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WSI News - Sox Fans Sound Off!


Your Chance to Sound Off about the Sox!  Learn more here!

Rebuild Old Comiskey?

by Sox Fan Anthony Cerabona

I have yet to hear what WSI should say about in retrospect about the tearing down of Old Comiskey Park. We all know that this is a catastrophe, not a mistake that Old Comiskey was torn down. Chicago's politicians, legislature, governor, mayor and everyone else know it. Our former governor, Jim Thompson, what does he have to say about this? He is the one that signed the death warrant. He is now very quiet. I am very surprised and upset that Mayor Daley did not do anything to correct this situation. Why didn't Chuck Comiskey III stop the demolition approval? Old Comiskey Park should have been marketed and rehabilitated. If the stadium was that bad, it could have been rehabilitated at a far less cost than the renovations that they have to make for this stadium, and it still won't be right. Old Comiskey Park should have been saved, not only as a historical monument to the city's history but also as a great stadium that needed preservation.

Instead of doing these renovations to a horrible ballpark that was ill conceived in the first place, I recommend rebuilding Old Comiskey Park in almost all its near original flavor at a favorable lakefront site! Restore the red bricks to its original glory. Angle the sight lines from third base to the outfield toward home plate as in Wrigley Field. This would have made this ballpark much more famous than Wrigley Field.

I always loved Old Comiskey Park to the point that it has become an obsession for me. Everything about it I loved, especially the roof and upper deck. This park was to me my second home. There was nothing wrong with the poles. Wrigley Field has them, and nobody complains. As a matter of fact, the Ballpark at Arlington Park right field upper deck has poles so the upper deck fans could see the action up close! Even after twelve years I am cursing Old Comiskey Park's destruction, which was totally unnecessary. I predict a duplicate will be made in the near future somewhere in Chicago. There is not even a monument but a parking lot where the old park stood. It is disgusting! A monument should be erected there, not asphalt!

The problem will be very apparent when Jerry Reinsdorf sells the team, where I envision that a new owner will not accept this park. Either a duplicate is made for a site for a near replica of Old Comiskey to be built in the South Loop or the team moves to another city, period. This I predict will happen for the White Sox, because they better start preparing for the future. Since the fans miss Old Comiskey Park so much, the Illinois legislature should consider that the people of Chicago deserve a brand new near replica of Old Comiskey Park! Either that or attendance will continue to fall to the point where the team will have to move to another city.

Jerry Reinsdorf, Jim Thompson, and the Illinois legislature not have been allowed to destroy Old Comiskey Park. Now we are saddled with a concrete piece of garbage that has no value or any affinity to the old park. Even this park's scoreboard fireworks come out of left center field instead of out of the rocket shoots of the scoreboard, not even giving an impression of an exploding scoreboard! Can you imagine, a rebuilt Old Comiskey, with new red bricks and its intimate tinker type quality of its upper deck and its trusses? In its new lakefront setting, this new building would be a site to behold, and 40,000 happy Sox fans would be at every game. Now having 40,000 fans requires a monumental event. When I attended Comiskey Park in the 1960's, the place was rocking with 40,000 plus fans, and this was the place to be, not Wrigley Field.

I know that I am not alone in my views. Something has to give. The Illinois legislature and former governor Jim Thompson has to come forward and acknowledge that a catastrophe has been made. The new park has been forced upon us without our consent and to the people of Chicago and Illinois, therefore the state of Illinois is obliged to compensate the fans for the legislature's extreme stupidity in granting its approval. Instead of doing the renovations, the Illinois Sports Authority that owns the ballpark should turn it into a shopping mall or a soccer field for the Chicago Fire. As a last resort, tear it down and place a plaque that this catastrophe was due to the shortsightedness and stupidity of Jerry Reinsdorf and the Illinois legislature.

All the attributes of this park are a mistake: blue seats, suburban style park, mall like atmosphere, and the park angled the wrong way. The famous scoreboard is not all like Bill Veeck's original one, and of course, a revamped high upper deck that still will be far away from the action and steep, and blue seats. I am sickened by this new park every time I see it. I condemned the demolition of our treasured old stadium and I want to see a near duplicate restored and honored. Jerry Reinsdorf used threats to get this stadium, if he was denied he might have not moved. If he did, he should have left for Florida and a new owner would have acquired a new expansion team in Chicago named the White Sox to be played in a rehabilitated Old Comiskey Park.

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