Wrigley Field is almost over, so we're excited about that. ... I think 2018 is going to be an incredible year for the organization.''

On the field, Ricketts has his usual high aspirations.

''Everyone knows that this is a team that has the capability to win the World Series and everyone will be disappointed if we don't live up to that capability,'' Ricketts said.

After three straight trips to the NL Championship Series and that title two years ago at long last, he expects another banner. The Cubs won the NL Central at 92-70 last year and then lost a five-game NLCS to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

''I won't say a season's a failure if you don't win a World Series,'' Ricketts said, ''but it is our goal.''


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