Cubs Will Not Have Bleachers Completed Until May
By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 19, 2015 4:30PM
Photo credit: Joshua Mellin
The big news from this weekend’s Cubs convention didn’t involve the moves the team made in the offseason. It was the announcement that the ongoing bleacher renovations will not be completed by Opening Day and, in fact, may drag on into late May.
The delays will affect around 2,000 season ticket holders, who will be eligible for full refunds for games up to May 11, credit for those games before or be eligible for tickets in the grandstands. The left field bleachers are expected to be completed around May 11, while construction in the right field bleachers could continue into late May. Meanwhile, the center field section won’t be open before May 11 due to safety issues.
Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney broke the news to unsuspecting Cubs fans at the convention. Kenney blamed the delay on a couple factors. Delivery of fabricated steel will happen in late February. Once that steel is in place, it will take at least a month for the new concrete to fully solidify. Sewer work outside the right field bleachers will add to the delay of that section’s construction. The center field bleachers, with a capacity of 5,000 people, will not open until the left field bleachers are complete.
"We're rebuilding a 100-year-old facility, there's going to be inconveniences for everybody," Kenney said. "It's just a reality."
The Cubs rebuilt the bleachers in 2006 but this series of renovations are being done to accommodate the giant video screens the Cubs plan on erecting in left and right fields as part of their overall $575 million Wrigley renovation plan. Revenue from advertising and sponsorships are expected to fund the renovations. The Cubs only have 12 home games in April. The delays are expected to affect a minimum of 15 games.
In other bad news for Cubs fans, Wrigley Field may be without wireless service all season. How will people visiting the World's Largest Beer Garden be able to post selfies?