New food, better lights and a trophy room: What to expect at Wrigley Field this year

Those paying premium prices to attend the Chicago Cubs' Opening Day on Thursday afternoon will be the first fans to experience what's new at Wrigley Field this season, including a trophy room, rooftop terrace and, if it is cloudy or the game goes long, upgraded stadium lights.

But first, what's new on the menu?

New food items this season include crispy chicken bao, gyro loaded fries that come in a souvenir helmet, and quesabirria tacos filled with barbacoa beef, Spanish onions, Chihuahua cheese and ancho chili sauce.

For fans in the bleachers, or those willing to trek out to the outfield, a Small Cheval stand will serve a stripped-down version of the menu from the wildly popular burger place Au Cheval.

On the drinks side, after a 42-year hiatus, concession stands this season once again will serve Coca-Cola products.

To mark the occasion, a Billy Goat Tavern pop-up will appear in the concourse behind home plate for the first home series. On Opening Day, performers from Second City will channel Bill Murray, John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd to re-create the famous "Cheezborger, Cheezborger" sketch from "Saturday Night Live" and yell "No Pepsi, Coke!" to the fans streaming by.

While the DraftKings Sportsbook next to Wrigley, near the intersection of Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue, isn't yet ready to welcome gamblers, a rooftop terrace atop the new building will be accessible to ticketed Cubs fans starting Thursday. The terrace is sponsored by NÜTRL Vodka Seltzer and will have food and beverage concessions.

Cubs officials said they expect the sportsbook to open in the second quarter of 2023, the three-month period that starts Saturday and runs through June 30.

For years, the Cubs 2016 World Series trophy was displayed in the club's front office building at Gallagher Way. Starting Thursday, the sterling silver trophy made by Tiffany's will be in its own room for paying Wrigley Field patrons near the Marquee entrance at Clark and Addison streets.

This rendering released by the Chicago Cubs depicts the new room at Gallagher Way, across from Wrigley Field, where fans can get their pictures taken with the club's 2016 World Series trophy. The trophy room is among the new additions to the ballpark for this season. Courtesy of the Chicago Cubs

The room will be sponsored by C.D. Peacock jewelry stores and, based on renderings, will feature a wall-sized depiction of golden gates and ivy to serve as the background for fans taking photos with the club's symbol of championship glory.

In the off-season, workers used cranes to remove the original stadium lights that illuminated Wrigley Field's first night game in 1988 and replaced them with modern, energy-efficient LEDs. The new lights were up and running in time for the Christmas market hosted at the ballpark over the holidays, but Thursday's game is the first time they could be used to light up a ballgame.

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