Originally known as Comiskey Park II, U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights in 2003, agreeing to pay $68 million over 20 years to retain the rights. The old Comiskey Park was an ancient venue that had served the White Sox for eight decades, spanning 1910 to 1990. Changing ballparks helped to get rid of the curse caused by the Black Sox scandal, in which the 1919 team threw the World Series being heavily favored, possibly under the influence of mob boss Arnold Rothstein. After nearly 90 years, the White Sox finally won again in 2005.
The new Comiskey Park started construction in 1989 and opened on April 18th, 1991. Initial costs ended up amounting to roughly $167 million. Renovations of this field have been nearly constant since the new millennium started, including seven straight years of work done between 2001-2007, at a cost of $118 million. Smaller renos were performed between 2008 and 2012 as well.
This field was built directly across the street from its predecessor on 35th Street, in the southern area of Chicago. The first Major League game played at the new facility took place on April 18th, 1991, with the Detroit Tigers destroying the White Sox by a score of 16-0, which is probably one of the worst home team stadium debuts in MLB history.
Chicago White Sox Stadium
After winning three division titles and a World Series in the first decade of the new millennium, the White Sox have tasted little success during the 2010s. Over the past two years, the White Sox have home records that hover around .500 while their road record languishes several games under the .500 mark.
The 2015 MLB Park Factor statistics show that U.S. Cellular field produces the most walks of all the MLB fields. However, the rate of runs produced at this field lies towards the bottom of the league, despite the park producing homers at a top ten rate. The amount of hits, doubles and triples are below average compared to other fields.
A variety of statues honor Chicago White Sox greats, including the long-suffering Carlton Fisk and Harold Baines. Statues of Paul Konerko, Jim Thome, Charles Comiskey, Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio also grace the stadium. The stands feature two blue seats that commemorate a couple of the most important dingers hit at U.S. Cellular Field – a Paul Konerko grand slam and a Scott Posednik game-winning homer that sealed game two of the World Series, leading to a long awaited title.
Date Opened: April 18, 1991
Construction Cost: $167 million
Architect: Populous; HKS Inc.
Ballpark Type: Modern Retro Classic
Capacity Attendance: 40,615
Playing Surface: Bluegrass
Previous Chicago White Sox Stadiums
South Side Park; Milwaukee County Stadium; Comiskey Park
Other Major Events
2003 MLB All-Star Game
U.S. Cellular welcomed the best in baseball for the 2003 MLB All-Star game on July 15th, 2003. It was a close affair, with the American League squad squeaking by the National League by a score of 7-6.
Mark Buehrle threw the first perfect game at this venue on July 23rd, 2009, which ended up leading to July 30th being named “Mark Buehrle Day” in Illinois. This game also featured “The Catch”, in which DeWayne Wise robbed the Tampa Bay Rays of a homer in the 9th inning, preserving the perfect game in the most spectacular manner possible.