City hires independent company to inspect Wrigley Field this weekend

Friday, August 20th 2004, 8:25 pm
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ The city of Chicago has hired an independent company to inspect Wrigley Field after threatening to cancel Monday night's home game if the Cubs can't prove the 90-year-old ballpark is safe.

Construction Technology Laboratories will evaluate the ballpark this weekend and verify that repairs made in 2001 were completed correctly, Buildings Commissioner Stan Kaderbek announced Friday in a news release.

The Skokie-based company is expected to submit its report to the city by noon Monday. At that point, Kaderbek said he will decide whether the ballpark is safe for fans.

The Cubs are scheduled to play the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field Monday night.

A phone message left for the Cubs Friday after business hours was not immediately returned. The team has said it would comply with the city's request for a new review.

The Cubs conducted full inspections of the upper deck and mezzanine levels in July.

Kaderbek ordered the new inspections Thursday after receiving information from a reporter, who cited sources within the Cubs organization, that repair work made at Wrigley had been shoddy.

Though the reporter later left a message for Kaderbek Thursday saying there had been an error and she didn't have information about unsatisfactory repairs, Kaderbek said the city would continue with the new inspections to ensure Wrigley's safety.

A 2001 engineers' report on Wrigley's condition, which was commissioned by the Cubs, detailed concrete problems on ramps and in the bleachers area. Cubs officials said that repairs were made, but without the required city permits.

Pieces of concrete have fallen from Wrigley's upper deck on at least three occasions since June, forcing stadium officials installed protective netting.