Bleachers torn down as part of Wrigley Field renovation


After years of talking points and threatened lawsuits, construction crews have demolished the exterior outfield walls and the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field in preparation for the installation of two video boards that are expected to be ready prior to Opening Day 2015.

The home of the Chicago Cubs since 1914, Wrigley Field has been widely considered to be in desperate need of improvements and general updates for several years, but the privately-funded $575 million far exceeded most expectations, bringing Major League Baseball’s second-oldest ballpark into the 21st century.

In order to install the two video boards – the larger of which will be installed behind the left field bleachers, which will be expanded by 300 seats thanks to the renovation, the steel and concrete infrastructure needed to be updated and reinforced. The left field board will measure 3,990 square feet, while the right field board comes in at a still-impressive 2,225 square feet.

The renovation project, as a whole, will take four years. The improvements to and expansion of the bleachers is the first portion of the overhaul, with later pieces including a complete fresh look for the exterior of the century-old stadium, a new home clubhouse and training facilities, an updated concourse and the construction of a new plaza, as well, which will be open year-round.

This year, in addition to the bleacher work, there will also be improvements on the third base side of the concourse, including new restrooms – something that will be continued in the coming years, with the construction of a new upper-level concourse, which is something currently lacking.

The website the organization has unveiled to keep members of the public up-to-date on the project offers an extensive timeline for the renovations, which, will move the famous bullpens down the foul lines under the renovated bleachers prior to the 2016 season, adding seats where the bullpens are currently located.

The construction of a Sheraton Hotel near Wrigley Field will cap the project, and will be owned by the Ricketts family.