The Major League Baseball season is scheduled to kick off on April 5th with a game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field, which is currently under renovation.
The renovations, which include completely tearing down the outfield bleachers, was recently delayed by cold weather. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel denied a request by the Cubs for around-the-clock, seven-days-a-week construction, creating concerns that the 101-year-old stadium wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day.
With Opening Day around the corner, the Cubs addressed the concerns, telling Carrie Muskat of MLB.com that “there is no truth to a rumour that Major League Baseball has asked the Cubs to work on a Plan B with the White Sox to play games at U.S. Cellular Field because of delays in construction at Wrigley Field.”
That the renovations will not be done in time for Opening Day is not a surprise. In January, the Cubs announced the bleachers would not be ready until early May. However, with the added delays in recent weeks, now the left- and center-field bleachers are expected to be ready by May 11 with the right-field bleachers finishing in mid-June according to Cash Kruth of MLB.com.
But while the Cubs told Muskrat that the rest of the ballpark “will be fine,” the bleachers and the outside of the stadium still look like a complete mess, as seen in some recent news reports in the past few days from ABC7 and CBS2 in Chicago. With just two weeks before Opening Day, the bleachers are still just a bunch of metal beams.
Here is a close-up of the left field bleachers. These are expected to be finished by the Cubs’ 16th home game on May 11.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs have not ruled out doing work on the renovations during games.
Here is what those bleachers and video board will look like when they are done.
There will eventually be a new video board above the right field bleachers also. However, owners of rooftop bleachers across the street are currently fighting that in court.
Outside the stadium, things don’t look any better.
Roads are closed.
There is scaffolding everywhere.
Even the old players’ parking lot, which is being converted to a plaza, is still a pile of dirt.
The renovations should look amazing when they are done. But in the meantime it looks like a mess.
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