Cubs thrilled by state-of-the-art clubhouse

New space 3 times larger, includes post-win party room

Cubs thrilled by state-of-the-art clubhouse

CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell and even Joe Maddon admitted they got lost in the Cubs' new clubhouse on Monday, but there were no complaints. The players welcomed the sparkly new 30,000-square foot clubhouse, which replaces a cramped 10,000-square foot space.

"It exceeds expectations," Maddon said.

The media will get an official tour on Tuesday, but Maddon pointed out some highlights, such as the tributes to former Cubs, and the photos on the wall, which include one of the players in his onesie at Dodger Stadium after Arrieta's no-hitter last August.

The clubhouse even features a party room for the post-win celebrations, which may be a first in the Major Leagues.

"It's about time," Maddon said.

"This team, after we win, it's fun," Zobrist said.

The clubhouse has the lockers in a circle around a lounge area, and that design was on purpose.

"Being a circle kind of unites teammates, creates a sense of equality," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. "There's no premium locker that's greater than anyone else's, no corners to hide in. Everyone's equal."

But the space is about more than just lights and a great sound system.

"It is comfortable but it's also very useful," Maddon said. "It's just so complete in regard to the training component."

Arrieta picked the Pilates reformers, which are designed to handle larger athletes like himself, Jon Lester and Jason Heyward. There is an underwater treadmill, steam sauna, hyperbaric chamber -- everything the players need.

"I think when you are surrounded by nice things and high standards, it makes you want to raise your own level," Epstein said. "It makes you want to come to work. It makes you want to hang around your teammates. It's a wonderful place, man."

Epstein also feels the new facilities fit the identity of the team well.

"You want to have the best facilities to go along with the best team, which is obviously what we're trying to build," Epstein said.

And while Zobrist was excited about the players' lounge that he described as someplace you'd want to hang out in, and Russell liked having a speaker above his cubicle, the purpose of the space is to help the players prepare for the game. They may need some signs taped onto the wall to help direct them to the right space.

"Today, I got lost," Russell said. "I was looking for the trainer's room, and it's back there somewhere."

He'll find it somehow.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.