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Guaranteed Rate Field
Sox Park
The Cell
The Rate
New Comiskey
The G Spot
Guaranteed Rate Field logo.png
U.S. Cellular Field (30972191694).jpg
Guaranteed Rate Field (then U.S. Cellular Field) in 2016
Guaranteed Rate Field is located in Chicago
Guaranteed Rate Field
Guaranteed Rate Field
Location in Chicago
Guaranteed Rate Field is located in Illinois
Guaranteed Rate Field
Guaranteed Rate Field
Location in Illinois
Guaranteed Rate Field is located in the United States
Guaranteed Rate Field
Guaranteed Rate Field
Location in the United States
Former namesComiskey Park (II) (1991–2003)
U.S. Cellular Field (2003–2016)
Address333 West 35th Street
LocationChicago, Illinois
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
Public transitRed at Sox-35th
Green at 35th-Bronzeville-IIT
RI at 35th Street-Lou Jones
Parking8 main parking lots
OwnerIllinois Sports Facilities Authority[1]
OperatorIllinois Sports Facilities Authority[1]
Capacity40,615 (2004–present)
47,098 (2002–2003)
47,522 (2001)
44,321 (1991–2000)[2]
Record attendance47,754 (September 24, 2016; Chance the Rapper concert)
White Sox game: 46,246 (October 5, 1993; ALCS Game 1)
Post-renovations: 41,432 (October 23, 2005; World Series Game 2)
Field size(2001–present)
Left field – 330 ft (100 m)
Left-center – 375 ft (114 m) (not posted)
Center field – 400 ft (120 m)
Right-center – 375 ft (114 m) (not posted)
Right field – 335 ft (102 m)
Backstop – 60 ft (18 m)
Outfield wall height – 8 ft (2.4 m)
GuaranteedRateFieldDimensions.svg
SurfaceKentucky Bluegrass
Scoreboard8,000 square foot Center field HD video board 60 feet (18 m) × 134 feet (41 m) (2016–present)
2,500 square foot auxiliary video boards in Right & Left Field (2016–present)
LED Ribbon Board, facade of the 500 level (2018–present)
Fan Deck Ribbon Board (2003–present)
Construction
Broke groundMay 7, 1989 (1989-05-07)
Built1989–1990
OpenedApril 18, 1991 (1991-04-18)
Renovated2001–2012, 2015–2019
Construction costUS$137 million[3]
($273 million in 2021 dollars[4])

US$118 million (2001–2007 renovations)
($154 million in 2021 dollars[4])
ArchitectHOK Sport
HKS, Inc. (2001–2007 renovations)
Project managerInternational Facilities Group, LLC[5]
Structural engineerThornton Tomasetti
Services engineerFlack + Kurtz[6]
General contractorGust K. Newberg Construction Company[7]
Tenants
Chicago White Sox (MLB) (1991–present)

Guaranteed Rate Field is a baseball stadium located on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It serves as the home stadium of the Chicago White Sox, one of the city's two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, and is owned by the state of Illinois through the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. Completed at a cost of US$137 million, the park opened as Comiskey Park on April 18, 1991, taking its name from the former ballpark at which the White Sox had played since 1910. In 2003, it was renamed U.S. Cellular Field after Chicago-based telecommunications company U.S. Cellular purchased the naming rights at US$68 million for 20 years.[8] The stadium's current name was announced on October 31, 2016, after the Chicago-based private residential mortgage company Guaranteed Rate purchased the naming rights in a 13-year deal.[9][10]

Guaranteed Rate Field 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. The stadium was built directly across 35th Street from the original Comiskey Park, which was demolished to make room for a parking lot for the new venue. The location of Old Comiskey's home plate is represented by a marble plaque on the sidewalk next to Guaranteed Rate Field, with the foul lines painted in the parking lot. 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

View from the upper deck during construction, September 1990
View from the upper deck during construction, September 1990

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.

A few design features from the old Comiskey Park were retained. The front facade of the park features arched windows. The "exploding scoreboard" 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.

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 of the new stadium is as far from the field as the highest row of seats in the upper deck at the old stadium. 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 did not get much chance for relief, as it was one of the few parks in Major League Baseball that did not allow fans sitting in the upper deck to venture anywhere else in the park, such as the lower deck concourse.

New Comiskey Park on opening day, April 18, 1991
New Comiskey Park on opening day, April 18, 1991

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 changes 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 tier 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 are reminiscent of the old Comiskey Park, as well as other classic baseball stadiums. Murals to the interior concourses were also added, 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 and features

The site of the home plate of (Old) Comiskey Park in 2007
The site of the home plate of (Old) Comiskey Park in 2007

Renovations and additions

1996–99

2001–07

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

Phase I (2001 season)

Phase II (2002 season)

Comiskey Park in 2002 with the new batter's eye
Comiskey Park in 2002 with the new batter's eye

Phase III (2003 season)

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

Phase IV (2004 season)

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

Phase V (2005 season)

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

Phase VI (2006 season)

Phase VII (2007 season)

U.S. Cellular Field in 2007
U.S. Cellular Field in 2007

Extensive renovations (2008–present)

Renovations were added that were not part of the original plan:

2008 season

Champions Plaza
Champions Plaza

2009 season

Out-of-town video board (2009-2015)
Out-of-town video board (2009-2015)
Gate 5 entrance, restaurant & bar
Gate 5 entrance, restaurant & bar

2010–present

2010 season

2011 season

2016 renovations with new HD scoreboards
2016 renovations with new HD scoreboards

2012 season

2014 season

2016 season

2018 season

2019 season

2021 season

Retired numbers

There are 12 retired numbers on the facade of the 1st and 3rd base sides of the 300 level.

White Sox retired numbers[22]
No. Player Position White Sox years Date retired Notes
2 Nellie Fox 2B 1950–63 1976 Hall of Fame (1997)
3 Harold Baines RF, DH
Coach
1980–89, 96–97, 2000–01
2004–2015
1989-08-20 Baines' 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 in 2004 as an assistant hitting coach.
Hall of Fame (2019)
4 Luke Appling SS 1930–50 1975 Hall of Fame (1964)
9 Minnie Miñoso LF 1951–57, 1960–61
1964, 1976, 1980
1983 "Mr. White Sox"
Hall of Fame (2022)
11 Luis Aparicio SS 1956–62
1968–70
1984-08-14 Hall of Fame (1984)
14 Paul Konerko 1B 1999–2014 2015-05-23 2005 World Series Champion and ALCS MVP
16 Ted Lyons P
Manager
1923–46
1946–48
1987 Hall of Fame (1955)
19 Billy Pierce P 1949–61 1987
35 Frank Thomas 1B, DH 1990–2005 2010-08-29 2005 World Series Champion
Hall of Fame (2014)
56 Mark Buehrle P 2000–2011 2017-06-24 2005 World Series Champion
Perfect game in 2009
72 Carlton Fisk C 1981–93 1997-09-14 Hall of Fame (2000)
42 Jackie Robinson 2B Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947–1956, Retired by Major League Baseball 1997-04-15 Hall of Fame (1962)
The White Sox taking on the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day 2014
The White Sox taking on the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day 2014
The Chicago skyline overlooking the upper deck behind third base at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 30, 2017
The Chicago skyline overlooking the upper deck behind third base at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 30, 2017

Ballpark firsts

The view from the 500 level
The view from the 500 level

Opening Day (April 18, 1991)

Statistic Details
Score Detroit Tigers 16, White Sox 0
Umpires Steve Palermo
Mike Reilly
Larry Young
Rich Garcia
Managers Jeff Torborg, White Sox
Sparky Anderson, Tigers
Starting Pitchers Jack McDowell, White Sox
Frank Tanana, Tigers
Ceremonial Pitch Former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson
Attendance 42,191
The view from the White Sox radio booth
The view from the White Sox radio booth

Batting

Statistic Details
Batter Tony Phillips (fly out)
White Sox Batter Tim Raines
Hit Alan Trammell (single)
Run Travis Fryman
White Sox Run Ron Karkovice (April 20, 1991)
RBI Alan Trammell
White Sox RBI Dan Pasqua (April 20, 1991)
Single Alan Trammell
Double John Shelby
Triple Tony Phillips
Home run Cecil Fielder
White Sox Home run Frank Thomas (April 22, 1991)
Grand slam Kevin Romine (Boston Red Sox) (May 5, 1991)
IPHR Marc Newfield (Seattle Mariners) (June 21, 1995)
Stolen base Lou Whitaker
White Sox Stolen base Tim Raines
Sacrifice hit Joey Cora (White Sox) (April 20, 1991)
Sacrifice fly Matt Merullo (White Sox) (April 27, 1991)
Cycle Mike Blowers (Oakland Athletics) (May 18, 1998)
White Sox Cycle Chris Singleton (July 6, 1999)
The gate 5 entrance in 2007 before renovations took place for the 2009 season
The gate 5 entrance in 2007 before renovations took place for the 2009 season

Pitching

Statistic Details
Win Frank Tanana
White Sox win Brian Drahman (April 21, 1991)
Loss Jack McDowell
Visiting loss Paul Gibson (April 21, 1991)
shutout Frank Tanana
White Sox Shutout Jack McDowell (June 25, 1991)
Save Jerry Don Gleaton (Detroit Tigers) (April 20, 1991)
White Sox save Bobby Thigpen (April 22, 1991)
Hit by pitch Dave Johnson (Baltimore Orioles) hit Carlton Fisk (White Sox) (April 23, 1991)
Wild pitch Mélido Pérez (White Sox) (April 21, 1991)
Balk Bryan Harvey (California Angels) (May 28, 1991)
No-hitter Mark Buehrle (White Sox) (April 18, 2007)
Visiting no-hitter Francisco Liriano (Minnesota Twins) (May 3, 2011)
Perfect game Mark Buehrle (White Sox) (July 23, 2009)

Other firsts

Statistic Date/Details
Doubleheader October 3, 1991 vs. Minnesota Twins
Error Robin Ventura
Use as a neutral site September 13–14, 2004 – Florida Marlins vs. Montreal Expos. Counted as home games for the Marlins, these games were moved to Chicago due to Hurricane Ivan in Florida. The Marlins were already in Chicago at the time, having just played a series with the Chicago Cubs.
First White Sox Foul Ball hit April 18, 1991 by Sammy Sosa
First Postseason game October 5, 1993 vs. Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays won 7-3.

Transportation and entry gates

The upper deck concourse
The upper deck concourse

Guaranteed Rate Field can be reached by using the CTA's "L" Rapid Transit system. The stadium's station stops are Sox–35th for the Red Line and 35-Bronzeville-IIT for the Green Line. The Red Line is also used by Cubs fans to reach Wrigley Field (Addison Station) on the North side of Chicago. (When the White Sox take on the Cubs every year, usually in June, many fans will use the Red-Line to get to the games. The series is dubbed the Cross-Town Classic or the Windy City Showdown.)

Further information: Cubs–White Sox rivalry

A new Metra station (35th Street), which helps fans with more accessibility, opened on the Rock Island line in 2011. It is also accessible by CTA bus route #35 (31st/35th Street) and the suburban Pace Guaranteed Rate Field Express shuttle service.

Guaranteed Rate is just west of the I-90/94 Dan Ryan Expressway. The "Dan Ryan" was under construction in 2006–2007 in hopes of relieving traffic congestion.

The ballpark has eight main parking lots.

The ballpark has seven main entrances:

The main level is accessible only to fans who have a ticket to a seat in the lower level.[23]

Notable games/events

1990s

2000s

The National Anthem before Game 1 of the 2005 World Series
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
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
Teammates celebrate Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009

2010s

2020s

White Sox record at home

Guaranteed Rate Field before a game
Guaranteed Rate Field before a game

Notes: 1994 season incomplete due to Players Strike. Only 113 games played.
Only 144 games played in 1995.
Only 161 games played in 1997, 1999 & 2019.
163 games played in 2008 due to AL Central division tie-breaker game.

Only 60 games played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Non-baseball events

Concerts

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
September 13, 2002 The Rolling Stones The Pretenders Licks Tour
August 13, 2003 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band The Rising Tour 39,439 $2,970,543
September 24, 2016 Chance the Rapper Magnificent Coloring Day Festival 47,754

Football

Date Event name Home Team Visiting Team Winning team/Score Attendance Notes
November 9, 2016 Huskie Chi–Town Showdown Northern Illinois Huskies Toledo Rockets Toledo, 31–24 10,180 First football game played at Guaranteed Rate Field

In film and other media

Guaranteed Rate 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, it 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.

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ a b Hopkins, Jared S. (May 22, 2016). "Tax Dollars Still Paying off Renovations on White Sox Stadium". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  2. ^ "Attendance Records" (PDF). 2016 Chicago White Sox Media Guide. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P. February 26, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016. U.S. Cellular Field capacity was 44,321 from 1991-2000, 47,522 in 2001, 47,098 in 2002-03 and 40,615 since 2004.
  3. ^ a b "Guaranteed Rate Field". Ballparksofbaseball.com. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  4. ^ a b 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  5. ^ "IFG - US Cellular Field". www.ifgroup.cc. Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Opus North Promotes Jacobson". Chicago Tribune. September 24, 1989. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  7. ^ "U.S. Cellular Field". ballparks.com. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  8. ^ Padilla, Doug (April 26, 2013). "The Cell not in line for name change". ESPN. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  9. ^ Merkin, Scott (August 24, 2016). "U.S. Cellular to become Guaranteed Rate Field". Chicago White Sox. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  10. ^ Ecker, Danny (August 24, 2016). "White Sox home gets a new name: Guaranteed Rate Field". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  11. ^ "Chicago White Sox and Gold Coast Tickets Reach Multi-Year Sponsorship Agreement". Chicago White Sox. March 30, 2011.
  12. ^ "TBD's outdoor beer garden added to Gate 5 entrance". Major League Baseball (Press release). July 22, 2010.
  13. ^ Van Dyck, Dave (August 29, 2010). "Having His No. 35 Retired Emotionally Drains Thomas". Chicago Tribune.
  14. ^ "Bacardi At The Park added to Gate 5". Chicago White Sox (Press release). March 29, 2011.
  15. ^ "White Sox Open New Bar And Restaurant". CBS Chicago. March 29, 2011.
  16. ^ "Chicago Sports Depot". Chicago White Sox.
  17. ^ "White Sox to install 3 new video boards for 2016 season". Chicago Tribune. October 2, 2015.
  18. ^ Thompson, Phil (March 27, 2018). "What's new at Sox Park: Renovated clubhouse, more netting and the 'South Side Horseshoe'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  19. ^ Price, Satchel (January 28, 2019). "White Sox to add 'The Goose Island' section to Guaranteed Rate Field bleachers". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  20. ^ Spedden, Zach (June 19, 2019). "Guaranteed Rate Field Netting Extending to Foul Poles". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  21. ^ "Guaranteed Rate Field debuts flickering stadium lights". April 12, 2021. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  22. ^ "Retired Uniform Numbers in the American League". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
  23. ^ "Guaranteed Rate Field Ballpark Guide: Upper Concourse Policy".
  24. ^ "Sports Illustrated". Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  25. ^ "Cubs' Barrett slugs Pierzynski, leads to melee". ESPN. May 20, 2006. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
Events and tenants
Preceded by Home of the
Chicago White Sox

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

2003
Succeeded by
Preceded by Host of the
Civil Rights Game

2013
Succeeded by