Chicago Cubs die-hard fans are feeling left out after they were unable to renew their longtime seats due to the team’s new private Catalina Club – a premium suit on the upper deck.
Catalina Club members now sit in section 400 upper-deck seats behind home plate. Members are able to access the club and outdoor area where the Jim Bean patio previously stood.
According to the Chicago Tribune, devoted fan Gary Dupuis spent 15 years watching home games from the same seat, but was unable to renew his seat this year. Dupuis, 61, said his four tickets were going to raise in price from $18,000 to $106,000 and the average price per game would jump from $60 to $325.
Julian Green, the team’s Vice President of Communications, said that season ticket holders were notified of the club 18 months before it opened and had the option to relocate ahead of the 2018 and 2019 season. However, Dupuis decided it was better to just give up his seat, rather than relocate his seat of 15 years.
“They took the most loyal fans, who had given them the most money, who had endured seasons like 300 losses in three years, and they just decided that they’re going to go for the revenue rather than to recognize the loyalty and devotion,” Dupuis told the Tribune. “I understand it’s a business, but those guys still have Chicago on their uniforms, and their whole success was built by fans like us, up in old Section 422.
“We’re not corporations or anything,” he said. “We’re just great baseball and Cubs fans.”
Similarly, fan Mary Mnichowicz was a season ticket holder for 19 years and sat in the upper deck behind the home plate for 18. She questioned why the team built the club in this section, rather than expanding the clubs that they already have above terrace reserve seating, and noted it was a “poor business decision.” Ultimately, however, she decided to move her seat, noting that she could not afford the $22,000 seat.
“The people around me, we sat there for years,” Mnichowicz told the Tribune. “The guy behind me 30 years. The family next to me 35. And we watched a lot of bad baseball and this is how we’re paid back.”
While some fans decided to move their seats to different sections, the general consensus was that the new club took away the special “old” Wrigley Field feeling. The Catlalani Club also brought in a new catwalk, separating the upper deck into two sides with a catwalk in-between. Cubs Vice President of Sales and Marketing Colin Faulkner will help traffic flow and keep club seat holders in that one area by offering concessions and restrooms close by.