Chicago Cubs to host opening homestand of 2015 season at Wrigley Field April 5-8

Ernie Banks to be honored during MLB's season opener and throughout the 2015 season

The 2015 Major League Baseball season will officially kick off at Wrigley Field this Sunday, April 5, at 7:05 p.m. as the Chicago Cubs host Opening Night vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals remain in town for a three-game series until Wednesday, April 8, when the Cubs conclude their opening homestand, then head to Union Station for Cubs Charities' annual Bricks and Ivy Ball.

The Cubs will begin their season by honoring the late Hall of Famer, "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks, who passed away at the age of 83 in January. Mr. Banks will be honored with a pregame ceremony Sunday evening and his sons, Joey and Jerry, will throw the game's ceremonial first pitches and lead the 7th inning stretch. The team will wear a commemorative #14 patch on both its home and away jerseys this season, and the bases used on Opening Night will be adorned with Ernie Banks tribute base jewels. These game-used bases and jerseys will be available for purchase through Cubs Authentics with proceeds benefiting Cubs Charities. Each fan attending Opening Night will receive a commemorative #14 pin in his honor as they enter the gates. Fans will see many other tributes paying homage to Mr. Banks' remarkable life and career throughout the evening.

Fans attending Opening Night at Wrigley Field will want to arrive early following Major League Baseball's announcement that Chicago-born, award-winning rock band Fall Out Boy will headline MLB Opening Night's first ever live musical performance as part of pregame festivities. Fall Out Boy will perform three songs live on the field and the band's platinum hit "Centuries" will be televised live to a national audience on "Baseball Tonight," airing on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. CDT. With Fall Out Boy's performance taking place pregame, batting practice for both the Cubs and Cardinals will be moved earlier by approximately 30 minutes. Gates at Wrigley Field will open at 4:35 p.m. CDT as a result. The first 30,000 fans entering the ballpark will receive a Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano's.

On Tuesday, April 7, the first 30,000 adults age 21-and-older will receive a Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Jack Daniel's. Members of the popular Chicago-based '60s band, The Buckinghams, will sing the National Anthem, while the Lombard, Illinois-native band Plain White T's will lead the 7th inning stretch.

On Wednesday, April 8, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kristian Bush from Sugarland will throw a first pitch and lead the 7th inning stretch. Following the game, Cubs players, coaches, alumni, owners, management and fans will head to Union Station for Cubs Charities' primary fundraising event, the annual Bricks and Ivy Ball.

Tickets remain available for the upcoming three-game homestand and Bricks and Ivy Ball at www.cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827). Highlights of the homestand follow.

Promotional Giveaways:

Each fan attending Opening Night will receive a commemorative #14 pin in honor of "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks. The first 30,000 fans entering the ballpark that evening will receive a Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano's. On Tuesday, April 7, the first 30,000 adults age 21-and-older will receive a Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Jack Daniel's.

Guests and Entertainment:

Fall Out Boy, who won Best Alternative Band at the 2014 People's Choice Awards, will headline Opening Night's pregame show by performing its newest single, "Uma Thurman," as well as the multiplatinum hits "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up)" and "Centuries." The latter song will be televised live to a national audience on "Baseball Tonight," airing on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. CDT, immediately followed by the live broadcast of the Opening Night game at 7 p.m. CDT.

On Tuesday, April 7, members of the popular Chicago-based '60s band, The Buckinghams, will sing the National Anthem, while the Lombard, Illinois-native band Plain White T's will lead the 7th inning stretch. Kristian Bush from Sugarland will throw a first pitch and lead the 7th inning stretch Wednesday, April 8, following the release of his first solo album and show at Joe's Bar the day prior.

Cubs Charities Bricks and Ivy Ball, April 8:

This year's Bricks and Ivy Ball will feature a fun '80s theme at the historic Union Station. Cubs players, coaches, alumni, owners and management will be in attendance for an evening of musical entertainment, cocktails and dinner. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on unique live and silent auction items. All proceeds will benefit Cubs Charities. To purchase a ticket or for more information, visit www.cubs.com/bricksandivy.

New Food and Beverage Offerings:

Levy Restaurants will introduce hearty Chicago-style dishes and a rotating selection of ballpark fare this season, highlighted by several exciting new offerings:

  • The "Joe Maddon Italian Hoagie" makes its Wrigley Field debut on the same day as its namesake new Cubs manager. The sandwich is a time-honored recipe straight from the skipper's family vault, featuring ham, salami, white American cheese, crisp lettuce, sliced tomatoes, spicy peppers and olive oil, served on fresh hoagie roll.
  • Fans also can find a chef-crafted specialty "Hot Dog of the Month" in concession stands, beginning in April with a Vienna Beef hot dog covered with pulled pork, BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
  • Back by popular demand and bigger than ever-last year's favorite 100th anniversary-themed Vienna Beef Decade Dogs return in footlong form as "Jumbo Decade Dogs" at the Decade Dog Stand. Fan-favorite decade-themed specials return to the Decade Diner as well.
  • "Da Burger" is a grilled Cuban-style pork burger topped with bacon, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and spicy mustard aioli, presented by the Illinois Pork Producers and available in concession stands.
  • New "Garlic Parmesan Fries" take crispy fries and top them with roasted garlic aïoli, zesty Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese.

These new menu items join traditional favorites like Giordano's Pizza, Vienna Beef Hot Dogs and Wrigley Field Smokies.

Fans will enjoy a range of sweet and smooth cocktails and local craft brews to accompany their ballpark fare. Goose Island IPA, an English-style India Pale Ale, is now available at concession stands throughout the ballpark. Several Jack Daniel's cocktails have been introduced, including offerings with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey. A RumChata-themed mobile beverage stand will feature four new RumChata cocktails as well. Fans will continue to be able to find their favorite beverages from Anheuser-Busch and Barefoot Wine.

Homestand Recap, April 5-8:

Sunday, April 5, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:05 p.m.

  • Special tribute: Ernie Banks pregame ceremony, moment of silence and in-game tributes
  • Promotions: Commemorative #14 pin, all fans; Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano's, first 30,000 fans
  • Pregame entertainment: Fall Out Boy
  • National Anthem: Wayne Messmer; God Bless America: London Lo
  • First pitches and 7th inning stretch: Ernie Banks' sons, Joey and Jerry Banks
  • Broadcast: ESPN2-TV, WBBM Newsradio 780-AM, Cubs.com

Tuesday, April 7, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:05 p.m.

  • Promotion: Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Jack Daniel's, first 30,000 adults age 21-and-older
  • National Anthem: Members of Chicago-based '60s band, The Buckinghams
  • 7th inning stretch: Lombard, Illinois-native band, Plain White T's
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, WBBM Newsradio 780-AM, Cubs.com

Wednesday, April 8, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 1:20 p.m.

  • First pitch and 7th inning stretch: Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kristian Bush from Sugarland
  • Broadcast: WLS-TV, WBBM Newsradio 780-AM, Cubs.com
  • Cubs Charities Bricks and Ivy Ball post-game at Union Station