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Iconic Wrigley Field Marquee Removed For Renovation Work

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Visitors to Wrigleyville on Monday afternoon were surprised to see something missing as they looked up at iconic Wrigley Field.

"Whoa, the field feels naked. I don't like it, it looks weird," said James and Nicole McGhan, who were walking along Addison.

The red and white marquee has been taken down and moved on a giant flatbed to an undisclosed location.

"We walked up, I said, this is Chicago's, one of the biggest symbols in Major League Baseball," they said. "What are they doing to it? I'm a little worried."


Don't be too concerned. The marquee will be back in time for 2016 Opening Day. It's been moved for some repairs and to make room for the offseason renovations. The dismantling was a disappointment for some tourists."I was trying to get a picture of it,"said Beth Hackney, in town from Pittsburgh. "I love the Pirates, but I respect the Cubs for being a professional baseball team, so I was hoping to get a picture so I walked the entire perimeter because I didn't know which side was the front. And I got here and I was like, 'Well, that was a fruitless effort.' I was shocked to see that."

The red and white marquee has been taken down and moved on a giant flatbed to an undisclosed location. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

The marquee was installed at Wrigley Field in 1934 and was initially green. It was painted purple in 2010 for the Wrigleyville Classic college football game, hosted by Northwestern University. It was last moved 10 years ago for repairs.

Meantime, around the corner along the east side of the stadium, fans lined up to get a piece of Wrigley Field's outfield. The Cubs were giving away sod for free after it was removed from the outfield.

"I came past today and I saw the sod, and I thought I need to get me a piece," laughed Rocky Stewart, who stopped to get his own 18-in-by-18-inch piece.

Rocky Stewart grabs a piece of Wrigley Field's outfield. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

The Cubs are giving away the sod on a first-come, first-serve basis.

"As a Cubs fan your whole life, it's really cool to bring that home, plant it somewhere and take a piece of Wrigley home with you," he said.

Stewart says he's going to put it next to his bed.

"I'm going to put it in a pot and water it every day until next season," he said.

Each off season the team replaces the grass. The giveaway will continue Tuesday while supplies last.(Credit: Lisa Fielding)

Dan Flowery is on his second trip back to get more of the Kentucky blue grass.

"I probably have about 30 pounds," Flowery said. "I already planted some of it by my house in my backyard. I have my own shrine. It goes with my brick that I got when they started demolishing the bleachers, my Cubs gnome and my Cubs waterfall."

The team replaces the grass each offseason. The giveaway will continue Tuesday while supplies last. The sod is piled along Sheffield Avenue just north of Addison near the "knothole gate."

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