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New Comiskey Park

By Wikipedia

U.S. Cellular Field (formerly New Comiskey Park) is a Major League Baseball stadium in Chicago, Illinois. It is the home of the Chicago White Sox of the American League.

At a glance...
Facility statistics
Location 333 West 35th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60616
Broke ground May 7, 1989
Opened April 18, 1991
Replaced Comiskey Park
Owner Illinois Sports Facilities
Surface Illinois Sports Facilities Authority
Construction cost $167 million (100% taxpayers),
$118 million ('97-99 renovations)
Architect HOK Sport
Comiskey Park (1991-2002)
U.S Cellular Field (2003-)
Chicago White Sox (1991-present)
Seating capacity
44,321 (1991)
45,936 (2001)
47,098 (2003)
40,615 (2004)
Left Field - 347 ft
Left-Center - 375 ft
Center Field - 400 ft
Right-Center - 375 ft
Right Field - 335 ft
Backstop - 60 ft
Fences - 6 ft

Left Field - 330 ft
Left-Center - 377 ft
Center Field - 400 ft
Right-Center - 372 ft
Right Field - 335 ft
Backstop - 60 ft
Fences - 6 ft

The park opened for the 1991 season, after the White Sox had spent 81 years at "old" Comiskey Park. The new park, completed at a cost of $167 million, also opened with the Comiskey Park name, but became U.S. Cellular Field in 2003 after the company bought the naming rights at $68 million over 20 years.

The stadium is in the Armour Square neighborhood of the city, at 35th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway, just east of the Bridgeport neighborhood. It was built in the parking lot of old Comiskey Park, which was torn down and became a parking lot for the current field. Few design features were retained except for the "exploding scoreboard," which lights up in color when a White Sox player hits a home run. The lowest row of seats in the upper deck at the new stadium is actually farther from the field than the highest row of seats in the upper deck at the old stadium.

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The stadium was the last built before the recent wave of new 'retro' stadiums. The stadium has undergone numerous renovations since its opening in order to retrofit it to the current architectural trends. This has included building a multi-tiered concourse beyond center field, adjusting the field of play to create asymmetrical fences and the removal of the most distant seats at the top of the upper deck, topped by a roof supported by poles that obstructed the view of a few seats.

The stadium contains 84 luxury suites located on two levels, as well as thousands of club seats on a mezzanine between the lower deck and upper deck. There is also a fan deck in the bleachers where you can find your pitching speed and cool off under a fountain.

In 2001, extensive renovations were started to make the park more 'fan-friendly', and less sterile:

Phase I (2001 season):

  • Three rows of seats were added along the field between the dugouts and the foul poles.
  • Bullpens were moved and replaced with additional bleachers.
  • Distances to the outfield wall were changed, most noticeably down the foul lines, where the bullpens and the Bullpen Sports Bar are now located.
  • Batter's eye in center field was redesigned.
  • Restaurant was added in the outfield.
New Comiskey Park!

(Apr. 4, 2005) - A giant American flag is unfurled at the Chicago White Sox home opener vs. the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Park in Chicago, Ill.

U.S. Navy photo by Elijah Leinaar

Phase II (2002 season):
  • Old backstop was replaced with a new one that allows foul balls to drop.
  • Improvements were made to the main and club level concourses.
  • Scoreboard and video boards were upgraded.
  • Party deck was added.
04/18/1991 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
Batter Tony Phillips (fly out)
Hit Alan Trammell (single)
Run Travis Fryman
RBI Alan Trammell
Single Alan Trammell
Double John Shelby
Triple Tony Phillips
Home Run Cecil Fielder
Grand Slam Kevin Romine (05/05/1991)
IPHR Marc Newfield (06/21/1995)
Stolen Base Lou Whitaker
Sacrifice Hit Joey Cora (04/20/1991)
Sacrifice Fly Matt Merullo (04/27/1991)
Cycle Mike Blowers (05/18/1998)
Win Frank Tanana
Loss Jack McDowell
Shutout Frank Tanana
Save Jerry Gleaton (04/20/1991)
Hit by Pitch Dave Johnson hit Carlton
Fisk (04/23/1991)
Wild Pitch Melido Perez (04/21/1991)
Balk Bryan Harvey (05/28/1991)
No-Hitter NONE
Primary research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet

Phase III (2003 season):

  • New center field video board and LED "ribbon" boards were added.
  • Outfield/Upper Deck Concourse upgrades were made.
  • Fan Deck in center field was added.
  • Ballpark was painted and stained.
  • Phase III renovations cost approximately $20 million.

Phase IV (2004 season)

  • Upper Deck Seating Area - Eight rows and 6,600 seats were removed from the top of ballpark's upper deck.
  • A flat roof, elevated 20 feet above the seating area, has replaced the old roof.
  • Upper Deck Concourse was enclosed from the weather by a translucent wall.
  • Fan Deck in center field upgraded to feature tiered seating and standing room.
  • Lower Terrace balcony added to provide an additional party area and outdoor seating.
  • Phase IV renovations cost approximately $28 million.

Phase V (2005 season)

  • 314-seat "Scout" seating area directly behind home plate added.
  • FUNdamentals, an area for kids, was added above the left field concourse.
  • Green seats replaced the old blue seats in phases during the 2005 season.

Related Books on Ballparks
The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
Ballparks by Robert Von Goeben and Red Howard.
Ballparks: Then & Now by Eric Enders.
Baseball Vacations: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballbarks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
Blue Skies, Green Fields: A Celebration of 50 Major League Baseball Stadiums by Ira Rosen.
Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
Fields of Dreams: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying All 30 Major League Ballparks by Jay Ahuja
Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
Video: Story of America's Classic Ballparks
Video: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Economics of Stadiums
City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

General Stadium Reference:
Sports Staff of USA Today. The Complete 4 Sport Stadium Guide. Fodor's, 1996.

Stadium Design and Financing References:
Philip Bess. City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks. Knothole Press, 1999.
Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, 1998.
Mark S. Rosentraub. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It. HarperCollins, 1997.
Kevin J. Delaney, Rick Eckstein. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist. Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums. Brookings Institution, 1997.
Dean V. Baim. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Greenwood Publishing, 1994.
Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard. Architectural Press, 2000.
Michelle Provoost, Matthjis Bouw and Camiel Van Winkel. The Stadium: Architecture of Mass Sport. NAI Publishers, 2000.

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USGS Photo

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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