Chicago Cubs to host opening homestand of 2016 season at Wrigley Field
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Following a six-game road trip to begin the 2016 season, the Chicago Cubs will host Opening Night at Wrigley Field Monday, April 11, at 7:05 p.m. vs. the Cincinnati Reds. The homestand continues vs. the Reds until April 14, followed by a visit from the Colorado Rockies April 15-17.
Gates will open 30 minutes earlier than the standard two-hour window on Opening Night at 4:35 p.m. to help accommodate the new security procedures implemented at Wrigley Field this season, including mandatory metal detector screenings as fans enter the gates. Fans are encouraged to arrive to games earlier this season and can find information about the new screening process at www.cubs.com/security.
Up to the first 30,000 early arriving fans on Opening Night will receive a Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano's. Cubs Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams will throw ceremonial first pitches and lead the 7th inning stretch. Each base and baseball used during the game will feature special Opening Day logos. Pending availability, fans can purchase these items at the Cubs Authentics kiosk located in the main concourse or by visiting www.cubs.com/authentics. Net proceeds benefit Cubs Charities.
On Friday, April 15, the Cubs will join all of Major League Baseball by hosting 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 ballpark will wear Jackie Robinson's retired No. 42 on their jerseys that day. Each base used at Wrigley Field will feature a commemorative Jackie Robinson Day base jewel. These game-used bases may be purchased at the Cubs Authentics kiosk and the No. 42 jerseys will be available through an online Cubs Authentics auction benefiting Cubs Charities. The team will present the 10th annual Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award, which recognizes diverse business partners who exhibit and continue the legacy of Jackie Robinson. A pregame ceremony will include video highlighting Jackie Robinson's career and legacy.
Two Cubs players will receive awards from last season during the homestand. Major League Baseball will present outfielder Jason Heyward with his 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award pre-game April 15. On Sunday, April 17, third baseman Kris Bryant will receive his Player's Choice Award for National League Outstanding Rookie from the Major League Baseball Players Association.
This season marks a century of the Cubs playing at Wrigley Field (which originally hosted the Federal League's Chi-Feds and Whales from 1914-15). The team will wear a commemorative patch featuring a version of the team's 1916 logo in modern colors on home uniforms throughout the 2016 season. Following Opening Night, the celebratory logo will be featured on base jewels and as a stamp on baseballs used during 2016 home games.
Tickets remain available at www.cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827). New attractions at Wrigley Field and highlights of the homestand follow.
Fans sitting in the Budweiser Bleachers will notice a new Budweiser Bleacher Bar as they enter the gates at the corner of Sheffield and Waveland avenues. This sizeable bar offers an array of beer, cocktails and wine on the main concourse level. Bleacher guests also will enjoy five new display cases showcasing Cubs and Wrigley Field history, a replica ivy wall perfect for photo opportunities and additional décor throughout the bleacher concourse.
Those looking for a VIP experience inside the Budweiser Bleachers can reserve the Fannie May Bleacher Sweet (formerly the Budweiser Bleacher Suite), an ideal space for corporate or large group gatherings that offers heating and air conditioning, private restrooms, limited parking passes and all-inclusive food and beverage, including the chance to purchase upgraded dessert packages. Additionally, clients throughout the Nuveen Investments Suite Level can treat their guests to preordered Fannie May chocolate trays, cheesecakes and souvenirs to help celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.
This season, through a number of contests and retail activations, Pepsi will reward fans each game with the opportunity to sit in four reserved seats in the new Pepsi Batter's Eye, located in center field in the Budweiser Bleachers below the iconic Wrigley Field scoreboard.
Guests on the terrace level of Wrigley Field's reserved seating bowl can order many of their favorite ballpark concessions at the new Marquee Grill located directly behind its namesake sign.
Finally, guests and Season Ticket Holders driving to and from Wrigley Field will notice newly branded parking lots as part of the team's Legacy Partnership with Toyota. The updated names include the Toyota RAV4 Lot, formerly the Brown Lot, and the Toyota Camry Lot, formerly the Green Lot, which includes premier parking spaces for a limited number of early arriving fans who are driving Toyota cars. A parking map and full list of updated lot names can be found at www.cubs.com/transportation.
Guests and Entertainment:
Cubs Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams will throw ceremonial first pitches and lead the 7th inning stretch on Opening Night, April 11. Wayne Messmer will sing the National Anthem at his 32nd consecutive home opener at Wrigley Field.
Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller will throw a first pitch and lead the stretch Wednesday, April 13.
On Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, a pregame ceremony will honor Jackie Robinson's career and legacy. Outfielder Jason Heyward will receive his 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award before the game as well. Former Blackhawks forward, 2013 Stanley Cup champion and current Blackhawks community liaison Jamal Mayers will throw a first pitch and lead the stretch.
Third baseman Kris Bryant will receive his Player's Choice Award for National League Outstanding Rookie from the Major League Baseball Players Association before Sunday's game, April 17. Former Cubs outfielder Bobby Dernier will throw a first pitch and lead the stretch.
Up to the first 30,000 early arriving fans on Opening Night, April 11, will receive a Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano's.
Food and Beverage Offerings:
Fans seeking a hot dog or sausage at Wrigley Field can select from a menu as deep as the Cubs roster, with 25 different options available throughout the ballpark.
Gilbert's Craft Sausages joins the team this year with three offerings at the new Gilbert's Grill Cart in the main concourse. The Caprese Sausage is a chicken sausage topped with diced tomatoes, chopped basil, mozzarella pearls and balsamic glaze. The Aloha Sausage is a chicken sausage topped with pineapple salsa, lime aioli, hot sauce and crushed potato chips. The Beef and Cheddar is a beef smoked sausage with cheddar cheese, topped with mac and cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and BBQ sauce. All three options are available during the opening homestand.
Back by popular demand, Budweiser Bleacher guests will continue to enjoy rotating Hot Doug's offerings this season. The opening homestand features The Barry Foote, which is a corned beef sausage, aka "The Tueben," topped with Russian dressing, shredded Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. The Joe Wallis is a curry bratwurst topped with curry dijonnaise, caramelized onions and smoked gouda cheese. The Champ Summers is a Vienna Beef spicy polish sausage with Goose Island beer mustard and crispy fried onions.
Fans also can enjoy High Plains Bison hot dogs, bratwursts and Italian sausages at the High Plains Bison Grill Cart, while vegetarian guests can opt for Veggie Hot Dogs at the Decade Dogs stand. Guests in the Nuveen Investments Suite Level can order additional specialty dog options such as the Philly Dog, Deli Dog, Big Kid Dog and Taco Dog, while diners in the Audi Club can enjoy the new Colossal Deconstructed Hot Dog.
These unique options join a robust offering of classic Vienna Beef hot dogs, Chicago dogs, three footlong selections, bratwursts, Italian sausages, Polish sausages and Wrigley Field Smokies served at various locations throughout the ballpark, including the Decade Dogs stand, concession stands, grill carts and in-seat vending.
Of course, guests have options beyond hot dogs and sausages. Family-owned Buona Beef joins the team as the Official Italian Beef of the Chicago Cubs after serving Chicago's original Italian beef sandwiches since 1981.
Giordano's Pizza returns to exclusively provide what many claim to be Chicago's best stuffed pizza.
Fans age 21-and-older looking to wash down their meal with an adult beverage can order beers ranging from classics like Budweiser to newer offerings like Goose Island's Four Star Pils or Goose IPA.
Budweiser Bleacher guests can try the new Chicago Dog Bloody Mary, which is a classic Bloody Mary with a celery salt and poppy seed rim, skewer with a mini Vienna Beef Chicago dog and garnishes served in a souvenir mason jar.
Terlato Wines will offer Nuveen Investments Suite Level guests the chance to purchase an upgraded food and wine package, as well as a Sommelier Wine Tasting Suite Experience complete with a pregame tour of Wrigley Field.
Tito's Vodka will soon introduce "Brunch at the Ballpark," which will allow fans to purchase an all-inclusive ticket for Tito's Bloody Marys and breakfast foods during select Sunday home games throughout the season.
These offerings join an existing roster of classic favorites and creative homestand specials prepared by Levy Restaurants.
"Let's Give" Cubs Charities Events:
The Chicago Cubs will host the 11th Annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run presented by ATI Physical Therapy Saturday, April 23, following the team's first homestand. This year's Race to Wrigley 5K route will feature an updated course, allowing runners to race through historic Wrigley Field. Race participants will again see and experience the Lakeview neighborhood along the course route before entering the concourse through the Budweiser Bleacher Gate on Sheffield Avenue and crossing the finish line steps away from the Wrigley Field Marquee. For more information and to register, fans can visit www.racetowrigley.com.
Manager Joe Maddon will once again support Chicago nonprofit organizations through his "Respect Community" charity T-shirt initiative. After every Friday home game, Maddon will represent a different Chicago nonprofit by wearing the organization's T-shirt during his post-game press conference. On Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, Maddon will represent the Jackie Robinson Foundation, whose scholarship program is designed to address the financial needs of minority college students and provide comprehensive mentoring services through its 42 Strategies for Success Curriculum.
Homestand Recap, April 11-17 :
Monday, April 11, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m. (Gates open early at 4:35 p.m.)
· Promotion: Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano's, up to the first 30,000 fans
· National Anthem: Wayne Messmer
· First pitches and 7th inning stretch: Cubs Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams
· Broadcast: WGN-TV, 670 The Score, Cubs.com
Wednesday, April 13, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m.
· First pitch and 7th inning stretch: Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller
· Broadcast: CSN+, 670 The Score, Cubs.com
Thursday, April 14, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m.
· Pregame: Cubs Charities Diamond Project grant recipients recognized.
· Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score, Cubs.com
Friday, April 15, Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies, 1:20 p.m.
· Pregame: Jackie Robinson Day Ceremony
· Award presentation: Jason Heyward 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award
· First pitch and 7th inning stretch: Former Blackhawks forward, 2013 Stanley Cup champion and current Blackhawks community liaison Jamal Mayers
· Broadcast: CSN, MLB Network, 670 The Score, Cubs.com
Saturday, April 16, Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies, 1:20 p.m.
· Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score, Cubs.com
Sunday, April 17, Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies, 1:20 p.m.
· Award presentation: Kris Bryant 2015 Player's Choice Award for National League Outstanding Rookie
· First pitch and 7th inning stretch: Former Cubs outfielder Bobby Dernier
· Broadcast: WGN-TV, 670 The Score, Cubs.com
Saturday, April 23, Race to Wrigley Charity Run presented by ATI Physical Therapy, 8 a.m.
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