GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Construction crews back in Cleveland continue to battle the elements in an effort to complete the ongoing Progressive Field renovation project in time for this season's home opener.
On Thursday, Indians team president Mark Shapiro arrived at the club's Spring Training complex and indicated that most of the massive undertaking at the ballpark remains on schedule for the April 10 opener against the Tigers. The freezing temperatures that the workers have dealt with over the past few weeks have only slowed progress in two areas.
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"The majority of the project is going to get done," Shapiro said, "regardless of what happens weather-wise over the next 40 days. I think if we get any break in the weather, we'll complete the whole project on time. There's two areas that are the most affected by the weather: the entry gate in center field -- the previous Gate C -- as well as the work in the upper deck.
"Everything else is either tented or was completed substantially enough before the real deep frost set in that we were able to move on at a really good pace."
A pedestrian bridge and former concession stand have been removed to allow for a more wide-open view in and out of the Gate C entrance behind center field. That gate will still include the team's Bob Feller statue, along with other elements that have been difficult to work on due to the extreme cold. In the upper deck, Cleveland is building a tiered party deck area for fans.
Shapiro said the new stacked bullpens in center field, as well as the new two-story bar, redesigned Kids Clubhouse and Right Field District in the main concourse are expected to be completed in time for the home opener.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.