MUSIC - Money by Pink Floyd
U.S. Cellular Field - Opened in 1992 and is still in use. Known as Comiskey Park II 1991 - 2003, U.S. Cellular Field 2003 to present. "the Cell"
Location - 333 W 35th St. Chicago, Illinois Bounded by S. Wentworth Ave., W. 37th St.
Meet the new boss, NOT the same as the old boss. The new Comiskey Park is located right across the street from old Comiskey on 35th street. Like it's predecessor, it is located in the Armour Square neighborhood of Chicago. Before it was built, the site was used for 80 residential buildings, as well as McCuddy's tavern. It was also used as a parking lot for old Comiskey. All were demolished to make room for the "New" Comiskey park. Comiskey was also the first new sporting venue built in Chicago since 1929. It was known as the new Comiskey park from 1991 thru 2002. In 2003 U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights for 20 years and is now called U.S. Cellular field, or "the cell" for short.
Opening day was April 18, 1991. The White Sox faced the Detroit Tigers. Things didn't go well for the Chisox that day. They ended up losing 16-0. Cecil Fielder of the Tigers hit the first home run in the new park. In fact, the first White Sox home run didn't occur until 4 days later against Baltimore. Frank Thomas had the honor of hitting the first pale hose home run in the new digs.
Comiskey II was the last park built before the retro park movement. Critics have long complained about the antiseptic nature of the park. The first row of the upper deck was farther away from the field than the last row of the upper deck in old Comiskey. Some nuances of old Comiskey were added to the new park. The exploding scoreboard, Nancy Faust playing "na na na na hey hey hey" on the organ. The arched windows at the entrance, and a shower in left field.
To appease the fans, several changes were made to Comiskey, ERR the cell. It started in 2001 and ended in 2007. Everything from a restaurant in the centerfield batters eye, to a new roof, and new seats to concession stands improvements. It has helped, but it will always be compared as the red headed stepchild in the retro ballparks.
Comiskey II has seen the all star game in 2003, as well as a world championship in 2005. It was the White Sox first championship since 1917.
All in all the conveniences are better than old Comiskey, but the new park lacks a soul. Old Comiskey had character. It was old, dirty and dingy, BUT it was a ballpark. New Comiskey will live on, but in the hearts of most White Sox fans, will NEVER replace the original Comiskey park.
Looking at "New" Comiskey from Shields and 35th. You can see the arched windows in the main entrance. They are copied from old Comiskey park. Sept 1991
US Cellular field from the Sears Tower. 7/03
Looking at new Comiskey from the old rightfield parking lot of old Comiskey. You can see the construction of the ramp to the right. Sept 1991
Inside the new Comsikey park. Sept 1991
A view from behind home plate. Sept 1991
The rear of new Comiskey in right field, It was a cold, rainy, raw day in Chicago. Sept 1991
The communication satellites in back of right field. Sept 1991
The entrance to the right field bleachers. Sept 1991
A panoramic shot on a miserable day. Sept 1991
The view looking towards home plate. You can see how steep it is in the upper deck. Thankfully, 15 years later, the Sox removed seats and put up a different roof in the upper deck. Sept 1991
You can see the "exploding" scoreboard in center. Another thing copied from the old park. Sept 1991
The White Sox dugout. Sept 1991
Your host on the phone to the bullpen. GOD I had more hair in 91. The dark blue doors to the right lead up to the clubhouse. Sept 1991
A good view of the bleachers. Later on in this tour, you will see how they were upgraded in 2004. Sept 1991
Game night September 1991. This is from the old Comiskey parking lot.
Looking at right field from the new Comiskey parking lot. Sept 1991
The concourse in the outfield. Not alot going on here in 1991. Sept 1991
A view from the bleachers on a rainy late September night in Chicago. Sept 1991
The view from center looking towards home plate. This is the last of the game shots. I know I usually take hundreds of shots, but I was coming down with the flu and was not feeling all that well. I flew home the next day. Sept 1991
This is the view from home plate in old Comiskey park. You can see they did a great thing by turning a shrine into a parking lot. (insert sarcasm here) Oct 1994
The corner of 35th and Shields (Bill Veeck drive). This was the exact location of old Comiskey park. It stands now as a blacktop covered parking lot. Oct 1994
Looking down Shields towards the new Comiskey park. The two parks were literally across the street from each other. As were the old Chicago stadium and the United center. Oct 1994
A beautiful fall day in Chicago. Here you get a great late afternoon view of the arched windows behind home plate. You can see Comiskey park above the main entrance. Oct 1994
The season is over. Winter is coming. Repairs are being made to the outfield wall. Oct 1994
The white booth below the press box and above the blue seats is where organist Nancy Faust sits. She is an institution with White Sox baseball. She has been at it for 38 seasons now. She has cut her work load down to only day games. Like Andy the clown, Nancy is a White Sox legend. Oct 1994
The visitors dugout down the first base line. Oct 1994
This would have been the third base grandstands of old Comiskey park. Oct 1994
The desolate parking lot that once was old Comiskey park. I am standing roughly behind where short stop used to be. In the distance beyond the Dan Ryan, you can see the notorious Stateway gardens housing projects. These projects were one of the most dangerous places to live in the United States. They were demolished to make way for low income housing in 2001. Oct 1994
A close up view of the arched windows and the ticket booths. You can see the brown street sign that says Bill Veeck drive. Oct 1994
Fall in the armour square neighborhood. About 3 blocks north of old Comiskey park. Oct 1994
Winter at Comiskey. Just off the Dan Ryan expressway. The temp was a balmy 19 degrees this January morning. Jan 1996
The Sox marquee. At the corner of 35th and Wentworth Ave. Jan 1996
A good look at the now completed parking lot of old Comiskey. Jan 1996
This would have been looking at the right field stands of old Comiskey park. Jan 1996
The "cell". It is now known as U.S. Cellular field. A week before the 2003 all star game. July 2003
Not much has changed, Home plate is still where it should be. MINUS the dirt, grass, stands, etc. July 2003
Here is the marking for the old home plate for the original Comiskey park. July 2003
You can see the all star logo on the windows above the main entrance. You can also see the name change. U.S. Cellular field has replaced Comiskey park above the main entrance. July 2003
This would have been the main entrance to old Comiskey. To me, it's a sad ending to a landmark. Blacktop as far as you can see. The old girl did Chicago proud for 80 years. Rest in peace. July 2003
Inside the cell on another rainy day in Chicago. You can see US Cellular right below the McDonalds sign on the scoreboard. Aug 2004
Left field looking in before the game. Aug 2004
A view from behind home plate. Aug 2004
Fireworks after the national anthem. Aug 2004
Under the upper deck. A sparse crowd due to the god awful weather that day. It rained the whole game. Aug 2004
The new and improved concourse in the outfield. It was alot better than my first trip here in 1991. More places to eat, a place for the kids, and team stores. Aug 2004
Looking in from center field. Aug 2004
The new scoreboard and the fan deck to the left. Aug 2004
Charles Comiskey. The old roman. Original owner of the White Sox. I'll be nice here. Aug 2004
The view of old Comiskey from the upper deck at new Comiskey. Aug 2004
You can see how miserable it was this day. Aug 2004
The second rain delay of the day. They have made improvements at new Comiskey. BUT it's not old Comiskey. I know the old girl had age on her side as well as cramped seating, BUT it was a ballpark with a heart. New Comiskey has all the bells and whistles, but no matter how much they try to make it fan friendly, it will never ever replace the old lady of the south side. The new "Cell" lacks a soul. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 6. It used to be alot lower, but they have made improvements. Aug 2004