Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Cubs Could Reportedly Break Ground in the Next Couple of Weeks

Wrigley-71014According to a report from Paul Sullivan, the Cubs will break ground on the “new underground home clubhouse in the next couple of weeks.” The Cubs received unanimous approval from the Landmarks Commission last Thursday on the team’s revised plans to restore, expand and renovate Wrigley Field.

The new clubhouse is scheduled to be completed by Opening Day of 2016, but phase one of the project, that includes the expansion of the bleachers and left field video board, is scheduled to be completed by Opening Day of 2015.

The team will not begin the bleacher project until the off-season. Reports last week indicated the work could begin soon after the Cubs play their last home game on Sept. 24.

The Cubs and Wrigleyville Rooftop Association will continue dialogue in order to avoid a lawsuit. Tom Ricketts addressed the questions about the ongoing discussions with the rooftops prior to Friday’s game and said, “We’ll reach out. We’ll talk to everybody, and I’m confident there will be a solution that works. We’re always talking to those guys.”

Tom Ricketts feels his team is “in a good spot now” and he said, “We’re looking forward to getting things rolling.”

 

Paul Sullivan spoke with Carl Rice, the Cubs Vice President of Ballpark Operations, after the team received approval from the Landmarks Commission.

Carl Rice provided details on what will take place with the bleacher expansion that is scheduled to be completed by Opening Day of 2015.

  • PrintThe revised plans for Wrigley Field “feature a major tear down and rebuild of parts of the bleachers.”
  • Outside bleachers wall will be torn down in order to be pushed out to expand the footprint of the park.
  • Some of the existing metal supports in the bleachers must be removed in order to add space underneath the bleachers. The additional space created would house the new bullpens.
  • A support system for the new video boards and advertising signs require sections of the bleachers to be reworked. “Some of the seating bowl concrete will have to be removed and put back in place.”
  • Additional rows of seats will be added to the bleachers which will require the patio section to be redone.
  • The team has started “replacing the bricks in the outfield wall, starting with far left field last off-season.” The Cubs “eventually will replace the entire outfield wall, in sections, every off-season through the four-year project.”

The Cubs have not announced a specific date as to when the project will begin. But from all indications, the team is getting very close to starting the Wrigley Field project.

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  • Ray Koenig

    At last.

  • Craig York

    Great news!

  • calicub

    Question. If the Outfield wall is an historic landmark, how are they removing and replacing the bricks?

    • Tony_H

      Maintenance. They can’t change the look. The bricks have been changed in most areas at some point.

  • Roll

    All of us Cubs fans should/are happy and although this day should have happened 3-4 years ago it is the first real money commitment from the Ricketts to the major league team/facility since the original purchase. Everything I have read and drawing that I have seen sure make the new Wrigley an exciting place to see again. I can’t wait to see some sort of detailed project management timeline.

    • Rich Cooper

      Although I agree that the actual Wrigley renovations are long overdue, the Ricketts have invested in the spring training park as well as the player development aspect of the team. Fighting legal battles as a result of the rooftops and an insipid politician who shall remain nameless who is doing nothing but trying to garner votes has delayed everything. All of these things are investments in the team in both the minor and major league aspect of the team. Extending Castro and Rizzo also is an example of investing in the team. Even though the investments may not be exactly what we would like, as quick, or to the degree we might want, there has been investment nonetheless.

      • Swish23

        The city of Mesa spent 99M to build new spring training facility. cubs zero. They have also shaved 60M off the payroll while keeping the 25M from new espn tv contract and 10 M from partnership with Budweiser. The Ricketts money commitment is sorely lacking.

        • No Baseball In Indiana

          Personally I think they’re adept business people and are keeping their powder dry until the team is ready to compete. Only time will tell but I’m glad they haven’t gone the Nationals route and overspent on an aging player who will never live up to the contract merely to announce to the fans “Hey, we’re here.”

        • triple

          And many teams in all sports get lots of money from the cities they play in to build or restore thier team’s stadium. It goes to show about the politics involved in Chicago, compared to Mesa, and how things will get done differently. You focus on the $99M that was spent by the city of Mesa (taxes), but you fail to think about how much revenue (and extra tax money) that the Cubs playing in Mesa brings to the entire East Valley and boosts it’s economy for an entire month. Yet, Ricketts will pay close to $500M (IIRC) for all the updates and restoration to Wrigley. Maybe the Cubs should just move the entire team to Mesa where a city is willing to foot the bill and appreciates in reaping the benefits of the team.

        • Roll

          Thank you Swish23 you beat me to the punch. But I will add that the Cubs have the 5th highest operating income and the third lowest payroll in MLB.

    • Tony_H

      First real money commitment since the original purchase. So not true!

      • Roll

        Explain TonyH

        • Tony_H

          All the info has been reported on here many times.

          • Roll

            And countered many times that ownership has not spend real money for a 1.2 Billion dollar team.

          • Tony_H

            Another example of spreading false facts.

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