As I approached the ballpark, I saw a Midwest Fence truck leaving. There was a load of fencing in the back of the truck. I was curious as to what fences had been removed. As I walked on Addison, toward Sheffield, I was greeted by extremely loud construction sounds. When I reached the corner, I was shocked to see that the work fences had been moved out, from the ballpark.The sounds I had been hearing were Sheffield Avenue being jackhammered. The work was so violent, the sidewalks were shaking. When I walked up to the fence, it was shaking. I was shaking. The new fences have been anchored down into the pavement along Sheffield. There is now a new pedestrian bottleneck on Sheffield, where the fence now intrudes into the alley entrance.This must be the preparation work before Sheffield is resurfaced. It could be more than a few days before Sheffield is reopened.I saw the new ticket windows that Mike spotted Tuesday. In fact Mike joined me, moments after I arrived, and joined me as we walked around. The ticket window sign was illuminated. It was difficult in capture in daylight, but the letters are being lit by individual round lights. It is very classy looking, in person. I also photographed the old ticket windows, that are still there, next to Gate K on Waveland Ave. Only a couple of windows remain unblocked. The two remaining windows are currently being used for promotions. I expect that this area will be rebuilt next offseason and these windows will disappear, at least in their current form. This is the space where a new patio deck and light towers are planned.From the street, it is hard to gauge the work taking place on Platform 14, above the main bleacher gate. My best guess is the new concession stands extend out to about half the width of the new expanded patio space.On the Waveland Avenue side, we could see part of one of the new lower level concession stands along the left field "tunnel," through an open side gate. This is part of the lower level that is expected to open this week. The major surprise on the left field side was the return of the speaker poles behind the seating area. There is a line of speakers now mounted along the back of the left field bleachers. If you are sitting in left field, you may want to bring along earplugs, if the sound levels might need some tweaking.
Here's my thought about the speakers, and I know some people from Cubs business management and marketing do read these.
There's no need to run these speakers at earsplitting volume, as similar speakers did when the bleachers opened after the previous renovation in 2006. If you are at the ballpark, you should be able to carry on a conversation with the person next to you even if there's an announcement or music. I realize the entire sound system at Wrigley is a work in progress, but I do hope the Cubs will keep the volume at reasonable levels.
I guess we'll find out on Friday, when the homestand begins.