CHICAGO (MCT) — The Cubs plan to move the brick wall behind home plate at Wrigley Field in three feet to add 56 prime box seats in 2013.
The Cubs confirmed a report on the wall by Crain’s Chicago Business. The team needs approval from the Chicago Landmarks Commission, which currently is reviewing the plans.
Cubs President Theo Epstein said he had been in meetings all day and was not privy to information on the team’s plans.
“I would probably want to sit down and study it,” Epstein said. “I don’t see it as a big deal, one way or another if it’s only a couple of feet, but we’ll see.”
The prime club box seats could cost $200 or more, depending on the game.
The Cubs added three rows behind home plate before the 2004 season, lowering the height of the wall and moving it 10 feet closer than it had been for decades, to about 50 feet behind the plate. AT&T Park has the shortest distance in the majors from plate to wall at 48 feet.
According to the MLB rulebook, the recommended distance from home plate to the backstop is 60 feet or more.
The safety factor is also in play. Former manager Dusty Baker suggested the Cubs pad the brick wall since it was so much closer, making it easier for a catcher or player chasing a pop foul to run into it.
“You could get a bruise or a bad knee, especially if you hit on the corner,” Baker said.
The Cubs ignored Baker’s suggestion, though a small sheet of Plexiglas was installed on the top to make up for the height difference.