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Wrigley Field Construction Update: September 27

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It's really happening -- well, not quite, because this is still just prep work. But it will happen soon. Monday, in fact.

Via the Sun-Times, we have details of how the Wrigley Field renovation project will begin:

On Monday, the project begins in earnest with demolition of the Wrigley bleachers.The right- and left-field walls and all of the bleacher seats inside will be torn down and rebuilt. But, not before the stadium walls are moved out onto Waveland and Sheffield to make way for wider concourses, new outfield light standards and concessions, bull pens beneath the stands and caissons to hold seven outfield signs, including two video scoreboards.Only the centerfield bleachers will remain untouched.The Cubs will also begin excavating the Red and Purple parking lots on the west side of the stadium to lay the groundwork for a new, 30,000-square-foot, subterranean clubhouse and commissary for Levy Restaurants.

The article goes on to say that the Cubs had hoped to have a formal groundbreaking with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, outgoing Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and incoming Commissioner Rob Manfred, but that given the tight winter construction time schedule (and they, along with everyone else, hopes for a milder Chicago winter than last year!), it wasn't possible.

BCB's David Sameshima went by Wrigley Friday, September 26 and took the photos in this gallery and filed this report:

Sheffield & Waveland were closed off to vehicular traffic. Both streets were still accessible to pedestrians. Fencing is up along the east curb of Sheffield, but there is no fencing up on Waveland -- yet. The concrete barriers are still on Waveland, blocking the southern lane of traffic.Fencing was up around the main marquee area. The marquee was off, with no messages or ads. The normal displays were being shown Thursday. The office entrance and the Ernie Banks statue are now inaccessible. The area around the Captain Morgan Club is still open. I saw kegs and some other supplies still inside Captain Morgan.All the activity was at Gate K on Waveland. I saw Levy Restaurants supplies, filing cabinets and employee lockers coming out. Forklifts were carrying the portable souvenir stands down Clark Street, toward the Brown Lot.Waveland is still open from Clark Street to the firehouse. Since Gate K is opposite the firehouse, this is a really busy corner now.A Budweiser trailer truck pulled up. They moved it over to the Blue Lot along Seminary across from the firehouse. This was the only spot where it could park near Gate K.Gate Q was accessible, and I was surprised to see men playing on the field. They were wearing numbered shirts, and shorts. There were also umpires. I came across some tourists who met the group, before they went in. They told me that the group traveled across the country to play at various parks.I saw many tourists, who all asked me what was going on, and were all disappointed that there were no tours and they couldn't even take any pretty exterior photos.The main bleacher entrance area was still accessible, but I did hear some contractors inside discussing how to dismantle the Harry Caray statue. On the Waveland side all the top row benches were gone. I took photos of the bench footings that you can see in the gallery. There's no such view on the Sheffield side. Bleachers were still in place in high center field.The triangle lot was still wide open, and just being used for staff parking, with nothing blocked off, yet.

I went by Wrigley myself Saturday morning. It looks pretty much as David saw it Friday, so this report is up-to-date. We'll have photos here of the beginning of the demolition Monday, and throughout the project. I'm hoping that David and I will be able to document this project several times a week, if not on a daily basis, until it's completed and ready for Opening Day, April 6, 2015.