Chicago officials will inspect stadium Friday

Updated: July 28, 2004, 9:11 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Workers at Wrigley Field on Wednesday were putting up heavy mesh netting to protect fans from falling chunks of concrete.

City officials can postpone Friday's game against Philadelphia if the netting isn't fully installed or if they conclude it doesn't adequately protect fans, Chicago Department of Buildings spokesman Jack Beary said.

There have been three reports of falling concrete at the stadium since June. No injuries have been reported.

Beary said Buildings Commissioner Stan Kaderbek planned to go to Wrigley to examine the netting on Friday.

The Cubs wouldn't comment Wednesday beyond releasing a brief statement from team president Andy MacPhail.

"The Cubs are continuing to work with the city of Chicago to ensure we provide as safe and enjoyable an environment as possible at Wrigley Field," MacPhail said.

The netting was being put up a day after a senior team official said the Cubs did not make repairs to the upper deck at Wrigley last week after a piece of concrete fell, and permitted the team to play anyway.

Workers conducted a visual inspection after the July 21 incident but did not make repairs to potential trouble spots, said Mike Lufrano, Cubs vice president for community affairs.

Lufrano backed off a statement he made last week that repairs were made to the 90-year-old ballpark before the game against Cincinnati.

"We had a structural engineer who looked at the area and found no additional loose concrete," Lufrano said Tuesday.

Lufrano said the team is hopeful it will meet the city's expectations by Friday's game.

The City of Chicago had asked Wrigley officials to conduct structural engineering inspections and report findings and recommendations to the city.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press