We can all agree the Chicago Cubs most likely will not contend for the World Series next year, adding to the 106 year drought. However, under the new ownership and leadership of Tom Ricketts the Cubs have begun making changes that will help their chances of getting back to a World Series.
26 Weeks…and Counting
After a turbulent period of battling with the City of Chicago, the adjacent rooftop owners, and the court system they have finally begun construction on an estimated $575 million dollar renovation this offseason.
The major issue arising with the renovation is that the cubs want to play next season in Wrigley Field. Unlike other renovations or new stadiums, the Cubs will not take a season off from playing in Wrigley Field. This puts a tremendous time restriction on when the project needs to be complete. The Cubs opening day next year is April 6th against the St. Louis Cardinals. That allows the project manager (PM) just 26 weeks to complete the project. At the time of this writing (Oct 6th) they will have exactly 6 months to finish the renovation.
The major renovations this winter will be extending the outfield walls, constructing new bleachers, and adding several digital screens including a Jumbotron in left field. Under perfect conditions this short of a deadline would be a challenge, but when you add in the harsh Chicago winters you introduce a whole new set of challenges.
With construction to begin next week on the bleachers, many individuals question if the renovations will be completed in time. And if they are, how much over budget will it go? Fortunately, for the taxpayers of Chicago this project is privately funded. However, many stadium construction and renovation projects are partially funded with public funds (i.e. Soldier Field renovation) and the tax payers are on the hook for budget overruns.
If you’re interested in seeing the full scale of renovations that will take place over the next few years take a look at the video below.
This tight timeline would test the best of project managers, and any construction team. In order to stay within the short timeframe, construction started immediately following the Cubs season. Fortunately, for the construction company the Cubs did not make the playoffs this year. However, this offseason’s construction project is only the first in a planned series of projects. Next offseason the Cubs are planning on renovating the clubhouse and a few other areas of the ballpark. If this current construction project does not go as planned, or if the Cubs can make the playoffs next year, the future construction plans could be altered.
Come late March 2015 it will be interesting to see where the Wrigley Field renovation project stands. If the project is behind schedule will the PM crash the project and risk going over budget? Or will they risk having an uncompleted stadium for opening day? Each of these options has potential drawbacks, but these are the types of questions that PMs face on most projects they handle.
Hopefully, all goes well with the Wrigley Field construction project. However, with the pending winter weather, do you think the construction project will get done in time? Also, as a project manager in this situation how would you manage a team under this type of a timeline?