Mayor Rahm Emanuel denies Cubs’ request for “around-the-clock” work


Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel denied the around-the-clock work request on the renovations at Wrigley Field. Emanuel later made it even clearer by strictly stating that there will be no exceptions made for the Chicago Cubs, and the citywide 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. rule still stands.

"“You know the city ordinance is clear. You can’t have 24-hour building. That’s number one. Number two, they haven’t even proposed anything. The only people they’ve proposed it to are the newspapers. So I have nothing to respond to,” Emanuel said Tuesday."

On Monday, the team announced that due to weather conditions the completion of the bleachers would be pushed back from the most recent target dates. To make up for lost time, the organization said it would request that the city allow construction crews to work 24-7, which is a direction violation of the city’s work regulations.

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The construction already causes headaches for those who have businesses and those who live around Wrigley Field, and it’s clear that it would be worse if it was an around-the-clock situation. Those attending games early on in the season will even have to deal with construction going on during the games, as well.

The left and center field bleachers will not be ready until mid-May; the right field bleachers are now scheduled to open in mid-June. With all those empty seats in the outfield, the left field video board will still be up-and-running. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that chairman Tom Ricketts said the lack of bleachers would ‘‘not be a big financial hit for us, to be honest.’’

Again, that’s assuming the project remains on schedule.

Since the start of the renovation project at the end of last season, the Cubs have crept forward on the project due to cold weather and the looming threat of lawsuits from the rooftop owners. With  just over a month until Opening Night, the organization is still far from being finished with the first phase of the four-phase project.

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Phase one of the 1060 Project includes new steel structure and foundation work below the entire Budweiser Bleachers -and also extending the bleachers and pushing the outer walls back to where the sidewalk used to end.

Included in the bleacher plans are an additional 300 seating positions added in left and right field and 300 new standing room-only positions in the bleacher deck with added concession areas. In addition to that, Wrigley Field will also get new outfield signs, including a 3,990-square-foot video board in left field and a smaller 2,400-square-foot video board in right field.

With the bleachers closed to start the season, Wrigley Field will be an odd site for Opening Night on April 5 against the division rival St. Louis Cardinals. It will most likely look like a high school or college game with no one to catch the home runs that Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez will be slamming.

But with Jon Lester officially starting on the mound it should be an exciting spectacle.

Next: Edwin Jackson still battling for final rotation spot