Instead, Wrigley Field and the neighborhood were pretty much deserted, and the ballpark turned back into a construction site, as the second winter of the renovation/restoration project is getting into full swing.
BCB's David Sameshima visited Wrigley late Friday afternoon and filed this report:
When I arrived, I saw that they had put up construction fences in front of the ballpark. Only the sidewalk on the Addison side is open. The Ernie Banks statue has been removed. There is now a major excavation project under way on the Clark Street side in front of the ticket windows. My guess is that it's around 20 feet deep.Walking around the ballpark, there are now some construction fences in place along the Addison Street side. All the patio furniture has been removed from the Draft Kings Sports Zone. The Billy Williams and Ron Santo statues have both been removed. There is a construction fence up in front of Gate D. One of the side gates was open, and I saw that there is an excavation under way just inside of Gate D. The dirt was being dumped just outside of Gate D.Gate Q, on Waveland Avenue was open and they were bringing out sod and dirt which was being piled up along the Waveland Avenue sidewalk. Later when I arrived home, I received an email from the Cubs. The Cubs are giving away the sod through Tuesday. The sod has been cut up into 18" pieces. It is first come, first serve. The text of this email is in the article posted earlier today.They are doing major work on the groundskeeper's cottage. The roof appears to have been removed. The tent over the players' parking lot has been removed. All the broadcast hookup equipment has been removed from the broadcast lot. Both were probably removed to create a staging area for all the construction equipment.A few of the local bars still had Cubs banners up, the last remnants of the postseason games, with Wrigley Field back in construction mode.There is a sale in progress at the Cubs Store. They are offering 50% off all postseason merchandise, with 25% off everything else.
You'll also notice that all the player banners that were up around the ballpark have been taken down. I know some of you don't like those banners, but I thought they dressed up what is otherwise a somewhat dull facade. That should be different once the renovation project is complete.
We'll continue to document the project here during the offseason.