By Anne Cosgrove
In 2014, Chicago’s Wrigley Field marked its 100th year with the launch of a multi-phase renovation and upgrade that will impact every square inch of the stadium facility. Named The 1060 Project (a reference to the site’s street address), the four-year plan includes structural upgrades, improved player facilities, new fan amenities, outfield signage, expanded concessions, and new and improved restroom facilities. Begun at the conclusion of the 2014 baseball season, the project comprises four phases—with completion slated for 2018.
The primary focus of the first phase of The 1060 Project (completed in 2015) was structural work to prepare Wrigley Field for enhancements and improvements over the course of the construction plan. Another focus was expanding and improving the left- and right-field bleachers, as well new outfield signs.
Overseeing the project is Carl Rice, vice president of the Wrigley Field restoration and expansion — a role he took on in July 2015 (he was previously vice president, ballpark operations). Three pillars of the project are historic preservation, connectivity/technology, and sustainability. And during a recent press tour of the stadium, Rice described The 1060 Project as “bringing the ballpark into the future… without changing a thing.”
This approach has involved the Cubs choosing to work with Sycamore, IL-based IDEAL Industries to install the company’s Audacy wireless energy management system to control the lighting throughout the recently completed clubhouse for players and coaches (part of phase two of The 1060 Project). This new facility comprises 30,000 square feet, nearly triple the size of the former player clubhouse (11,000 square feet).
In the new space, the Audacy system provides wireless control via an iOS or Android mobile phone or tablet app, while automatically sensing and adjusting to ambient light, movement, and room occupancy to maintain desired settings. The system also aims to minimize maintenance; the components feature batteries with a 25 year operating life.
Rice has described Audacy as a “significant leap forward in wireless energy management control technology. We’re impressed by both the system and IDEAL Industries’ engineering and customer service team, which has met every deadline and challenge thrown their way. Their product support consistently exceeded every other system we reviewed.”
Over the next several years, The 1060 Project team will consider installation of Audacy sensors, control units, gateways, and reporting components into other team facilities, retail spaces, entertainment clubs, and suites throughout the ballpark, as well as the team’s new five-story office building, currently under construction.
At the stadium, the Audacy system can connect virtually any new or legacy lighting fixture to its cloud-based operating platform. “We are able to easily set lighting parameters for optimal impact and energy conservation,” said Rice. “We can easily make adjustments based on event type, game delays, and energy usage patterns from a tablet or mobile phone.” He also notes the Cubs have the ability to automatically monitor and report on energy usage to city, state and federal agencies.
This new clubhouse at Wrigley Field includes a locker room for players and coaches, a strength and conditioning center, training and hydrotherapy areas, a media center, team offices and a player lounge.
At the conclusion of the recent press tour, Rice shared, “The product has performed to our expectations, and we’re evaluating where we might use it for the rest of the project. The partnership with Audacy has been great.”