Steel beam by beam, metal spoke by spoke, construction workers at Wrigley Field are building the support of a structure that forever will change the game-day experience for Cubs fans. .
The jumbo-sized left-field video board, the Cubs insist, will be up and operating for opening night April 5.
Cubs fans can expect a new feel to the ballpark, one that will be more modern, informative and entertaining — but also one that has left some fans fearful Wrigley will lose its charm.
Left field video board size comparison (graphic)
SOURCES: Cubs, city of Chicago, Chicago-L.org, baseball-reference.com, Tribune reporting (Phil Geib/Tribune Graphics)
“What they will find when they put their board up is they’re going to have a lot of criticism,” said Derrick Hall, president of the Diamondbacks, who installed a new board in 2008. “They’re going to have a lot of fans that don’t want it; they don’t like it. Then they’re going to get used to it. They’re going to depend on it.”
It all started in Brookings, S.D.
There, employees of the company Daktronics, a maker of scoreboards and video boards since 1968, assembled Wrigley Field’s 42-foot-high, 95-foot-wide board piece-by-piece in 14-inch by 14-inch squares the company calls “modules.”
The employees then put 20 to 80 modules together to form “panels” that will display the images on the board.