U.S. Cellular Field

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U.S. Cellular Field
(New) Comiskey Park
"The Cell"
US Cellular Field.svg
White Sox opening day.jpg
U.S. Cellular Field on Opening Day 2014
Former names Comiskey Park (II) (1991–2003)
Location 333 West 35th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60616
Coordinates 41°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 transit Sox–35th (CTA station)
35th–Bronzeville–IIT (CTA station)
Parking 8 main parking lots
Owner Illinois Sports Facilities Authority
Operator Chicago White Sox Ltd.
Capacity 40,615 (2004–present)
47,098 (2003)
45,936 (2001–2002)
44,321 (1991–2000)
Record attendance 47,609
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 size (2001–present)
Left Field – 330 feet (101 m)
Left-Center – 375 feet (114 m) (Not Posted)
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)
Surface Bluegrass
Scoreboard Center 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
Broke ground May 7, 1989
Built 1989–1991
Opened April 18, 1991
Renovated 2
Construction cost US$167 million
($289 million in 2014 dollars[1])

$118 million (2001–2007 renovations)
($134 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect HOK Sports
HKS, Inc. (2001–2007 renovations)
Project manager International Facilities Group, LLC[2]
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti
Services engineer Flack + Kurtz[3]
General contractor Gust K. Newberg Construction Company[4]
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.[5] 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 current public address announcer is Gene Honda, who also serves as the PA announcer for the Chicago Blackhawks.

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 location is represented by 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 Sports, 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]

  • Fan Deck: A panoramic view of the playing field on the two-tiered Fan Deck atop the center field concession stands. Fan Deck includes catered food and beverage service consisting of chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, popcorn, beer, soda, and water. Fan deck can accommodate around 150 people.
  • Bullpen Sports Bar: A two-tiered, open-air section located in right field next to the visitor's bullpen with food and drinks.
  • Rain Room: A place where fans can cool off during hot game days. Near section 107 & 537.
  • Fundamentals Deck: Located in left field. This 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) Fundamentals area is devoted to young White Sox fans, providing them with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of baseball. It features a youth-sized whiffle ball diamond for coaching clinics, batting and pitching cages, batting "swing" boxes for proper batting techniques and areas for base running and skills instruction.
  • Speed Pitch Machines: Near Section 164 and in the Fundamentals Deck.
  • Chicagoland Plumbing Council Shower: A carry-over from old Comiskey Park where fans can cool off during hot gamedays. Near Section 160.
  • Scout Seats: Located directly behind home plate and contains 314 leather seats.
  • The Patio: Located just behind the right center field fence at field level. The patio serves for group outings such as the Bullpen Sports Bar and can accommodate from 50 to 100 people.
  • Gold Coast Tickets Club: Located behind home plate. Features include a restaurant buffet, open bar, open air seating in padded, extra-wide 22" seats, private restrooms, flat-screen televisions throughout the club and seating area, private elevator entrance behind home plate at Gate 4, early admittance into the ballpark for select games to watch White Sox batting practice from the outfield.
Site of (Old) Comiskey Park as it looked in 2007
  • Minnie Miñoso Sculpture: Located behind Section 164.
  • Carlton Fisk Sculpture: Located behind Section 164.
  • Charles Comiskey Sculpture: Located behind Section 100.
  • Luis Aparicio Sculpture: Located behind Section 100.
  • Nellie Fox Sculpture: Located behind Section 100.
  • Billy Pierce Sculpture: Located behind Section 164.
  • Harold Baines Sculpture: Located behind Section 105.
  • Frank Thomas Sculpture: Located behind Section 160.
  • Paul Konerko Sculpture: Located behind Section 160.
  • Jim Thome Plaque: Located on the center field fan deck. The description of the plaque reads "On June 4, 2008, Chicago White Sox slugger Jim Thome became the first player ever to hit a baseball onto the Fan Deck of U.S. Cellular Field as the Sox beat the Kansas City Royals. He duplicated the tape-measure feat on September 30, 2008 as the White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins, 1-0, in a one-game playoff to win the American League Central Division championship."
  • The Two Blue Seats: The seats where Paul Konerko's Grand Slam (left field in section 159) and Scott Podsednik's game-winning home run (right center first row in section 101) that landed in game two of the 2005 World Series are the same original blue seats in use at that game.
  • White Sox Champions Brick Plaza: Located at the main entrance to the park, (Gate 4). The plaza is dedicated to the 2005 World Series Champion White Sox and their fans. Each legacy brick is inscribed with a personalized message that has become part of a new baseball diamond-shaped plaza outside the main entrance to the ballpark. A life-sized white bronze and granite sculpture celebrating the 2005 White Sox World Series Championship that stands at the center of the plaza, with a historical timeline of the franchise along the diamond's base paths. The statue weighs over 25 tons.
  • Old Comiskey Park's home plate: Located just north of the park by Gate 5 in Lot B.
  • "ChiSox Bar and Grill": A multi-level restaurant and bar located inside of Gate 5. The establishment features both indoor and outdoor seating and a wide variety of food, drinks, and entertainment.
  • Chicago Sports Depot: A Chicago White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, and Fire merchandise store located next to Bacardi At The Park at Gate 5.

Renovations/Additions[edit]

1996–99 seasons[edit]

  • 1996 – A Bullpen Bar was added in right field.
  • 1998 – The Batter's eye was painted from blue to black.
  • 1999 – A new Bill Veeck-esque showerhead in left field and a "Rain Room" in right field for fans to cool off during hot summertime games.

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]

  • Three rows of nearly 2,000 seats were added along the field between the dugouts and the foul poles.
  • Bullpens relocated to allow fans to see pitchers warming up; former bullpens filled with new seats.
  • Two-tiered terrace seating area added outside the Bullpen Sports Bar.
  • Distances to the outfield wall were changed, most noticeably down the foul lines, where the bullpens and the Bullpen Sports Bar are now located.
  • Outfield seating area extended to the fence.
  • A full-service restaurant, dubbed the Stadium Club, is introduced with windows overlooking the right field corner.
  • Capacity is increased from 44,321 to 45,936.

Phase II (2002 season)[edit]

The then Comiskey Park in 2002 with the new batter's eye
  • Old backstop with netted roof was replaced with a new "roofless" backstop which allows foul balls to drop into seats directly behind home plate.
  • Multi-tiered Batter's eye built in center field.
  • Main concourse upgraded with brick facade, stainless steel counter tops and decorative lighting.
  • Club level concourse enclosed and carpeted with heat/air conditioning and comfortable seating areas throughout.
  • Party deck was added in center field, just below the scoreboard and above the Batter's eye.

Phase III (2003 season)[edit]

U.S. Cellular Field in 2004 with the new roof and lighting
  • Scoreboard and video boards were upgraded.
  • Full-color, high resolution 28 x 53-foot (16 m) video screen added to center field scoreboard.
  • Two 300-foot (91 m)-long, five-foot-high video LED "ribbon" boards added along the upper deck facade.
  • Design upgrades consistent with the lower deck finished on outfield and upper deck concourses.
  • Fan Deck, featuring food and beverage service in an elevated patio-like atmosphere, built on center field concourse.
  • Outfield steel framework and underside of canopy roof painted dark gray; concrete in seating areas and on pedestrian ramps stained gray.
  • A life size bronze statue of Charles Comiskey placed on the center field concourse behind section 100.
  • Capacity is increased from 45,936 to 47,098.
  • Phase III renovations cost approximately $20 million.

Phase IV (2004 season)[edit]

The Translucent wall in the upper deck was added in 2004 to block the elements
  • Upper Deck Seating Area – Eight rows and 6,600 seats were removed from the top of the ballpark's upper deck.
  • A flat roof, elevated 20 feet (6.1 m) above the seating area, has replaced the old sloped canopy-style roof, covering 13 of the 21 rows of seating.
  • Upper Deck Concourse was partially 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.
  • The outfield wall was redone with pictures of White Sox players who've had their number retired.
  • A life sized bronze statue of Minnie Miñoso placed on the center field concourse behind section 164.
  • Capacity is decreased from 47,098 to 40,615.
  • Phase IV renovations cost approximately $28 million.

Phase V (2005 season)[edit]

U.S. Cellular Field in 2005 with the new Fundamentals Deck in left field
  • 314-seat "Scout" seating area directly behind home plate added, which offers ticket holders behind-the-scenes access to the ballpark and the world-class amenities, including free food, for one-inclusive price.
  • FUNdamentals Deck, an area for kids to work on various baseball skills, was added above the left field concourse.
  • Green seats, modeled after those in the original Comiskey Park, replaced the old blue seats in the Club level and some scattered areas around home plate. The bleachers in left-center field were painted green.
  • A life size bronze statue of Carlton Fisk that was placed on August 7 on the center field concourse behind section 164.

Phase VI (2006 season)[edit]

  • Green seats reminiscent of those in the original Comiskey Park replaced the old blue seats in the entire Upper Deck and the Lower Deck between the dugouts.
  • Enclosed, ground level restaurant was completed, providing a lounge and dining area for the Scout Seats.
  • New banners were hung down on the outfield light towers. One for the 2005 World Series, one for the 1906 and 1917 World Series, one for all White Sox American League pennants, and one for all the division championships.
  • The flags for these titles, now on the banners, were replaced with flags of all the Sox logos in club history.
  • Life size bronze statues of Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio placed on the center field concourse behind section 100.

Phase VII (2007 season)[edit]

U.S. Cellular Field at night in 2007
  • Green seats replaced the old blue seats in the Lower Deck from the dugouts and the entire outfield seating area (including the left-center field bleachers which were previously renovated). The green seats between the dugout and the foul poles have been slightly turned, re-directing them toward the center of the field. (Visually Re-Directed Seats)
  • The seats where Paul Konerko's Grand Slam (left field) and Scott Podsednik's walk off home run (right center first row) landed in game two of the 2005 World Series are the same original blue seats in use at that game and stand out from the all-green seats.
  • The Scoreboard in right field was painted green.
  • A new premium seating/restaurant named the Jim Beam Club (as of 2014, renamed to Home Plate Club)[6] is located in the former press box behind home plate on the stadium's Diamond Suites 200 Level.
  • A new press box located on the first base side on the Diamond Suites 400 Level. The facility features 32 flat-screen televisions, wireless internet access and seating for 100 working members of the media.
  • A new custom T-shirt shop
  • A life size bronze statue of Billy Pierce that was placed on July 23 on the center field concourse behind section 164.
  • A Thome Ticker counting down to Jim Thome's 500th Career Home Run (Hit on September 16 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). The ticker was located in right field on the right advertising board. The ticker was then taken down after the 2007 season.
  • The beginning of the White Sox Champions brick plaza in front of the stadium (Gate 4) and Phase I of brick sales.

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
  • The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority unveiled the first environmentally friendly permeable paving parking lot to be used by a Major League sports facility on April 8. The new lot (Lot L) saves taxpayer money by substantially reducing the amount of water entering Chicago's stormwater system, improving overall water quality and help reduce the Urban heat island effect.
  • The White Sox Legacy Brick Program unveiled its brick plaza outside U.S. Cellular Field (Gate 4) on April 11. Each Legacy Brick is inscribed with a personalized message and has become part of a new baseball diamond-shaped plaza outside the main entrance to the ballpark. A life-sized white bronze and granite sculpture weighing over 25 tons that celebrates the 2005 White Sox World Series Championship stands at the center of the plaza, with a historical timeline of the franchise along the diamond's base paths. Players on the sculpture from the 2005 team are Paul Konerko, Joe Crede, Orlando Hernández, Geoff Blum and Juan Uribe.
  • Plasma flat screen television sets were added throughout the outfield concourse and at the top of its beer concession stands.
  • A life size bronze statue of Harold Baines that was placed on July 20 on the right field concourse behind Section 105.

2009 season[edit]

  • About $15 million in renovations were done to Gate 5 (north of 35th Street) to improve access to the park. The demolition (beginning of November 2008) of the easternmost portion of the pedestrian ramp and removal of the top two levels of the eastern-most foot bridge across 35th Street, reducing it to one level with continuing access to the park on the main concourse level. The second foot bridge at Gate 5, about 75 yards (69 m) west of the east bridge, continues to offer access to the park on three levels. The project also included installation of escalators in a new, weather-protected enclosure and installation of elevators which will provide additional access for fans with disabilities. The project was completed by Opening Day on April 7 as the White Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals 4–2.
  • Inside the park, a new scoreboard (23 ft x 68 ft) with 913,000 LED lights (similar to Tropicana Field) replaced the older out-of-town scoreboard in right field. In addition to displaying both lineups (that of the Sox and their opponents) the board shows season stats for the current batter and pitcher. It also serves as an upgrade to the old "around-the-league" scoreboard that it replaced. While the old scoreboard showed only the current innings, scores, and pitchers' jersey numbers, the new board is capable of showing balls, strikes, outs, locations of any baserunners, and the current batter and pitcher by last name instead of by number. A slight disadvantage is that the new board can only show four games at a time in this manner, whereas the old board showed every game in progress simultaneously.
  • A small plaque honoring Jim Thome located on the center field fan deck for his 464 foot home run shot that landed there, becoming the first player ever to do so on June 4, 2008. The White Sox defeated the Royals in that game. Thome duplicated this feat again on September 30, 2008 in a one game playoff against AL Central rival Minnesota Twins. His home run proved to be the game winner in a 1-0 shutout to win the AL Central.
  • For White Sox players a new hydrotherapy room with three combinational hot-and-cold whirlpool tubs. An underwater treadmill, that can curb problems relating to the abdominals, back and knee, as well as strengthens the muscles and hip, is installed in one of the tubs.
  • "The Catch" was written on the left-center field wall above Billy Pierce's (now above a blank wall, at the location where DeWayne Wise made a spectacular catch to rob Gabe Kapler of a 9th-inning home run and preserve Mark Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009.
Gate 5 entrance, restaurant & bar

2010–12 seasons[edit]

2010

  • A new outdoor Beer Garden named "TBD's" is installed by July 26 (when the White Sox hosted the Seattle Mariners) at Gate 5. The area served beer, wine, soda and water. TBD's also had 12 flat-screen TVs. TBD's was taken down and replaced by "ChiSox Bar and Grill" in 2011.[7] Bacardi at the Park is open from 11 AM on days when the Sox have home games. Although it is technically outside the park and accessible with or without a game ticket, fans must be 21 or older to enter.
  • Frank Thomas' number and picture was added to the outfield wall as his number was retired.[8]

2011

  • A new Metra station (Jones/Bronzeville) on the Rock Island line (designed by Infrastructure Engineering, Inc.) worth $7.9 million was planned to be opened in 2009, but due to a year long delay of construction the station opened in 2011 after groundbreaking on June 29, 2009. The new station is located East of the ballpark just beyond the I-90/I-94 Dan Ryan Expressway.
  • A multi-level restaurant and bar inside Gate 5 called "ChiSox Bar and Grill" (formerly known as Bacardi at the Park). The establishment features both indoor and outdoor seating and a wide variety of food, drinks, and entertainment for U.S. Cellular Field guests that started in April 2011. "ChiSox Bar and Grill" will be open during the baseball season, but plans made the restaurant and bar a year-round establishment.[9][10]
  • A life size bronze statue of Frank Thomas that was unveiled on July 31, against the Boston Red Sox. It is the eighth placed on the outfield concourse.

2012

  • Chicago Sports Depot, a new merchandise store located right next to Gate 5 and ChiSox Bar and Grill. Featuring White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and other Chicago area sports teams merchandise. The store opened on November 19, 2011.[11]

Retired numbers[edit]

There are ten retired numbers on the facade of the Home Plate Club. It was announced on September 27th, 2014, that the #14 will be retired in 2015 in honor of former captain, Paul Konerko.

White Sox retired numbers[12]
Number Player Position White Sox years Date retired Notes
2 Nellie Fox 2B 1950–63 1976 Hall of Fame (1997)
3 Harold Baines RF, DH 1980–89, 96–97, 00–01, (coach, 04–present) 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 he currently wears it in his role as the White Sox' assistant hitting coach.
4 Luke Appling SS 1930–50 1975 Hall of Fame (1964)
9 Minnie Miñoso LF 1951–57, 60–61, 76, 80 1983 "Mr. White Sox"
11 Luis Aparicio SS 1956–62, 68–70 1984-08-14 Hall of Fame (1984)
16 Ted Lyons P 1923–46, (manager, 46–48) 1987 Hall of Fame (1955)
19 Billy Pierce P 1949–61 1987
35 Frank Thomas 1B, DH 1990–2005 2010-08-29 Hall of Fame (2014)
42 Jackie Robinson 2B Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947–1956, Retired by Major League Baseball 1997-04-15 Hall of Fame (1962)
72 Carlton Fisk C 1981–93 1997-09-14 Hall of Fame (2000)
The White Sox taking on the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day 2014

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
  • U.S. Cellular 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 game. The series dubbed the Cross-Town Classic or the Windy City Showdown. A new Metra station (Jones/Bronzeville) opened on the Rock Island line in 2011, which helps fans with more accessibility.
    Further information: White Sox–Cubs rivalry
  • U.S. Cellular Field 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 park has seven main entrances. Gate One is located on the South side of the park in right field, Gate Two is located on the Southwest side of the park down the right field line, Gate Three is located on the West side of the park on the 1st base side, Gate Four is on the Northwest side of the park behind home plate, Gate Five is located on the North side of the park on the 3rd base side, Gate Six is located on the Northeast side of the park down the left field line and Gate Seven is located on the East side of the park in left field.
  • The main level is accessible only by fans who have a ticket to a seat in the lower level.[13]
  • The park has 8 main parking lots.

Notable games/events[edit]

1990s[edit]

  • April 18, 1991: The inaugural game of the ballpark. The White Sox were defeated by the Detroit Tigers 16–0. Attendance: (42,191)
  • April 22, 1991: Frank Thomas hits the first White Sox home run in new Comiskey Park as the Sox defeat the Baltimore Orioles, 8–7, in the first night contest in the new ballpark. Attendance: (30,480)
  • April 9, 1993: Bo Jackson homers with his first swing of the bat in the club's home opener against the New York Yankees as he becomes the first Major Leaguer in history to play with an artificial hip. The White Sox would lose though 11–6. Attendance: (42,775)
  • June 22, 1993: Carlton Fisk catches his 2,226th game against the Texas Rangers, breaking Bob Boone's record for games caught in a career. The White Sox won 3–2. Attendance: (36,757)
  • September 27, 1993: The Sox clinched their second AL West title and first in ten years by defeating the Seattle Mariners, 4–2. Bo Jackson's three-run home run in the sixth inning of this game is one of the more enduring images in the ballpark's history. Attendance: (42,116)
  • October 5, 1993: New Comiskey hosted its first ever playoff game, game 1 of the 1993 American League Championship Series. The Sox lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 7–3. The park also played host to games 2 and 6 of the series, which the Sox lost, four games to two. Attendance: (46,246)
  • September 14, 1997: Carlton Fisk's number 72 was retired by the White Sox as the Sox played the Cleveland Indians. The Sox would lose 8–3. Attendance: (32,485)
  • May 18, 1998: Mike Blowers of the Oakland Athletics hits the first cycle at U.S. Cellular Field. The Athletics defeated the White Sox 14–0. Attendance: (14,387)
  • July 6, 1999: Chris Singleton of the White Sox completes the cycle against the Kansas City Royals. Singleton's cycle wouldn't be enough as the Sox lost 8–7. Attendance: (11,251)

2000s[edit]

  • April 22, 2000: The White Sox and the Detroit Tigers end up in 2 brawls in the game. This one lasts for almost thirty minutes and sees eight players from both sides get kicked out along with Sox manager Jerry Manuel. A record number of players would be fined and subsequently suspended. One of the more lingering memories is Sox relief pitcher Keith Foulke suffering a gash on his face courtesy of a sucker punch from the side. The Sox win the game 14–6 and use it as a rallying point for the rest of the season. Attendance: (16,410)
  • April 27, 2000: José Valentín of the White Sox completes the cycle against the Baltimore Orioles as he helps the Sox beat the O's 13–4. Attendance: (13,225)
  • June 19, 2000: The White Sox made baseball history when they began selling vegetarian hot dogs during games. The White Sox were playing the Cleveland Indians and the White Sox defeated them 6–1. Attendance: (43,062)
  • May 2, 2002: Mike Cameron of the Seattle Mariners, a former White Sox player blasts 4 solo home runs to tie a Major League record to help the Mariners win 15–4. The Mariners scored 10 runs in the 1st inning and all of Cameron's home runs were hit within the first 6 innings. Cameron hit a fly out to the warning track in the 9th, just missing the record setting number of home runs in a game. Attendance: (12,891)
  • September 13, 2002: The Rolling Stones play the first concert in stadium history.
  • September 19, 2002: Kansas City Royals First base coach Tom Gamboa was attacked on the field by two fans, William Ligue, Jr.. and son, during a game against the White Sox. The father and son, highly intoxicated, ran onto the field unprovoked, tackled Gamboa, and threw several punches before being restrained by players and security. Ligue, Jr.. was later found to have been possessing a knife. Gamboa suffered permanent hearing loss as a result of the attack. The Royals defeated the White Sox 2–1. Attendance: (10,354)[14]
  • July 15, 2003: The park hosted the 74th All-Star Game and the American League defeated the National League 7–6. White Sox all-stars included Esteban Loaiza, Magglio Ordóñez and Carl Everett. Attendance: (47,609)
  • July 25, 2003: Frank Thomas hits his 400th career home run against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to help the Sox win 7–2. Attendance: (22,617)
The National Anthem before Game 1 of the 2005 World Series
  • September 13–14, 2004: U.S. Cellular Field hosted two games between the Florida Marlins and the Montreal Expos, due to Hurricane Ivan in Florida. The Marlins swept the two game series in Chicago by scores of 6–3 and 8–6. The series would return to Florida to finish the last 3 games, with the Expos taking 2. Game 1 attendance: (4,003), Game 2 attendance: (5,457)
  • April 16, 2005: Mark Buehrle finished a game against the Seattle Mariners in only 1 hour and 39 minutes, giving up only 1 run and 3 hits (all to Ichiro Suzuki), and backed by only two White Sox runs, both homers by Paul Konerko. In the game, he threw just 106 pitches. Subtracting the time spent between innings, the game took only 63½ minutes to play. Attendance: (25,931)
  • August 7, 2005: A life-sized bronze statue of Carlton Fisk was unveiled on the center field concourse behind section 164. The White Sox defeated the Seattle Mariners 3–1. Attendance: (35,706)
  • October 22, 2005: The first ever World Series game at U.S. Cellular Field as the White Sox defeated the Houston Astros 5–3. Attendance: (41,206)
  • October 23, 2005: Paul Konerko hits a grand slam against the Houston Astros to take the lead 6–4 for the Sox in Game 2 of the World Series. Scott Podsednik hits the walk-off solo home run for the Sox to win 7–6. Attendance: (41,432)
  • April 2, 2006: The Sox opened the 2006 season with the unveiling of their 2005 World Series Championship banner on the left-center light tower. Three other banners were placed on the other three light towers. One for the 1906 and 1917 World Series championships by the Sox on the far left light tower. The one on the right-center tower is for all the Sox American League Championships. The one on the far right is for all the division championships. The Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians 10–4. Attendance: (38,802)
  • April 4, 2006: Ring Day: The 2005 White Sox received their championship rings. The Sox were defeated by the Indians 8–2. Attendance: (37,591)
  • May 20, 2006: In the bottom of the second inning, Brian Anderson of the White Sox hit a sacrifice fly, attempting to score catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski collided with Cub catcher Michael Barrett as Barrett attempted to tag Pierzynski out, knocking Barrett over and jarring the ball loose. After slapping home plate in celebration, Pierzynski began to walk away, but Barrett blocked his path and punched him in the jaw. A bench-clearing brawl ensued, and Pierzynski, Barrett, White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson and Cubs first baseman John Mabry were ejected.[15] Umpires debated for 15 minutes over who would be ejected. When play finally resumed, outfielder Scott Podsednik promptly got on base, loading the bases up, and second baseman Tadahito Iguchi cleared them with a grand-slam. The White Sox won the game, 7–0. Attendance: (39,387)
  • June 20, 2006: The White Sox scored 11 runs in one inning against the St. Louis Cardinals and defeated them 20–6. Attendance: (39,463)
  • June 25, 2006: The Sox faced the Houston Astros in a rematch of the 2005 World Series. The score was 9–2 in favor of the Astros until, in the bottom of the 8th inning, Tadahito Iguchi hit a 3 run homer to cut the Astros lead to four runs. In the bottom of the 9th, with the bases loaded Iguchi hit a grand slam to tie the game 9–9. The Sox went on to lose 10–9 in extra innings. Attendance: (38,516)
  • April 18, 2007: Mark Buehrle throws a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers. The Sox won 6–0 with a grand slam from Jermaine Dye and a pair of solo homers from Jim Thome. It was the first no-hitter at U.S. Cellular Field. Attendance: (25,390)
  • September 16, 2007: Jim Thome's 500th career home run against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was as a walk-off as the Sox defeated the Angels 9–7. Attendance: (29,010)
The 2008 AL Central tiebreaker game (better known as the "blackout game") as the Sox shutout the Twins 1–0
  • April 8, 2008: The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority unveiled the first environmentally friendly permeable paving parking lot to be used by a Major League sports facility in parking lot L.
  • April 11, 2008: The White Sox unveiled their new brick plaza dedicated to the 2005 World Series Champions and their fans. The Sox were defeated by the Detroit Tigers 5–2. Attendance: (26,094)
  • May 7, 2008: Carlos Gomez of the Minnesota Twins hits for the cycle and helps defeat the White Sox 13–1. Attendance: (21,092)
  • May 22, 2008: Welcome back Carlton Fisk Night: Fisk returns to the White Sox Organization and becomes a team ambassador. Former Sox players Bo Jackson and Ron Kittle joined in the pre-game ceremonies and th three former players entered the park in center field on motorcycles. Former teammates of Fisk were honored and announced by Ed Farmer such as Harold Baines, Joey Cora, Ozzie Guillén and others. Former Sox general manager Roland Hemond (1970–1985) was also in the special ceremony. Hemond brought Fisk into the organization in 1981 after Fisk played eleven years with the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971–1980). The White Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians 3–1. Attendance: (28,040)
  • July 20, 2008: A life-sized bronze statue of Harold Baines was unveiled on the center field concourse behind section 105. The White Sox were defeated by the Kansas City Royals 8–7 and Jim Thome of the Sox collected his 2,000th career hit. Attendance: (32,269)
  • August 5, 2008: Ken Griffey, Jr. made his White Sox home debut against the Detroit Tigers. Griffey was 1 for 6 and struck out 3 times. In the bottom of the 14th inning, Nick Swisher hit a 3 run walk-off home run to help the White Sox win 10–8. Attendance: (35,371)
  • August 14, 2008: The White Sox became just the 6th team to hit four consecutive home runs in a game, accomplishing the feat against the Royals. In the bottom of the 6th inning with 2 outs Jim Thome hit a 3-run homer followed by solo home runs from Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramírez, and Juan Uribe to take a 9–2 lead to an eventual win over the Royals. Carlos Quentin was also hit by a pitch for the 6th game in a row. Attendance: (32,788).
  • September 14, 2008: White Sox pitcher Javier Vázquez reached his 2,000th career strikeout against Detroit Tigers hitter Edgar Rentería. Vázquez is the 62nd player to accomplish that feat. Vázquez finished the night with 2,002 career strikeouts along with the 4–2 win, improving his season record to 12–13.
  • September 30, 2008: The Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 1–0 in a one-game playoff to determine the 2008 American League Central Division Champion. John Danks pitched an 8 inning 2 hit shutout; the lone run was a Jim Thome home run to center field that fell in front of the fan deck. Brian Anderson clinched the title with a diving catch in right center field to end the game. This game is known as the "Black Out Game" due to the fact that fans were asked to wear all black clothing. Attendance: (40,354)
Teammates celebrate Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009
  • January 20, 2009: The White Sox displayed a banner outside of gate 6 to honor White Sox fan Barack Obama's presidential inauguration.
  • July 7, 2009: Paul Konerko of the White Sox hit 3 home runs against the Cleveland Indians. The first home run was in the 2nd inning off Jeremy Sowers, the second home run was a grand slam in the 6th inning off Chris Perez, and the third home run came in the 7th inning off Winston Abreu. The White Sox defeated the Indians 10–6. Attendance: (23,758)
  • July 23, 2009: The first perfect game and second no-hitter at U.S. Cellular Field. Mark Buehrle struck out six batters and recorded 11 ground ball outs to get a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the second no-hitter of Buehrle's career, the last occurring on April 18, 2007, against the Texas Rangers. He is the first player since Hideo Nomo to throw multiple no-hitters, and the first to throw a perfect game since Randy Johnson did it May 18, 2004 against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Ironically Buehrle's first no-hitter was 2 hours and 3 minutes and Buehrle's second was just as long. Another coincidence was home plate umpire (#56, same as Buehrle's) Eric Cooper who has called both Buehrle's no-hitters. Yet another irony is that Ramón Castro, who caught for Buehrle, wears the No. 27 on his jersey, the number of consecutive outs needed for a perfect game. It was also Cooper's 3rd no-hitter called with his first one with Hideo Nomo on April 4, 2001. Attendance: (28,036)
    Further information: Mark Buehrle's perfect game
  • July 30, 2009: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn presented Mark Buehrle with a proclamation prior to a White Sox-Yankees game, declaring July 30 as "Mark Buehrle Day" in the state of Illinois. The day was to honor Buehrle for his perfect game and his most consecutive retired batters. The White Sox defeated the Yankees 3–2. Attendance: (31,305)
  • August 2, 2009: New York Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera hit for the cycle, becoming the first Yankee to do so since Tony Fernandez in 1995. Cabrera's feat help defeat the White Sox 8–5. Attendance: (36,325)

2010s[edit]

  • June 25, 2010: Carlos Zambrano of the Chicago Cubs had a meltdown against the White Sox, giving up four runs in the first inning. He then proceeded to mount a furious tirade in the Cubs dugout. Cameras showed Zambrano appearing to yell at Derrek Lee, whom the pitcher apparently blamed for failing to field a sharply-hit ball off the bat of Juan Pierre, resulting in a lead-off double. The Cubs coaching staff had to separate the two players and manager Lou Piniella opted not to send Zambrano back to the mound in the second inning. Cubs GM Jim Hendry suspended Zambrano indefinitely for his behavior in the game. The White Sox won the game 6–0. Attendance: (39,364)
  • July 8, 2010: John Danks of the White Sox records his first career shutout against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim taking a no-hitter to the 7th inning. Danks only gave up 2 hits while striking out 7 with no walks. The White Sox only scored 1 run on a Paul Konerko sacrifice fly. The game was completed in 1 hour and 50 minutes. Attendance: (27,734)
  • July 11, 2010: Andruw Jones of the White Sox hit his 400th career home run in a 15–5 win over the Kansas City Royals. Attendance: (29,040)
  • August 27, 2010: The White Sox hosted Blackhawks night against the New York Yankees as championship trophies from the 1985 Bears, the '90s Bulls, the 2009–10 Blackhawks and the White Sox's own 2005 hardware, were all on display during a "Gathering of Champions" ceremony. Chicago is the first city to win all 4 major sports championships since 1985. Super Bowl XX MVP Richard Dent represented the Bears, Mark Buehrle was there for the White Sox and Coach Joel Quenneville was on hand for the Blackhawks. Scottie Pippen was supposed to be the Bulls’ representative, but he was late leaving those duties to chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Pippen was later spotted on the suite level just as the game was starting. The White Sox defeated the Yankees 9–4. Attendance: (38,596) This event also brought together the managers/head coaches of teams that won championships against teams from Philadelphia during their previous 12 months. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, whose Yankees won their 27th championship against the Phillies the previous November and Quenneville, whose Blackhawks won their first championship since 1961 in Philadelphia against the Flyers.
  • August 29, 2010: The White Sox hosted Frank Thomas day at the ballpark against the New York Yankees. Frank Thomas' Jersey was retired that day, along with his face put up on the legendary wall in left-center field next to Billy Pierce on his left and Carlton Fisk on his right, and also right under 'The Catch' logo. Yankees defeated the White Sox 2–1. Attendance: (39,433)
  • September 18, 2010: Ten thousand Nancy Faust bobblehead dolls were presented to fans by the White Sox before their game with a ceremony held by the team in her honor of her retirement as the White Sox organist. The White Sox lost the game to the Detroit Tigers 6–3. Attendance: (27,828)
  • May 3, 2011: Francisco Liriano of the Minnesota Twins throws a no-hitter against the White Sox for a 1–0 shutout with a Jason Kubel home run. Liriano entered the game with a 9.00+ ERA on the season and recorded his first career complete game with 6 walks and 2 strikeouts to lower his season ERA to 6.61. This was the first no-hitter for a visiting team at U.S. Cellular Field. Attendance: (20,901)
  • July 31, 2011: The White Sox unveiled a replica statue of Frank Thomas on the outfield concourse behind section 160. The White Sox played against the Boston Red Sox and lost at a score of 5-3. Attendance: (28,278)
  • July 3, 2012: The White Sox scored 19 runs against the 2-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers. This was the most the White Sox scored at the Cell since June 20, 2006 against the St. Louis Cardinals. First time All-Star Chris Sale recorded his 10th win of the season. The final score was 19-2. Attendance: (30,183)

White Sox record at home[edit]

U.S. Cellular Field before a game

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.

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]

  • Nathaniel Whalen, "Marked seats meaningful to Sox stars", Post Tribune, March 30, 2007

See also[edit]

Other venues and events with similar names[edit]

U.S. Cellular, a wireless telephone company, has sponsored several sports venues:

U.S. Cellular serves as the title sponsor of a NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the U.S. Cellular 250, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. It has also served as the presenting sponsor of the 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, since its inception in 2008.[16]

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
Minute Maid Park