While I was inside Wrigley Field on Saturday getting a tour of the new ballpark clubs and other facilities, BCB’s David Sameshima was outside the ballpark having a look at the last-minute preparations for Opening Day and other things going on around Wrigleyville. Here’s his detailed report.
I visited the ballpark on Saturday afternoon. I didn’t think there would be much to photograph, after taking all these photos during the winter. As it turned out, this ended being the largest photo album I took the entire offseason.
They have painted signage on the exterior walls of the Hotel Zachary building, at the corner of Addison and Clark, for the Dutch and Doc’s restaurant. Gate 3 signage is now up at former Gate F, under the marquee. From the street, there are multiple concession stands now visible on the exterior patios built around the upper deck.
There are Cubs player banners now displayed on the street light poles along Addison and Clark. My photo album only contains a few of the banners. There is one pole with only one banner displayed. Could Carl Edwards Jr. have been the missing banner?
They have changed the Toyota logo which appears just below the marquee. The concrete barriers are back along Addison, to temporarily widen the pedestrian path along that side of the ballpark. The Cubs souvenir trailer and the Cubs Premium Tickets booth are also back in their old locations, along Addison.
There was a lot of equipment still parked outside at the corner of Addison and Sheffield. Both the Billy Williams and Ron Santo statues are back. The sidewalk pavement is pretty beat up, along the Addison side. I have included some photos of the condition of some of the Cubs players names.
The field access gate (Gate Q) was all closed up, but a Cubs cart approached as I was there. They quickly opened the gate to allow the cart in, then closed it back up.
Along Waveland they were putting up additional signs on the non-ticket entry access gates. Crews were also installing green screens along the back of the concession stands, under the right field video board. As they do for any ballpark event, an ambulance was stationed outside the ballpark. The Cubs were conducting training sessions for gameday employees. Those are the people visible in the photos walking inside the ballpark.
The Left Field Gate is now also Gate 5. The new players parking lot tent is taking shape, but it’s not a tent. It is a more permanent structure, compared to the ones that have been used here since the player parking was relocated to this location in 2015. This is now possible as this space will no longer be needed as a construction staging area during the offseason.
The signage for Joe Maddon’s new restaurant is now visible at the Gallagher Way building, at Clark and Waveland. Gallagher Way has new grass installed. They have added a green cover over the Gallagher Way Gate, which is now also marked as Gate 4.
I also caught crews putting up the flags around the marquee. There was some tour group visiting the area. Unfortunately their two buses decided to pick up the group, along Clark Street. You can see how the sidewalk became impassable when there was a delay boarding the buses.
One more day! The home opener, Cubs vs. Pirates, is tomorrow, April 8. When you arrive at the ballpark, you’ll see that some parts of the 1060 Project are not yet complete. Things that aren’t quite done yet are expected to be finished by midseason.