BCB's David Sameshima went to the area around Wrigley Field over the weekend to check out preparations for the National League Championship Series, which will be on the North Side of Chicago for three days starting Tuesday. (Yes, three -- let's be optimistic!)
I visited the ballpark on Saturday and Sunday. They were working on the plaza building on Saturday. I could not see any work taking place from the street. I could hear the workers, so I knew they were in there.As expected, there was always a small crowd in front of the ballpark taking photos. Unfortunately, they are still having issues with the electronic display on the marquee. Some of the lights would not illuminate. This was not constant, since there were moments when the entire display would illuminate. The unlit section was not constant either, and would change.A large tent is being set up in the parking lot across the street from the parkon Addison. This is the lot between the 7-Eleven and the Starbucks, so this parking will not be available to the pubic. I asked the workers who the tent was for. The only answer I could get was that it was "for the game." On Sunday, I noticed that they had put down a wooden floor. As I was leaving, it looked like they were laying down carpeting. Obviously, this will be a VIP area. I am guessing for MLB, or for sponsors.Part of Clifton Avenue (the north-south street which intersects Waveland Avenue in between Clark Street and Seminary Avenue) will also not be available for residential parking. There are trailers parked along the street. I am guessing these are for MLB or for the media.Along the back of the left field bleachers, I saw that a broadcast camera has been set up in the left field corner, next to the foul pole. In addition, I saw what looked to be scaffolding set up behind the back row of the bleachers. This was behind Section 302 (formerly Aisle 301-302). I am guessing that this may be a platform for the media or for the TBS broadcast. There is also a generator trailer parked outside the left field bleachers on Waveland with power cables leading up to the bleachers.On the right field side, the inner doors at Gate Q, the "knothole gate", remain closed. The only view inside of the ballpark is through the corner gate, at Gate R.
A few observations from me: the TV camera shown in photo 22 is right next to my seat in the bleachers. TBS and MLB Network have used this position for other games earlier this year -- it gives a nice shot right down the left-field foul line. The scaffolding set up behind section 302 (photo 23) could be for the pre-game show, which for this series is done live from the ballpark.
And the setup for the tent on Addison makes it look like it's some kind of party tent, perhaps for MLB and/or sponsors, rather than for parking.
We'll find all of this out for sure tomorrow afternoon!