Chicago Cubs officials say Wrigley Field will be ready for Opening Day on April 11, although more work in scheduled for the Friendly Confines and the surrounding area throughout this year.
Head to Clark and Addison and you’ll be presented with a full work site: tarps and fencing surround much of the ballpark, the historic marquee is still down, and work on the adjacent plaza and office space is ongoing. Just recently the surprisingly McDonald’s next to Wrigley Field was closed in order to prep for its demolition before a new hotel is constructed.
Once inside the ballpark, however, fans won’t see many changes, as most of the recent upgrades were unveiled at various times last season. There’s nothing major like new bleachers or new videoboards on tap, but there are a few fan upgrades: Fans down the left-field line will enjoy new seats, and per MLB orders new netting was installed in the grandstand, extended to cover dugout spaces as well. (In a triumph of technology, the new netting will be knotless and more transparent than the old netting.) But most of the upgrades this season are behind the ballpark scenes, including a new 30,000-square-foot home clubhouse. The visitors will need to limp along with the existing clubhouse this season before that space is upgraded.
And, perhaps most importantly: the iconic marquee will be ready for Opening Day.
Still to come: the large public plaza, the new office space (complete with plaza-side videoboard), and the new hotel.