Infrastructure work has begun on Waveland and Sheffield Avenues adjacent to the Wrigley Field bleachers so that the bleacher walls can be moved out and the bleachers expanded in the first phase of the Wrigley expansion project. This, you already know.
I have heard that construction will start the Monday after the season ends, September 29, so that the team can get as much work done before winter sets in -- hopefully for everyone, a less-harsh winter than the last one.
Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times sums up pretty much everything we already know in this article posted Tuesday afternoon, and I'm not going to go through everything that's in there concerning Mayor Rahm Emanuel's approval, the rooftop lawsuit, etc... but I did want to call your attention to these two paragraphs, quoting Cubs spokesperson Julian Green:
“The video board will be up in 2015 — the big one approved [in right-field]. So will the Budweiser sign in right,” Green said. “We just got [the five additional] signs approved this summer. As the summer comes to a close, we’ll be in the marketplace talking to potential and existing sponsors. If there are sponsors who want to purchase those assets, we’ll put them up as quickly as possible.”
The location [in brackets] in that quote for the video board is wrong -- it's going to be in left field. But the more important point about that statement is that, it would seem, the five additional signs that were approved by the Landmarks Commission were approved "on spec," as it were. There aren't any sponsors lined up for any of those signs, and if I might speculate here a bit, one of the things that came out of that Landmarks Commission hearing was a request by Mayor Emanuel that the Cubs and the rooftops sit down and continue to hammer out a deal.
Perhaps they're doing so, and in the end, the video board and the right-field sign -- the signs that were approved in the summer of 2013 -- will be the only ones that will go up, a compromise that would likely satisfy both the Cubs and the rooftops. After all, if the rooftop clubs do wind up without a contract after 2023 -- a likely scenario since the Cubs seem uninterested in extending the deal -- why would the Cubs want signs in the outfield that would block the views from rooftop clubs that the team might wind up buying out?
Just a thought. When construction starts, we'll chronicle it with photos here at BCB.
(For a larger view of the photo at the top of this post, click here.)