Tomorrow, Monday, May 11, the left-field (and part of the center-field) bleachers will open for the first time in 2015. BCB's David Sameshima visited Wrigley Field to check out some of the final preparations for opening:
Due to other commitments, I wasn't able to visit Wrigley Field until very late in the day. With the partial bleacher reopening only days away, I figured that they would still be working late in the day too. I wasn't disappointed.On Sheffield Avenue, they had erected some bracing above Gate Q. They had used the red steel beams that I had photographed stacked along Sheffield the last few days. They were also using a crane to lower wood boards from right field. These must have been the boards used to form the concrete in the bleachers.Around the main bleacher gate new concrete has been poured out in front. I also photographed the two new gates that were just installed along the Sheffield and Waveland sidewalks, near the main bleacher gate. I can only guess that these will be the entry gates to the bleachers. This would keep entering fans from blocking the Sheffield/Waveland intersection, so vehicular traffic can still pass.I also took more photos of the windows on the Waveland side of the main bleacher gate. They certainly do look like ticket windows. It would certainly be an interesting decision, if that's what ends up there. Of course most of the activity during my visit was along the Waveland side. Work was continuing both above the below the left-field bleachers. They also poured new concrete outside the gates on the western end of the construction area. Gate L, in the left field corner of the bleachers, appears to now be fully accessible.I did catch the right field video board being tested. The one spot where it is visible from the street is in front of the firehouse (Engine Company 78) on Waveland Ave. It is not much of a view. Look at my photos to see for yourself.Things are looking good for the partial reopening of the bleachers, but you can see that the bleachers are still far from being completed. As long as we have a place to safely sit and restrooms, it will be perfectly fine for watching Cubs baseball.
Regarding the close-up photo of the right-field video board (photo 32), I don't think we ever want to see a lineup with Welington Castillo leading off, no matter how creative Joe Maddon wants to get.
We'll have more photos tomorrow in advance of the bleacher opening, and then a full set from inside the bleachers after Monday's first game out there.