One of baseball’s biggest clichés is “anything can happen,” and at Wrigley Field on Opening Night, something happened that most fans did not expect.
Because of ongoing renovations at Wrigley Field, there were only two working restrooms, which caused some serious problems. According to some angry Cubs’ fans, the 45-minute wait to use the restroom became so long that fans started to relieve themselves anywhere they could: empty cups, against walls, etc.
Some Cubs’ fans even took the restroom situation to twitter.
“I’m all for renovating, but I’ve now missed two innings trying to get into the bathroom,” James Hillebrand said in a Tweet. “Get your act together.”
The Cubs management made one thing clear; fixing the restrooms is a top priority.
Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney apologized in an email sent out to Cubs season-ticket holders for the problem and explained that it is already being addressed. Kenney has a plan in place to bring portable toilets into stadium before more restrooms will be available for permanent use in late May.
“We will supplement existing restrooms with portable units in the left-field concourse and outside Gate K," Kenney wrote in his letter. "With these facilities in place, we will have approximately the same number of fixtures as we did at the end of the 2014 season. In addition, we are working with our game-day staff to help coordinate concourse traffic by communicating shortest wait times at all concourse facilities."
The renovations at Wrigley were expected to cause some difficulties but not to the extent that it did on opening night. The Cubs management is very hopeful that their quick reaction to the restroom complications will help eliminate any problems going forward.
"We appreciate your patience and for bearing with us as we work to restore Wrigley Field," Kenney said. "We are committed to ensuring ongoing construction does not lessen your experience at our ballpark. We will continue to monitor wait times and overall construction activity and will communicate developments as we go."
According to Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, the $375 million renovations to make the ballpark more “modern” are expected to be completed during the next four offseasons. Wrigley has already started the modernization process as a 5,700-square-foot JumboTron has been placed in left field the day before opening night.
Right now, the renovations are in the first phase, which will restore the stadium’s bleachers. The upcoming changes to Wrigley will include new clubhouses, umpire rooms, press box and bullpens. A hotel is also being developed relatively close to the park.
“There will be four more years,” Ricketts said. “The way we project it now is four more years of construction. A lot of that is subject to how the construction process goes. Once again, with the time horizon we have, making sure we make long-term decisions and not rush the process.”
Fortunately for Cubs’ fans, the restroom problem will not be extended for the next four years and will hopefully be fixed by their next home game.