Crane Kenney and Carl Rice, Vice President of Ballpark Operations, gave a tour of Wrigley Field on Monday to a group of media members to show the progress and provide an update on the first phase of The 1060 Project.
Kenney said the left field and center field bleachers remain on target to be open by May 11 but the right field bleachers and video board probably will not be ready until early June. Due to the weather delays, steel work hasn’t begun on the right field bleachers.
The Cubs said the left field video board is on schedule to be installed and operational by Opening Night, April 5.
The team is anticipating all three sections of the bleachers to be open by early June, but not completed until the end of the season. Construction will continue on the bleachers after they’re opened in mid-May and early-June.
The Cubs did not address this issue Monday, but according to the Sun-Times there could be additional delays opening the left and center field bleachers. The Sun-Time reported none of the sections will be open until the entire bleacher project is complete due to “ingress and egress issues.”
Carl Rice said work is on schedule in the left field concourse and in the triangle plaza, but some of the bathrooms in the left field concourse may not be ready until early June. And there is not expected to be any delays with the team’s clubhouse being ready by Opening Day 2016.
The Cubs did not provide an update on the LED ribbon boards being installed down the first and third baselines. But scaffolding is in place and those boards should be on schedule for completion by Opening Night.
Updated 11:00am CST– According to Fran Spielman, Mayor Rahm Emanuel denied the Cubs request to work 24 hours a day in order to make up for the lost time due to the weather delays.
Due to the record cold temperatures, the Cubs lost five of the nine days leading up to Monday. And because of the lost time, the team is going to ask the city for permission to extend construction hours from 8:00am – 8:00pm to 24 hours a day, seven days week.
The Cubs are looking for a way to make up for zero work being done on the project for basically a week. Ald. Tom Tunney has not made a public statement about the Cubs request to work 24-7 on Wrigley Field.
Crane Kenney said the next two weeks is critical to the timeframes that were provided Monday and ideally the extended hours would only take place on weekends.
As the team said during the convention, construction will continue throughout the season, even on game days. The team is trying to schedule the work in such a way not to take away from the game day experience.
Carl Rice also provided an update Monday on the outfield walls.
The Cubs received permissions from the city to replace parts of the outfield wall with new bricks. Some of brick had deteriorated to the point it had to be removed and replaced.
“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,” Rice said.
After admitting again that he’s not a morning person, Joe Maddon told Gordon Wittenmyer he is looking to draw from the energy at Wrigley Field during the day games. Maddon and his players will be without the left and center field bleachers for first 15 home games and the right field bleachers for at least the first 28 home games of the season.
Wrigley Field is going to be Under Cubstruction when the games begin as Crane Kenney said Monday, “It is going to be a little dusty and a little dirty this year.”
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