Bleachers first stage of Wrigley Field makeover

Bleachers first stage of Wrigley Field makeover

CHICAGO -- While Cubs players picked up their gear bags Monday and stadium staffers cleaned out their work spaces, crews continued to prep Wrigley Field for the renovation project, which will begin with the bleachers.

There has been no formal groundbreaking yet for Wrigley Field's $575-million makeover, which will be done over at least four years. City of Chicago crews have been preparing the area since Aug. 27, relocating water, sewer and gas lines, and on Monday, both Sheffield and Waveland avenues were closed around the ballpark. The street closures were expected to remain in effect until construction on the bleachers concludes prior to Opening Day 2015.

The bleachers need to be altered to accomodate the new signs, which include a 3,990 square-foot video scoreboard to be installed in left field. The plan also includes five LED signs of up to 650 square feet, and one additional videoboard in right field.

The center-field area of the bleachers, which includes the manually operated scoreboard, will be updated, but it will not be part of the first phase of the renovation.

Construction work also will begin this offseason on the home clubhouse, but that will not be finished until Opening Day 2016. Cubs staff were told they will not have access to the ballpark, and Monday was busy as the clubhouse was cleaned out and players headed home for the offseason.

Fans can follow the renovations at wrigleyfield.com. There will not be a "construction cam" providing a live look-in at the work, but there will be video updates posted from time to time.

The Cubs closed the '14 season on Sunday with a 5-2 win over the Brewers at Miller Park, ending 73-89, below .500 for the fifth straight season.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.