|Chronological Tour: Stop 31
An elaborate facade marks the new Comiskey Park, by then called U.S. Cellular Field, Aug-2014.
The seating bowl, as seen from near the outfield batter’s eye.
The exploding scoreboard is about all that mimics the old park.
- Location: 35th Street at Dan Ryan Expressway, Chicago, Ill. (map it using Google Maps)
- Opened: 1991 as Comiskey Park
- Additional names: U.S. Cellular Field (2003), Guaranteed Rate Field (2017)
- Home team: Chicago White Sox, American League (1991-present)
- Capacity: 44,321
Old Comiskey Park, originally known as White Sox Park when it was built in 1910, had clearly outlived its usefulness. Very few shed tears for the place when it was demolished at the end of the 1990 season.
Home plate of old Comiskey Park is preserved in the parking lot.
The crying started the next year, when the new Comiskey opened. People complained right away about the seating. Even though there were no longer any obstructed views, the seats at the bottom of the upper deck here were farther away from the field than seats at the top of the upper deck in the old park.
The new facility, though, did meet fire codes, and it also provided better amenities for the fans, as well as preserving the “exploding scoreboard” introduced by Bill Veeck in the 1950s.
All in all, the park is seen as a design mistake, one which was corrected in more recently built facilities like Camden Yards.
In January 2003, the White Sox announced that U.S. Cellular had bought naming rights to the field. The fee would go toward ballpark improvements. That agreement has expired, and Guaranteed Rate, a mortgage company, now has its name on the park.
Getting to the Game
Ease of access has never been much of an issue for this park on the South Side. The Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94) runs right past the park, which is also served by the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line. CTA service continues until after 1 in the morning, so diehard fans need only worry about leaving early if the game is deep into extra innings. I have used mass transit to attend both of my games here and have not had any problem with service.
Watching the Game
As at Dodger Stadium, the policy here is to not allow spectators to occupy seating levels for which they are not ticketed. However, enforcement is lax, especially pre-game on evenings when relatively low attendance is expected. I was able to walk into the park 40 minutes before game time, holding an upper-deck ticket, and walk around the concourse without any issues. Be aware, though, that the policy may be enforced on a busy night.
The highest seats here are, indeed, as high as those at any in the majors, and there are some really steep climbs in the upper deck.
Enjoying the Game
As at most major league parks, game presentation is proficient. A monochrome message board in left field seems almost like a throwback, but it provides much of the in-game information sought by the true fan.
While the scoreboard doesn’t exactly explode, it does light up and fireworks are set off just to its left when a White Sox player hits a home run (right).
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This page updated 15-Nov-2016