Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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It is a rare moment in sports when you get that sour feeling in the pit of your stomach, while feeling a sense of excitement and joy at the same time. I had that opportunity this weekend as I looked at pictures of demolition work being done to the outfield outer walls and bleachers at Wrigley Field.
For a brief moment, I was reminded of the images of Detroit’s Tiger Stadium meeting the wrecking ball after nearly a decade of neglect. For a second, I was angry. But as quickly as those feelings came on, those feelings went away, because I know that this demolition is different.
The massive renovation of Wrigley Field and the surrounding properties is officially underway. Unlike many teams that choose to relocate to obtain a top-notch facility, the Cubs ownership decided to sink over $500 million into their current home, making it possible for the Cubs to remain at the friendly confines for years to come.
If you were to drive by Wrigley Field today, you would see some holes in the outfield bleachers. Per the restoration website (wrigleyfield.com), this work is being done to add supports that are necessary to the installation of the two new video boards that are to be ready for the 2015 season. The bleachers will also be extended outward to include more seats and expanded concessions. Also, according to the website, there will be some structural reinforcement done on the third base side of the concourse. I assume that this is prep work for the clubhouse expansion that is set to be completed during phase two of the renovations.
As a Cubs fan, this whole process excites me. Yes, Wrigley will be losing a lot of the old-timey charm that made it famous, but I’m willing to deal with that in order for the Cubs to stay there. I’m excited because I’ve watched all of these prospects start to develop into big leaguers, and now I get to see the stadium follow suit.
Wrigley Field was getting to the point where it was becoming the creepy relative that everyone likes, but you know they need to change. But now, it’s starting to look like Cubs fans will have both a team and a stadium that they can be proud of.