U.S. Cellular Field

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U.S. Cellular Field
(New) Comiskey Park
"The Cell"
US Cellular Field.svg
US Navy 100406-N-1232M-001 Sailors assigned to various commands at Naval Station Great Lakes unfurl an American flag before the 2010 home opening Chicago White Sox baseball game.jpg
U.S. Cellular Field in 2010
Former namesComiskey Park (II) (1991–2003)
Location333 West 35th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60616
Coordinates41°49′48″N 87°38′2″W / 41.83000°N 87.63389°W / 41.83000; -87.63389Coordinates: 41°49′48″N 87°38′2″W / 41.83000°N 87.63389°W / 41.83000; -87.63389
Broke groundMay 7, 1989
Built1989–1991
OpenedApril 18, 1991
Renovated2001–2011
OwnerIllinois Sports Facilities Authority
OperatorChicago White Sox Ltd.
SurfaceBluegrass
ScoreboardCenter Field full-color, high resolution video board 28 feet (8.5 m) x 53 feet (16 m) (2003–present)
Right Field LED Display out-of-town scoreboard 23 feet (7.0 m) x 68 feet (21 m) (2009–present)
Left Field matrix board (2003–present)
Fan Deck ticker board (2003–present)
2 small scoreboards along the facade down the Right Field and Left Field lines below the 500 level
Construction costUS$167 million
($286 million in 2014 dollars[1])

$118 million (2001–2007 renovations)
($133 million in 2014 dollars[1])
ArchitectHOK Sport (now Populous) (original)
HKS, Inc. (2001–2007 renovations)
Project managerInternational Facilities Group, LLC[2]
Structural engineerThornton Tomasetti
Services engineerFlack + Kurtz[3]
General contractorGust K. Newberg Construction Company[4]
Capacity40,615 (2004–present)
47,098 (2003)
45,936 (2001–2002)
44,321 (1991–2000)
Record attendance47,609
July 15, 2003
74th All-Star Game

White Sox game: 46,246
October 5, 1993
Game 1 of the 1993 ALCS

Post-renovations: 41,432
October 23, 2005
Game 2 of the 2005 World Series
Field dimensions(2001–present)
Left Field – 330 feet (101 m)
Left-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Center Field – 400 feet (122 m)
Right-Center – 375 feet (114 m) (Not Posted)
Right Field – 335 feet (102 m)
Backstop – 60 feet (18 m)
Outfield Wall Height – 8 feet (2 m)

(1991–2000)
Left Field – 347 feet (106 m)
Left-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Center Field – 400 feet (122 m)
Right-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Right Field – 347 feet (106 m)
Backstop – 60 feet (18 m)
Outfield Wall Height – 8 feet (2 m)
Tenants
Chicago White Sox (MLB) (1991–present)
 
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U.S. Cellular Field
(New) Comiskey Park
"The Cell"
US Cellular Field.svg
US Navy 100406-N-1232M-001 Sailors assigned to various commands at Naval Station Great Lakes unfurl an American flag before the 2010 home opening Chicago White Sox baseball game.jpg
U.S. Cellular Field in 2010
Former namesComiskey Park (II) (1991–2003)
Location333 West 35th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60616
Coordinates41°49′48″N 87°38′2″W / 41.83000°N 87.63389°W / 41.83000; -87.63389Coordinates: 41°49′48″N 87°38′2″W / 41.83000°N 87.63389°W / 41.83000; -87.63389
Broke groundMay 7, 1989
Built1989–1991
OpenedApril 18, 1991
Renovated2001–2011
OwnerIllinois Sports Facilities Authority
OperatorChicago White Sox Ltd.
SurfaceBluegrass
ScoreboardCenter Field full-color, high resolution video board 28 feet (8.5 m) x 53 feet (16 m) (2003–present)
Right Field LED Display out-of-town scoreboard 23 feet (7.0 m) x 68 feet (21 m) (2009–present)
Left Field matrix board (2003–present)
Fan Deck ticker board (2003–present)
2 small scoreboards along the facade down the Right Field and Left Field lines below the 500 level
Construction costUS$167 million
($286 million in 2014 dollars[1])

$118 million (2001–2007 renovations)
($133 million in 2014 dollars[1])
ArchitectHOK Sport (now Populous) (original)
HKS, Inc. (2001–2007 renovations)
Project managerInternational Facilities Group, LLC[2]
Structural engineerThornton Tomasetti
Services engineerFlack + Kurtz[3]
General contractorGust K. Newberg Construction Company[4]
Capacity40,615 (2004–present)
47,098 (2003)
45,936 (2001–2002)
44,321 (1991–2000)
Record attendance47,609
July 15, 2003
74th All-Star Game

White Sox game: 46,246
October 5, 1993
Game 1 of the 1993 ALCS

Post-renovations: 41,432
October 23, 2005
Game 2 of the 2005 World Series
Field dimensions(2001–present)
Left Field – 330 feet (101 m)
Left-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Center Field – 400 feet (122 m)
Right-Center – 375 feet (114 m) (Not Posted)
Right Field – 335 feet (102 m)
Backstop – 60 feet (18 m)
Outfield Wall Height – 8 feet (2 m)

(1991–2000)
Left Field – 347 feet (106 m)
Left-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Center Field – 400 feet (122 m)
Right-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Right Field – 347 feet (106 m)
Backstop – 60 feet (18 m)
Outfield Wall Height – 8 feet (2 m)
Tenants
Chicago White Sox (MLB) (1991–present)

U.S. Cellular Field (formerly Comiskey Park) is a baseball park in Chicago, Illinois. It is the home of the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball's American League. The park is owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, but operated by the White Sox. The park opened for the 1991 season, after the White Sox had spent 81 years at the original Comiskey Park. The new park, completed at a cost of US$167 million, also opened with the Comiskey Park name, but became U.S. Cellular Field in 2003 after U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights at $68 million over 20 years. It hosted the MLB All-Star Game that same year. Many sportscasters[who?] and fans continue to use the name Comiskey Park. Prior to its demolition, the old Comiskey Park was the oldest in-use ballpark in Major League Baseball, a title now held by Fenway Park in Boston.

The stadium is situated just to the west of the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago's Armour Square neighborhood, adjacent to the more famous neighborhood of Bridgeport. It was built directly across 35th Street from old Comiskey Park, which was demolished to make room for a parking lot that serves the venue. Old Comiskey's home plate is a marble plaque on the sidewalk next to U.S. Cellular Field and the foul lines are painted in the parking lot. Also, the spectator ramp across 35th Street is designed in such a way (partly curved, partly straight but angling east-northeast) that it echoes the contour of the old first-base grandstand.

History[edit]

The stadium was the first new major sporting facility built in Chicago since Chicago Stadium in 1929. It was also the last one built before the wave of new "retro-classic" ballparks in the 1990s and 2000s. However, a few design features from the old park were retained. The front facade of the park features arched windows. Most notable is the "exploding scoreboard" which pays homage to the original installed by Bill Veeck at the old park in 1960. The original field dimensions and seating configuration were very similar to those of Royals Stadium (now Kauffman Stadium) in Kansas City—which had been the last baseball-only park built in the majors, in 1973.

View from the upper deck during construction, September 1990

As originally built, the park was criticized by many fans because of the height of the upper deck. The original architect, HOK Sport (now Populous), wanted to eliminate the overhang problems present in many stadiums built since the 1970s. With this in mind, the upper deck was set back over the lower deck, and the stands rose fairly gradually. While it gave nearly every seat in the upper level an unobstructed view of the field, it also created one of the highest upper decks in baseball. The first row of seats in the upper deck at the new stadium is as far from the field as the highest row of seats in the upper deck at the old stadium. The pitch and angle of the upper deck give one the feeling of vertigo. Due to the field being practically at street level, the original upper deck made the park look like a cookie-cutter stadium from the outside. Fans sitting in this area don't get much chance for relief, as it is one of the few parks in Major League Baseball that do not allow fans sitting in the upper deck to venture anywhere else in the park, i.e. lower deck concourse.

In response to fan complaints, the stadium has undergone numerous renovations since the 2001 season in order to retrofit the facility to current architectural trends. These new features have included building a multi-tiered concourse beyond center field, adjusting the fences to make the outfield less symmetrical and, most significantly, the removal of 6,600 seats at the top of the upper deck.

The uppermost story of the park now has a white and black screen behind the top row of seats and is topped by a flat canopy roof supported by black steel truss supports that obstruct the view of a few seats. The original blue seats were also replaced by forest green seats. The new green and black color scheme, upper level screen set back from the outer wall and canopy roof resembles the old Comiskey Park as well as other classic baseball stadiums. The White Sox have also added murals to the interior concourses, a prominent feature of the old stadium.

The stadium houses 103 luxury suites located on two levels, as well as 1,822 "club seats" on 300-level mezzanine between the lower deck and upper deck. The club seats receive in-seat wait-staff and benefit from an enclosed concourse with multiple television viewing areas and bar-style concessions. The stadium has 400 wheelchair-accessible seats, 38 public restrooms, 12 escalators and 15 elevators. The new suites were one example of why the old Comiskey Park was demolished, as suites generate more revenue.

Attractions/Features[edit]

Site of (Old) Comiskey Park as it looked in 2007.

Renovations/Additions[edit]

1996–99 seasons[edit]

2001–07 seasons[edit]

In 2001, extensive renovations were started by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group to make the park more fan-friendly:

Phase I (2001 season)[edit]

Phase II (2002 season)[edit]

The then Comiskey Park in 2002 with the new batter's eye.

Phase III (2003 season)[edit]

U.S. Cellular Field in 2004 with the new roof.

Phase IV (2004 season)[edit]

The Translucent wall in the upper deck was added in 2004 to block the elements.

Phase V (2005 season)[edit]

U.S. Cellular Field in 2005 with the new Fundamentals Deck in left field.

Phase VI (2006 season)[edit]

Phase VII (2007 season)[edit]

U.S. Cellular Field at night in 2007.

Extensive renovations (2008–12 seasons)[edit]

Renovations added not part of the original plan.

2008 season[edit]

Champions Plaza, U.S. Cellular Field – Chicago, Illinois

2009 season[edit]

2010–12 seasons[edit]

2010

2011

2012

Retired numbers[edit]

There are ten retired numbers on the facade of the Stadium Club.

White Sox retired numbers[11]
NumberPlayerPositionWhite Sox yearsDate retiredNotes
2Nellie Fox2B1950–631976Hall of Fame (1997)
3Harold BainesRF, DH1980–89, 96–97, 00–01, (coach, 04–present)1989-08-20Baines' number was retired after he was traded to the Texas Rangers midway through 1989. The number was unretired for him in 1996 and 2000 when he returned as a player, and he currently wears it in his role as the White Sox' first base coach.
4Luke ApplingSS1930–501975Hall of Fame (1964)
9Minnie MiñosoLF1951–57, 60–61, 76, 801983"Mr. White Sox"
11Luis AparicioSS1956–62, 68–701984-08-14Hall of Fame (1984)
16Ted LyonsP1923–46, (manager, 46–48)1987Hall of Fame (1955)
19Billy PierceP1949–611987
35Frank Thomas1B, DH1990–20052010-08-29Hall of Fame (2014)
42Jackie Robinson2BBrooklyn Dodgers, 1947–1956, Retired by Major League Baseball1997-04-15Hall of Fame (1962)
72Carlton FiskC1981–931997-09-14Hall of Fame (2000)
White Sox-Tigers game on September 10, 2013 from section 164.

Ballpark firsts[edit]

The view from the 500 level.

First game[edit]

The view from the White Sox radio booth.

Batting[edit]

The gate 5 entrance at U.S. Cellular Field in 2007 before renovations took place for the 2009 season.

Pitching[edit]

Other firsts[edit]

Transportation to the stadium[edit]

The upper deck concourse.

Notable games/events[edit]

1990s[edit]

2000s[edit]

The National Anthem before Game 1 of the 2005 World Series.
The 2008 AL Central tiebreaker game (better known as the "blackout game") as the Sox shutout the Twins 1–0.
Teammates celebrate Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009.

2010s[edit]

White Sox record at home[edit]

U.S. Cellular Field before a game.
YearRegular Season HomeRegular Season OverallFinishPost Season HomePost Season Overall
WonLostWin %WonLostWin %WonLostWin %WonLostWin %
19914635.5678775.5372nd in AL West
19925032.6098676.5313rd in AL West
19934536.5569468.5801st in AL West03.00024.333
19943419.6416746.5931st in AL Central
19953834.5276876.4723rd in AL Central
19964437.5438577.5252nd in AL Central
19974536.5568081.4962nd in AL Central
19984437.5438082.4932nd in AL Central
19993842.4757586.4662nd in AL Central
20004635.5679567.5861st in AL Central02.00003.000
20014635.5678379.5123rd in AL Central
20024734.5808181.5002nd in AL Central
20035130.6298676.5302nd in AL Central
20044635.5678379.5122nd in AL Central
20054734.5809963.6111st in AL Central51.833111.917
20064932.6049072.5563rd in AL Central
20073843.4697290.4444th in AL Central
20085428.6588974.5461st in AL Central11.50013.250
20094338.5317983.4883rd in AL Central
20104536.5568874.5432nd in AL Central
20113645.4447983.4883rd in AL Central
20124536.5568577.5252nd in AL Central
20133744.4576399.3895th in AL Central
Total1,014813.55518941764.51867.4611411.560

Note: 1994 season incomplete due to Players Strike
There were three ties, the first in the 1995 season against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The second tie happened in the 1998 season against the Blue Jays at then Comiskey Park. The third tie took place in the 1999 season against the Twins at Comiskey Park.

All-Time record
HomeOverall
WonLostWin %WonLostWin %
1,020820.55419081775.518
Average
Regular Season HomeRegular Season OverallAverage FinishPost Season HomePost Season Overall
WonLostWin %WonLostWin %WonLostWin %WonLostWin %
4435.5578277.5162nd22.50043.571

In film and other media[edit]

U.S. Cellular Field has appeared in films such as Rookie of the Year (1993), Major League II (1994), Little Big League (1994), My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), and The Ladies Man (2000). In Rookie of the Year the stadium played the role of Dodger Stadium and in Little Big League the stadium played the role of all opposing ballparks except for Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Commercials for the PGA Tour, Nike, Reebok and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America have been filmed at the park.

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Comiskey Park
Home of the
Chicago White Sox

1991 – present
Succeeded by
Current
Preceded by
Miller Park
Host of the
MLB All-Star Game

2003
Succeeded by
Minute Maid Park
Preceded by
Turner Field
Host of the
Civil Rights Game

2013
Succeeded by
TBD