BASEBALL - Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field, Chicago
On a Wednesday night nearing the end of the conference, a few of us decided we should take in a baseball game while we were in downtown Chicago. It so happened that the New York Yankees were in town to play the Chicago White Sox, so we grabbed a couple of taxis and headed for US Cellular Field stadium, located not too far from the main downtown core. After playing in the old Comiskey Park stadium from 1910-90, the Sox moved across the road to this new stadium that seats just over 40,000 spectators.
For a price of US$45 each, we soon found ourselves seated not too far from their 'exploding fireworks' scoreboard (2nd photo). While making our way to our seats we grabbed some hotdogs and cups of beer from food stands along the upper concourse to help us ease into the game. The fans surrounding us were quite an interesting bunch and we had a lot of laughs cheering with them as the game progressed. Mobile vendors constantly toiled up and down the walkways of the stadium plying their goods of beer, peanuts and snacks. Baseball is a slow-paced game so I found that, a great deal of the time, my attention was more focused on the antics going on around us than the actual game itself!
Equipment: The temperature dropped quickly in the evening air and a cool breeze off Lake Michigan made me value having worn a jacket as the game wore on - eventually ending with a 6-4 Yankees victory. One of the guys had come in only a T-shirt and was forced to buy a White Sox jacket from one of the stalls topside - cost US$100. Since there are no professional sporting teams anywhere close to the places I have lived in Canada, this was only the third Major Leage ballgame I have ever attended - the other two involving the Montreal Expos and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Chicago White Sox are Chicago's South Side team. One of the original American League teams, the White Sox boast a colorful history and plenty of exciting players on their current roster, such as Paul Konerko, Joe Crede, Scott Podsednik, Juan Uribe, Aaron Rowand, and one of the all-time best Sox players, Frank Thomas (although he is in the final stages of his career and his talent is declining). The pitching staff is phenomenal, with Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, Jose Contreras, and new fan favorite Bobby Jenks leading the way.
On October 26, 2005, the White Sox won their first World Series since 1917.
Sox games are a great experience for true fans of baseball. The fans are very passionate and knowledgeable. It is night and day when trying to compare a Sox game to a Cubs game. Cubs games are a "festival of joy and happiness", while Sox games are business. Sox fans go for baseball, while many Cubs fans go for beer.
The home of the Sox, Comisk- er, excuse me, US Cellular Field (aka The Cell), is located on 35th St. The park was built in 1991 and recently underwent major renovations. Seriously, its not as bad as people say. The upper deck and exterior have been dramatically improved, and besides, the food is excellent. The fan deck in center field is nice, too. If it wasn't for that other ballpark on the North Side, I don't think anyone would be complaining. I still miss old Comiskey, if you were wondering.
Now that the Sox have won the race to end Chicago's World Series drought, I am happy to say this will be a Sox town. No more about the Sox and their fans being 2nd class to the Cubs.
Equipment: Also, be aware Sox fans in the upper level can be very intense when it comes to people wearing anything with Cubs on it in their stadium.
The regular season runs from April to September. Ticket prices range from $14-$52. Monday is half price night, and Tuesday is 2 for 1 Pepsi Night (just bring a Pepsi product with you). It is fairly easy to get tickets at the gate for most games. For premium seats and big games, try a ticket broker or a scalper outside the stadium. Just remember that if you buy an upper level ticket, you will only be allowed access into the upper deck and will not get to experience any of the food or activities on the 100 level. Check the website for a schedule and to buy tickets.
If you are driving, parking in official lots is $17. To avoid the traffic, don't follow the signs directing you to the field for 35th St. From the city or the South Suburbs, get to the Dan Ryan (I-94) and exit on Pershing. Go west and follow the signs into the back entrance of the parking lot. You will have to walk a little more but you will avoid long lines of traffic and it is actually faster to get out of there when the game is over.
Buses and taxis are available to and from the game, or jump on CTA Red Line (35th St. Station is the stop). The Green Line, just a couple more blocks east, is a much quicker out after a crowded game.
Last visit June, 2012
The White Sox started playing at the new Comiskey Park in 1991, renamed US Cellular Field or the Cell in 2003. Many Chicagoans still refer to it as Comiskey, frequently mispronounced as ComiNskey, or Sox Park. My interest, along with many other Chicagoans, was renewed when playoff fever spread in 2005 and the Sox chewed up their opponents, the White Sox eventually swept the World Series 4-0 over the Houston Astros. Chicagoans, most of whom were not alive in 1908, the last time the Cubs won the World Series, or 1917 when the White Sox won their last World Series, went crazy!!!!
The park is clean and family friendly, the immediate area surrounding the park is fine before and after the game. We've parked in the lot right next to the stadium when we had tickets that came with passes, if you drive, lots of people seem to leave in the 8th and 9th innings to get a jump on traffic, we waited until the end and got stuck in a jam, exacerbated no doubt by the construction on the Dan Ryan expressway. We've also parked on the other side of the expressway, much cheaper and easier to get out of.
If you take the red line el to get to the park, it's a very quick walk from the el station to the park. Just be prepared to wait, stand on the train and be jostled a bit on the way home unless you leave early or hang around the park until the crowds disperse.
I've been inside the stadium club on one visit, it was boiling outside and the dark green seats were absorbing the sun to the point at which my clothes were soaked. The stadium club is air conditioned, you pay a flat fee just to sit in there (I think it was $5) and have to have a pass that comes with certain tickets, the soft drinks appeared to be included but alcoholic beverages were not.
If you are looking for a place to eat before or after the game and don't want to eat stadium food, Chinatown is just one stop north on the red line.
White Sox baseball is one of the best ballpark experiences I've had in a long time. Our tickets were in the 11th row, behind the Sox dugout (we did overpay at a broker, but it was worth it). We were so close to the action we could almost hear the players - you're right on top of the game at US Cellular Field, at least in the lower sections. The crowd was quite spririted and friendly & the beer vendors were plentiful...though we had a hard time finding a hot dog vendor. And they throw shirts into the stands a couple of times a game too.
I've heard that upper deck tickets aren't that great, so it may be worth it to spend the extra money and sit lower. And, since the Sox won the World Series in 2005, tickets can be hard to get, so plan early...especially if they're playing the Yankees or Red Sox.
Spend a great day at the ballpark, with the Chicago White Sox.
The White Sox always only are the second popular team in this windy city behind the Cubs. But in 2005 they won the World Series and hopefully get a lot more fans now! For me they will always be the #1 in Chicago!!!
The new Comiskey Park opened on April 18, 1991, three years after the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to build the park directly across the street from old Comiskey Park. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on May 7, 1989, with Mayor Richard M. Daley and Governor James Thompson in attendance. The new park featured an exploding scoreboard, an old-time facade complete with arches and over 40,000 unobstructed-view seats. The ballpark attracted a club-record 2,934,154 fans in its first year. In January, 2003, it was renamed U.S. Cellular Field.
In 2003, the Chicago White Sox and U.S. Cellular forged a unique partnership, renaming the ballpark U.S. Cellular Field. This agreement created the opportunity for dramatic, fan-focused renovations and improvements to the park. A fully renovated U.S. Cellular Field is expected to be completed by Opening Day 2006.
Equipment: As for every Baseball game: it can last some hours so bring warm clothes with you.
Since the weather in CHicago can be quite surprising, I would recommend you to bring a raincoat as well. You are allowed to take a Bagpack, video aquipment and camera into the ballpark, but no bottles, glass containers or your own food!
On hot summer day the US Cellular Field offers special rain-rooms where you can refresh in cool and wet mist! COOL!
I'm not usually a sports watcher but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take in a live sporting event.
Fortunately, my schedule allowed me to take in a baseball game in September 2003. The White Sox were in town and, better yet, at the time, were heading the AL Central (which was soon to change).
I had no trouble buying a ticket on-line or collecting it at the park.
When I got to Comiskey Park (sorry US Cellular Field) I was taken by the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd. To make it perfect, it was 'free hat' night and there were fireworks after the game. Talk about falling lucky!
A victory for the Sox rounded of a truly wonderful experience for me.
I heartily recommend any visitor (particularly overseas visitors) who has the opportunity to take in a game to do so.
Equipment: A jacket or sweater is usually adviseable for night games.
Make sure to see the 2005 World Series Champs Chicago White Sox in a home game at Comiskey Park (now called U.S. Cellular Field). This is a great park to watch a game in and has easy access from the "L", the Chicago train system.
Equipment: If it is in the spring or during the playoffs in the fall, you will want to bring a sweatshirt/jacket to keep warm at night. Shorts are usually perfect for the summertime heat.
Chicago is lucky to have 2 baseball clubs and this one is the Chicago White Sox and while the Chicago Cubs may be more popular than the White Sox with die hard fans always flooding wrigleyville, The White Sox has won several world series and the latest was in 2005 when they defeated the Houston Astros (San Francisco has only one the San Francisco Giants while the Oakland Athletics are from Oakland just across the bay). The Chicago White Sox are most prominently nicknamed "the South Siders", based on their particular district here in Chicago. Other nicknames include "the Pale Hose", "the ChiSox", a combination of "Chicago" and "Sox" (as opposed to the BoSox), mostly just used by the national media, "the Go-Go Sox", a reference to 1959 AL champions, who got that nickname; "the Good Guys", a reference to the team's one-time motto "Good guys wear black", coined by Ken "Hawk" Harrelson; and "the Black Sox," referring specifically to the scandal-tainted 1919 team. Most fans and Chicago media refer to the team as simply "the Sox". The White Sox Play at U.S. Cellular Field and The park opened for the 1991 season, after the White Sox had spent 81 years at old Comiskey Park.
Equipment: being here bring back memories of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the famous saying "say isn't so Joe!" and the movie eight men out and Field of Dreams. Well bring your die hard White Sox Fan Gear!