Crews begin bleacher, infrastructure improvements

First phase of Wrigley renovations set for completion by Opening Day

Crews begin bleacher, infrastructure improvements

CHICAGO -- If you walk by Wrigley Field, you'll notice a large gap in the left-field wall. And soon there will be one in right field as well. Crews are taking down the left- and right-field bleachers as part of the four-year, $575 million Wrigley Field renovation project.

The first phase of the privately funded project, to be completed this offseason, is infrastructure work. The ballpark's structural steel and foundation will be strengthened and much of the concrete in the bleachers will be replaced. The first phase also includes the expansion and improvement of the bleachers, which were updated after the 2005 season.

The usable bricks from the outfield walls will be stored until construction of the new outer wall begins.

The changes are needed to support the new 3,990-square-foot video board in left field and the 2,225-square-foot video board in right field, which are set to be ready by Opening Day 2015.

Crews are also digging in the parking lot west of Wrigley Field, which will be part of the new home clubhouse. That will not be ready until the 2016 season.

Fans who purchased commemorative brick pavers that were installed outside the Clark and Addison street entrance should note that those pavers will be preserved.

The Cubs have established a website,  www.wrigleyfield.com, for fans to follow the renovation work, called the 1060 Project. That number is Wrigley Field's address.

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.