Crews are working around the clock to prepare Wrigley Field for next Monday's home opener. What will be ready to go, and what will continue to be under construction through the season?
Paris Schutz: The Magureguis came all the way from Arizona expecting to see one of baseball’s most iconic landmarks.
Elva Maguregui: I saw destruction at the front entrance.
Oscar Maguregui: I see a lot of scaffolding. I work around construction and it takes a while to get the scaffolding up and down, so a lot of work yet to be done.
Schutz: Hard as it is to believe, this massive construction zone will welcome more than 40,000 fans in just one week. Hordes of crews are braving the elements, working around the clock to make sure it’s ready. Some fans think it's the impossible task
Kenneth Catalan: There’s too much going on and there’s too much left to be done, so I don’t think they’re going to finish in time.
Schutz: Kerry Johnston, who is a building contractor and a neighborhood resident, says he expects the work will continue after opening day.
Kerry Johnston: I think they’ll get the inside finished but the outside will not be done. I’m quite sure of that. It looks like they’ve just got too much work to do on the exterior.
Schutz: The Cubs declined to reveal much about their plans today but say they will have more news about opening day later in the week. Construction workers we talked to say they expect the exterior that will include a brick and terra cotta facade to be mostly finished by Sunday night.
On the western edge, along Clark Street the Cubs are near complete with a brand new underground state of the art clubhouse for the players. But an above ground plaza and office building is not scheduled to be open this season. Fans will be able to enter a new western gate at some point after the all-star break.
Across the street, site prep is beginning on a new Cubs-owned hotel. Kitty-corner, demolition is expected to begin next month for a private development called Addison Park on Clark. It's all part of a perfect storm of construction that has prompted the area's alderman, Tom Tunney, to issue this warning to non-Cubs fans.
Tom Tunney: Avoid it at all costs. I’m just telling you, you know what, it’s not worth the congestion, it’s not worth the headache to be within four blocks of the ballpark.
Schutz: And he says that driving to the ballpark is never a great idea but an even worse one this year.
Tunney: Using remote parking, using public transit and finding a way not to bring your car into our neighborhood because the parking restrictions are tight as it is.
Schutz: Waveland and Sheffield will continue to be closed before and during most games. And there is still one major detail that is noticeably absent.
That of course is the infamous red marquee that’s been fully restored and we're told will be back up by the middle of the week.
Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz
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