How do you cover up unfinished bleachers on Opening Night? The answer is simple, you throw the coolest tarp ever over them to pay tribute to your franchise’s greatest player. How do you modernize one of the oldest ballparks in baseball while still retaining its charm? That answer is proving far more complicated.
The first, most noticeable part of the Wrigley renovation is the 3,990-square-foot video board above the left field bleachers. For the first time in its history Wrigley Field fans will get to see replays, detailed stats and other extras that just are not possible on the hand-operated scoreboard in center field. The Video board was already put to good use on Opening Night when the Cubs paid tribute to Ernie Banks with a three-minute video.
Unfortunately most of the other renovations are not going quite so smoothly. The Cubs had three bathrooms closed on Opening Night due to the renovations, leaving fans to wait in line for more than 30 minutes. The Cubs added 70 portable toilets for Tuesday’s rained-out tilt game against the Cardinals, giving them the same number of toilets as they had at the end of 2014. Between the added toilets and decreased attendance for non-Opening Night games, inordinately long waits should not be an issue going forward. The closed bathrooms should be re-opened by late May. The left field bleachers will be ready by May 11 and the right-field bleachers should be done by mid-June.
Altogether the Wrigley renovation project is expected to take five years, though the most invasive work for fans will be done once the bleachers are ready.