The park was built in six weeks in 1914 at a cost of about $250,000 ($5.3 million in 2008 dollars) by the Chicago lunchroom magnate "Lucky Charlie" Weeghman, who owned the Federal League Dolphins. (The club signed a fifty-five-year lease to use the park for app $18,000 per year.) It was designed by the architect Zachary Taylor Davis (who four years earlier had designed Comiskey Park for the Chicago White Sox), incorporating the new "fireproof" building codes recently enacted by the city.
According to some sources, when it opened for the 1914 Federal League season, Weeghman Park had a seating capacity of 14,000. According to another source, the original seating capacity was 20,000.
In late 1915 the Federal League folded. The resourceful Weeghman formed a syndicate including the chewing gum manufacturer William Wrigley Jr. to buy the Chicago Cubs from Charles P. Taft for about $500,000. Weeghman immediately moved the Cubs from the dilapidated West Side Grounds to his two-year-old park. In 1918 Wrigley acquired the controlling interest in the club. In February 1926, he renamed the park "Wrigley Field."
In 1927 an upper deck was added, and in 1937, Bill Veeck, the son of the club president, planted ivy vines against the outfield walls.
Wrigley Field was a hold-out against night games, not installing lights until 1988 after baseball officials refused to allow the Cubs to play any post-season games without lights. Night games are still limited in number by agreement with the city council. Capacity is set at 44,250.