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Wrigley Field Construction Update: March 31

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The video board is taking shape, and we have exclusive photos from a Wrigley rooftop.

BCB's David Sameshima was lucky enough to get to a Wrigley rooftop to take photos Tuesday afternoon on what was a very, very busy day at the ballyard. Here, I'll let him tell the story:

I arrived at 2:06 p.m. It was 52 degrees (+35 wind chill). The first thing I saw was that the barricades were gone in front of the marquee. I hurried around the ballpark to see what views I could get of the left-field video board installation. I did find a couple of very limited views from Sheffield Avenue. I was also intrigued about the structure emerging from the righ-field patio section -- more on that later. I continued around to Waveland Avenue to check out the video board installation.I anticipated not having much to photograph on Sheffield related to the installation. I started to photograph the cable running that was still taking place under the video board. As I was doing this, a man approached me to inquire if I was the photographer with Bleed Cubbie Blue. He then offered me the opportunity to go up to the Brixen Ivy Rooftop on Waveland. I gladly accepted his offer. A big thank you to Brixen Ivy for this opportunity to share their view with BCB readers.From their rooftop, which has quite a good view of the field, I was able to see the video board panels staged on the left-field warning track. I was able to see the Opening Night logo on the field, as well as the No. 14 tribute to Ernie Banks behind home plate. I could also see the padding along the first base line wall being reinstalled. I also caught them testing part of the first-base line upper deck display board, and there were workers visible in the new video board control room.In the left-field bleachers you can see the mounts for the sign that will be installed. In the right-field bleacher patio, that structure being built is the Budweiser sign. I learned on the rooftop that they will temporarily display this sign there until it is relocated to the top of the video board that will later be installed there. The story broke while I was visiting the ballpark. That structure did confuse me when I started to see it go up on Monday. I couldn't figure out how it fit in with the design of the patio.I was also able to swing my camera around in the other direction to see the triangle lot. You can see the excavation work that is now taking place there.Thanks again to Brixen Ivy for their hospitality today.When I was leaving their building, I was surprised to encounter a traffic jam in the alley behind Waveland. A UPS truck was blocking traffic in the alley. It was heading westbound, and attempting to make a right turn onto Seminary. Due to the cars and AT&T trucks parked on Seminary, the truck was not able to negotiate the turn. Due to the blocked streets, the neighborhood alleys are now designated as one-way, so cars can exit the area.Some of the firefighters from Engine 78 came out to help direct the driver, and direct traffic, as cars were now blocked. Finally the only solution was for the UPS driver to make an illegal left turn and go the wrong direction down a one way street in order to get out. One resident came by and informed me that this is a frequent occurrence, with parked cars getting hit there. It's a 24-hour zoned permit parking zone, so only residents should be parking there anyway. Residents know not to park too close to the spaces near the alley.There was a lot of activity around Gate K/J, so I wasn't able to get a view inside through the gate. I returned to making my rounds around the bleachers, and noticed something was different. It finally hit me that they have closed up the gaps, in the construction fences. At one point during the winter, they started extending the height of the fences, and then the tarps. They added decorative ivy covered tarps to the top of the extended fences. They never completed installing the decorative tarps to the top of all of the Waveland and Sheffield Ave fences. They left a few gaps. Now they have added plain green tarps to fill in those gaps. The tarp goes up to around nine to 10 feet. With the coming crowds, security must be a special concern along the bleacher perimeter.

A couple of notes about this photoset. Since the main topic of interest in this set is the installation of the video board panels, the first nine photos are time-stamped rather than captioned, to show the progress of installation.

And a note from me about the ribbon boards. As you might remember, previously in those locations there was a digital display board that showed the score, the batter, the count and some ads, with fixed non-digital ads on either side, both in left field and right field. You can tell, especially in photos 31, 32 and 43, that these boards are somewhat longer than the previous boards, and also in a slightly different position. The previous boards were flush all the way to the edge of the upper deck. The new boards appear to be offset a little bit.

We'll have more photos here tomorrow. Just four days to go until baseball at Wrigley Field!