Two Wrigley Field bleacher sections to open Monday
Bleachers in the left and centerfield sections of Wrigley Field will open on Monday, the team announced.
Monday’s game against the New York Mets will feature the first phase of the $375 million renovation to the century-old stadium. The renovation features the most significant change to the bleachers since they were constructed in 1937.
The bleachers' capacity will increase by 500, but the capacity of the stadium will stay at 42,495, the team said.
Portable and fixed concessions will be open to fans starting Monday as well, with an outdoor concession area scheduled to open in July.
The completion of the rightfield bleachers, which will have a porch area behind the benches, is still scheduled for June 11.
The team and neighborhood rooftop owners have quarreled for years over game-day access for fans.
The business owners were recently denied a request to halt construction of a 2,250-square rightfield video board. The owners have said that their businesses will suffer if the team continues its renovation.
“If you think about the history of the bleachers and their importance to the character of Wrigley Field, they're important," Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney told the Chicago Tribune. "I think there will be some new views from new spaces that were created for our groups. … We're going to have a great re-opening of a very important part of the ballpark."
The Cubs say fans that complain about the noise from the video board can expect changes in the near future. A new permanent sound system will be installed by 2017.
"The neighbors have been working with us as far as the overall project, and there are the occasional hiccups," said Carl Rice, vice president for ballpark operations. "(The sound system) doesn't meet their expectations for how noise was going to be taken into the ballpark."
- Scooby Axson