A "Knothole"?

Today's Tribune features this Paul Sullivan article detailing some additional information on the bleacher reconstruction project.

Among the things we learn from this article:

they have removed a metal gate from the wall and are leaving an open space in the right-field corner that offers passersby on Sheffield Avenue a free, ground-level view of the action.

The Cubs are calling it a "knothole" ... So how will the Cubs keep people from staking a claim to the knothole space overnight to watch the next day's game?

The Cubs aren't talking about the knothole--or anything else involving the bleacher project. Mark McGuire, executive vice president of business operations, did not return phone calls.

Methinks this will work for about one day before either the neighborhood, or the ballclub, is tired of the crowds that will undoubtedly gather, perhaps, as Sullivan suggests, even camping overnight for a space on the sidewalk. I can't see the Cubs wanting to pay for security to be there 24/7, nor do I think the city of Chicago would be thrilled with the idea of having to increase police patrols in order to keep order.

It's a lovely idea, but I think it's impractical.

This drawing acccompanied the newspaper article:

I believe this is not an accurate rendering of the current construction (except for the poles, which you have seen being constructed on the left-field side in the most recent photos, and they do indeed appear to be flagpoles). This drawing shows posts holding the back of the bleachers and creating an "underhang" -- which is exactly what the city, the neighbors, and the Cubs fought about for four years before a modified, scaled-down project was finally approved last year.

Here is a similar view, from the Cubs website, which shows the back walkway currently under construction, and that although it will be behind and below the back wall, there are no posts:

The article quotes bleacher regular Terri Johnson:

They basically ripped out the back of the bleachers. It's a gut job. It's rebuilding the bleachers, not expanding them. Once you change the sightlines, you're really changing the entire bleachers. I feel as though the Cubs misled their fans. When you say you are expanding, it's like you're putting a room addition onto a house. You don't rip down the whole house.

This is only partly true. Yes, some of the existing upsweep of the seating area was removed, but not all of it. It's hard to say whether sightlines will be different or not, until we get back in there in April. Yes, it will be different. In a perfect world, sure, I'd have loved to see it stay the way it was forever. In a perfect world, I wouldn't have wanted lights in Wrigley Field either. But they are there, and we deal with them. We'll deal with this too.

But I bet that "knothole" is covered up fairly quickly after Opening Day.

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