ComEd Lights the Way for Cubs’ Playoff RunOctober 11, 2016
Although it’s been more than a century since the Cubs won the World Series, Chicago lives in hope this fall. And at Chicago’s iconic Wrigley field, the ballpark is ready for this run on history. A dream team of Cubs staff, local officials, and ComEd staff are working together to light up the beloved field for night games – and, with significant upgrades underway as part of a major restoration project, they are also setting the stage for the team and its fans to enjoy years of excitement ahead.
This work to upgrade the electrical infrastructure at the ballpark began in 2014, when the Cubs contacted ComEd about a four-fold increase in power consumption. The cause was the 1060 Project , a plan set to transform Wrigley Field and the surrounding area.
“The 1060 Project is a historic undertaking to ensure the viability of Wrigley Field for another century, while preserving the beauty, charm, and features that fans have come to know and love,” says Carl Rice, vice president of the Wrigley Field restoration and expansion. The renovations include new premier clubs, improved player facilities, outfield signage, and more.
While this large undertaking proved exciting news for Chicago, existing infrastructure created a wrinkle. ComEd’s Capacity Planning Department found that the electrical infrastructure in the Wrigleyville area was not adequate for the project. How could enough electrical power reach the new buildings and expanded stadium?
Teams across ComEd stepped up to the plate to develop a five-phase initiative that will reach completion by 2019. This strategy involves not only the installation of new electrical feeders, but also a new large mainline vault.
“The plan is on schedule and running smoothly. We’re identifying and correcting issues as they arise,” says Natasha Salas, a large customer service account representative with ComEd. Salas has been collaborating with ComEd engineers, contractors, and aldermen on upcoming aspects of the project, such as an energy-efficiency savings initiative.
“We’re finding new ways for [Wrigley Field] to save money on emergency power,” she says. “Wrigley Field is a prime entertainment spot in Chicago, and I’m excited to see the end product.”
A key aspect of the plan’s continued success has been community response.
“The project benefits from open channels of communication with local stakeholders,” says Luis Diaz Perez, an external affairs manager with ComEd. Whether the issue at hand is new feeder lines or pole sites, crews are assimilating this feedback to continue to make Wrigley Field a welcoming space for Cubs fans.
The future has never looked brighter as the boys of summer head towards what fans hope will be a postseason victory.