Rehabbing Wrigley

the Chicago Cubs baseball team undertakes a major project on its 101-year old stadium

 
img

Rendering of the outdoor plaza

Renovating an iconic baseball stadium in a densely populated neighborhood has proved a challenging exercise in project management for the owners of the Chicago Cubs, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. With hard-core fans and neighbors watching every change at Wrigley Field and the team still playing regular home games there, the project has required careful stakeholder management and scheduling.

The US$575 million project at the Cubs’ 101-year-old stadium features updates to the stadium structure and seating, the press box, bullpens, clubhouses and luxury suites. Two new large video screens have been installed, and a renovated outdoor plaza and new hotel adjacent to the park are also planned.

The project's schedule originally called for construction to be finished by 2018, with stadium work taking place during the offseason (October-March). But during the winter of 2014-2015, severe weather and a damaged water main stalled progress. There were other obstacles: The project team wanted to work on the stadium 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the city's mayor said he wouldn't allow that in such a residential neighborhood. Meanwhile, owners of nearby ticketed rooftops sued over new field signs and Jumbotrons that would obstruct their patrons' views.

When the season started in early April, expanded bleacher seats and some restrooms were not ready as planned. Neighborhood residents also complained about noise from the new video screens. The team's owners say construction could extend an extra year as the project team works to please fans, neighbors and city regulators.

“Once every 100 years someone fixes the park, and we want to make sure we do it right,” Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts told the Chicago Sun-Times in March. —Imani Mixon

OCTOBER 2015 PM NETWORK

Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Content

  • PM Network

    Bridging the Gap member content open

    By Fister Gale, Sarah Complex road construction projects create detours. But an 18-year, US$2 billion highway improvement program in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, encountered the ultimate roadblock: Nobody wanted to help…

  • PM Network

    Stadia Mania member content open

    By Fister Gale, Sarah Score one for the fans. Every time a new sports stadium is built, project leaders are pushed to deliver bigger, bolder and more dramatic results. These stadiums garner lots of fan excitement and…

  • PM Network

    Setting the Stage for the Holidays member content open

    By Merrick, Amy Holidays are a time to see family and friends. But for global retailers, they're a time to reconnect with customers—and bring in serious money. The stretch between Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas and…

  • PM Network

    Engaging sponsors member content open

    Project managers share tips for fostering project sponsor engagement. Focusing on outcomes, scheduling regular meetings, and explaining their role early and throughout project phases helps maintain…

  • Do More in Less member content open

    By Shrivastava | Narendra K. This paper describes eight simple project management processes that were developed based on observations and implementation of practices leading to project success.

Advertisement