The videoboards will be working and the concourses will be open, but otherwise renovations to Wrigley Field will last into June, as the bleachers overhaul has been impacted by bad winter weather.
The Cubs, led by Crane Kenney, opened the ballpark to the press yesterday to discuss the overhaul. This offseason saw the old bleachers torn down to make way for new bleachers, party areas and bullpens, with reinforced supports for new videoboards. The outfield wall has been put back together, the ivy is back, and the team expects the videoboards to be operational for the April 5 opener, per AP:
To get everything done, Cubs officials will ask the city for permission to work around the clock, said Crane Kenney, the team’s president of business operations. And while the team has said for weeks that the bleachers won’t be open until May, on Monday officials said that only the left field and center field bleachers will open in May. The right-field bleachers won’t be open until June, officials said Monday.
During Monday’s media tour, Carl Rice, the Cubs’ vice president of ballpark operations, discussed some challenges of renovating a park that is both part of the history of baseball and a historic landmark that must be treated carefully – right down to the famous ivy-covered outfield wall.
”We had permission from the city to replace (part of the wall), so we took it down brick by brick, one by one, analyzed which brick is of a good nature, kept that and put all that brick in place and we are now in the process of reattaching the ivy to the wall,” said Rice.
We are talking major overhaul of Wrigley Field here: although this first round of renovations could be completed by June, fans will be in for more changes over the next three years. The four-year plan — which includes structural updates; improved player facilities; new signage, including videoboards in left and right field; expanded concessions; new and improved restroom facilities and much more — will be rolled out in four separate phases, beginning in the 2014 offseason.
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