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The Cubs are squeezing 56 more seats into Wrigley Field, and shortening foul territory behind home plate to do it.
The Boston Red Sox made a lot of money over the last few years by squeezing in premium seats in every nook and cranny of Fenway Park.
The Cubs have tried to model things after the Red Sox. Thursday, they got approval to squeeze in some new seats behind home plate, according to the Chicago Tribune:
The Chicago Cubs today got the green light to move a brick wall behind home plate at Wrigley Field 3 feet forward to add an additional row of 56 seats for the 2013 season.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks permit review committee approved the plans by a 5-1 vote. A portion of the wall will be removable, allowing the field to be used for other types of sports.
Presumably, these would be high-priced seats; if they sold for (for example) $200 a game and were sold out, the Cubs would reap $907,200 in additional ticket revenue.
Of course, with the team not doing well, there is no guarantee that kind of seat would sell for that kind of price for every game. Using the Boston Red Sox model works well when you are, as the Red Sox were until this season, successful for a decade or more, with championships in recent memory.
That's not the case here. It'll be interesting to see how or if those new seats sell, or if they do, what sort of chunk they take out of sales of other nearby seating.