U.S. Cellular Field
Chicago, Illinois
Year Opened
1991

Current Team
Chicago White Sox

Affiliate
N/A

League
American League

Capacity
44,231

My Grades
Stadium B+ Atmosphere B Concessions A-

Photos taken in 2005 & 2009
It seems to me that U.S. Cellular Field (originally known as Comiskey Park) has gotten a bad rap from the beginning. This is probably for two reasons. First, many fans want to compare it to old Comiskey, which was apparently very intimate and an excellent place to see a game. Second, it is criticized for not being like Camden Yards which opened a year after it. Yes, it's probably not as good as Camden Yards, but it measures up to other new parks like Jacobs Field and Ameriquest Field quite well. This is especially true after the extensive renovations that have been completed between '03 and '05. Originally the color scheme of the park was mostly blue. Now everything is being changed to a dark green or black color, presumably to resemble old Comiskey. The seats are still blue, but these are all scheduled to be replaced by green ones by '06. In addition, a lot of brick has been added to the concourse to give it a more classic feel. The seating is still not the park's strong suit, but it is no worse than at some other new parks. The upper deck always received the most criticism, hence they shaved about 10 rows off of it and put a nice roof (with poles) on it. This helps to give the park a slightly more intimate feel. Some complain that it is still too high, but I believe this may be based on perception since there is no club level between the lower and upper decks. Also, the seats are a bit narrow, but hopefully the new ones that are installed are a bit roomier. The main concourse (which is not accessible if you buy an upper deck seat) is open to the field and circles the entire park. This concourse, while a bit narrow, is packed with concession stands offering a nice variety of food and drink options. Regional favorites like brats, deep dish pizza, and Italian beef sandwiches are offered. Prices are typical of a MLB park, but the quality is quite good. The outfield concourse features a kid's play area ("FUNdamentals") as well as a picnic area on top of the batter's eye. Despite having a relatively new park, the ChiSox have not forgotten about their history. Murals depicting famous teams line the upper deck concourse and a small team hall of fame is located in the gift store behind home plate. In addition, there are two statues in the outfield - one of Charles Comiskey and the other of Minnie Minoso. The atmosphere at US Cellular Field can best be described the "anti-Wrigley" experience. Despite having a legendary organist, lots of loud music is blared between batters. Access to the park is very good as it is located right off the Dan Ryan Expressway. Parking is plentiful around the park and is just $8 if you're an "earlybird". Otherwise you'll be dishing out $17. Maybe US Cellular doesn't have the nooks and crannies or standout features that a lot of the newer parks have, but still it is a fine place to take in a game.
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All Photos Copyright Brian Merzbach
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