Third incident causes more concern

Updated: July 23, 2004, 11:10 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs began a thorough inspection of the concrete on the underside of Wrigley Field's upper deck Friday after a team employee found a third piece of concrete that apparently fell from the 90-year-old stadium's upper deck.

After concrete chunks fell at different spots on June 9 and July 16, a team employee found a fragment Wednesday that was "relatively small, palm-of-your-hand" sized, said Mike Lufrano, the Cubs' vice president for community affairs.

Employees conducted an inspection before Wednesday's game between the Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds, and made repairs to the upper deck, Lufrano said. A follow-up inspection Thursday revealed a "probable spot" from which the piece fell, Lufrano said.

"Repairs were made and city officials notified," he said.

The team said engineers will inspect the underside of the ballpark's upper deck and mezzanine levels. The inspection began Friday morning but the Cubs declined to discuss results.

"We will work with the city to ensure that they are more than satisfied," Cubs president Andy MacPhail said.

Team management has said the results of the inspection would be shared with the Chicago Department of Buildings. The buildings department had asked for an inspection.

A Plainfield man said a brick-sized chunk of concrete fell from a tier above his family after a Cubs game July 16, nearly striking his 5-year-old son.

Another fan reported to the city on June 9 that he saw falling debris along the first-base side, Buildings Commissioner Stan Kaderbek said. No one was injured, and the Cubs inspected the area in question at the request of the city, he said.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said Wednesday he would not hesitate to shut down sections or the entire ballpark to protect fans from falling debris.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press