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LITTLE NELL
06-25-2009, 02:45 PM
An idle thought on a slow day here in the golf shop; if the old ballpark was left to stand and upgraded would it have become a baseball landmark and tourist attraction much like Fenway and that other place.

Dibbs
06-25-2009, 02:47 PM
I try not to think about it, but I agree it would be a famous "must-see". I do love the Cell though.

TommyJohn
06-25-2009, 02:54 PM
An idle thought on a slow day here in the golf shop; if the old ballpark was left to stand and upgraded would it have become a baseball landmark and tourist attraction much like Fenway and that other place.

Not so sure about that. Anything you read about Comiskey these days is about how it was big, ugly and looked like a factory and never achieved the shrine status of such Magic Palaces as Wrigley and Fenway. You honestly think that people would make it a must-see like Wrigley? Strongly doubt it. If it were around today, old Comiskey would take as much abuse from the media and public as new Comiskey, especially in comparison to Wrigley and Fenway.

tebman
06-25-2009, 02:54 PM
Hard to say. There was a lot that was un-glamorous about it (which was one of its endearing qualities, IMHO). It wasn't in a theme-park neighborhood like the other place. It had a lot of bad seats.

Having said all that, who knows? Maybe with a lot of renovation to fix poor sight lines and a concurrent yuppifying of the neighborhood it might have come together. The problem was that the timing wasn't right for those things to happen in 1988.

ode to veeck
06-25-2009, 03:00 PM
woulda cost a lot to keep it in shape to even just have visitors, was older and more decrept than Wrigley is

DumpJerry
06-25-2009, 03:02 PM
Probably not.

The Scoreboard had electricity, there were individual urinals in the mens room, the hot dogs were manufactured no more than a month before being sold, there were no goats or bambinos causing the team to lose, etc., etc.......

ode to veeck
06-25-2009, 03:06 PM
Probably not.

The Scoreboard had electricity, there were individual urinals in the mens room, the hot dogs were manufactured no more than a month before being sold, there were no goats or bambinos causing the team to lose, etc., etc.......


LMAO why do you think they've been wearing those yellow hard hats in the bleachers for 40 years

VeeckAsInWreck
06-25-2009, 03:11 PM
It did look like a factory but I think that's what gave it character. I love The Cell now, but from time to time I've wondered what if the Old Comiskey hadn't been torn down.

v5zXsz81Yto

KnightSox
06-25-2009, 03:26 PM
Had the retro craze hit a few years earlier, I doubt that Reinsdorf would not have capitalized on having the oldest park in baseball.

I would have like to have seen the place sandblasted, the original windows and canopies replaced above the main entrance, it would have been awesome. Yes, it would require alot of structural and cosmetic work, but I think it would have been worth it.

LITTLE NELL
06-25-2009, 03:29 PM
If I had owned the park and decided to keep it one of the things I would have done was tear down the upper deck in left field so the Chicago skyline would show up on high fly balls and home runs.Looking at the video it would have taken tons of money just to spruce up the concourses but whatever the cost it would have been worth it. I loved that place. That was why it was torn down, Jerry and Eddie were out of towners and had no great memories of the place like a lot of us and the love was just not there.

VeeckAsInWreck
06-25-2009, 03:31 PM
If I had owned the park and decided to keep it one of the things I would have done was tear down the upper deck in left field so the Chicago skyline would show up on high fly balls and home runs.Looking at the video it would have taken tons of money just to spruce up the concourses but whatever the cost it would have been worth it. I loved that place. That was why it was torn down, Jerry and Eddie were out of towners and had no great memories of the place like a lot of us and the love was just not there.

Einhorn has stated that he sold hot dogs at the park during the '59 season. You'd think he would've had some emotional attachment to the park.

In the end it came down to the almighty dollar.

LITTLE NELL
06-25-2009, 03:37 PM
Einhorn has stated that he sold hot dogs at the park during the '59 season. You'd think he would've had some emotional attachment to the park.

In the end it came down to the almighty dollar.
I knew that, but selling hot dogs while going to college from out of town did not give him that same affection that we had.
I was a vendor at both ballparks back in 61 and 62 and I have no
love for the Urinal. The Urinal's best purpose was that it was a pretty good place to watch the Bears play in.

white sox bill
06-25-2009, 04:00 PM
Nell funny you should ask--I started thread yrs ago on "What If" since JR bought the Sox close to time Trib. bought that other team. What if JR had bought the cubs and the Trib had bought the Sox?? Would Old Comiskey still be standing? Would Trib use some kind of political power to improve that dreadfull early 80's neighborhood and sell the Comiskey experience to yuppies? Would JR had the Urinal torn down in favor of a Ball Mall?

eriqjaffe
06-25-2009, 04:10 PM
What if the Sox had built Armour Field (http://www.thursdayassociates.net/Baseball%20Projects/armour_field.htm) instead of New Comiskey? In retrospect, they may be thought of highly for reintroducing the "neighborhood ballpark" concept instead of the Orioles...

RedHeadPaleHoser
06-25-2009, 04:13 PM
Had the retro craze hit a few years earlier, I doubt that Reinsdorf would not have capitalized on having the oldest park in baseball.

I would have like to have seen the place sandblasted, the original windows and canopies replaced above the main entrance, it would have been awesome. Yes, it would require alot of structural and cosmetic work, but I think it would have been worth it.

Imagine if the state had given the Sox $ instead of a new stadium to fix up Comiskey....

Back to the red brick
Replace seats
I like the idea of removing the UD in the outfield, keep a partial wall for the LD seats
Re-do the interior ramps
Maybe buy some adjacent land (or build up on the old parking lots) for a vertical garage
My favorite places to sit were in the Patio area and the 1st row, UD in right or left. Used to love sitting there when I was a kid.

Would JR have sold the naming rights?

SaltyPretzel
06-25-2009, 04:34 PM
I doubt it. Look at Tiger Stadium.

comiskey2000
06-25-2009, 06:10 PM
I think the neighborhood is probably the biggest issue. Most of Wrigley's charm is its environment -- the things (drinking) you can do after the game.

When you leave a Sox game at 10 pm you can do all sorts of things...like catch a red or green line train home.

pistolesatdawn
06-25-2009, 07:32 PM
What if the Sox had built Armour Field (http://www.thursdayassociates.net/Baseball%20Projects/armour_field.htm) instead of New Comiskey? In retrospect, they may be thought of highly for reintroducing the "neighborhood ballpark" concept instead of the Orioles...

I've always hated the design of the field dimensions for Armour Field. I've always been a fan of weird dimensions as a product of the lot that was/is used or just to throw it in there for ****s and grins (I.E. the hill in center field at Minute Maid Park), but I still say to myself, "***?", 18 years after originally seeing the design.

Stoky44
06-25-2009, 07:55 PM
I loved Old Comiskey and wish they were still playing at the old lady. However, not to take JR's side, the park was falling apart. Someone talked about removing the outfield UD, they would have needed to do that anyway or at the very least totally restabalize it.

Additionally, old parks like that have limited ways to make money. For example, limited sky boxes. Less concesion stands, no scout seats, no Jim Bean club, stadium club etc.

I think there maybe less of a want for the old park if USCF looked like it does now when it first opened or the new place was "inspired" by the old place. The fact that the design and architecture was a total 180 and JR guessed wrong about the wants/architecture of new parks made the old place that much more legondary.

Trav
06-25-2009, 08:02 PM
Doug Bukowski wrote Baseball Palace of the World about the last year of the park. In it, Bukowski shows proof of neglect by the Reinsdorf ownership group since the day they bought it. Clearly they had an agenda in mind when the bought the club. Old Comiskey could have been a true Baseball Palace, but it was intentionally neglected in order to ring up a more severe atmosphere in Chicago over public financing for a new park. JR claimed more money would be needed than it was worth... after he let it go to ****, ifluenced inspectors, and planned his blackmailing of the state of Illinois. In short, yeah Comiskey could have been an attraction.

WhiteSox5187
06-25-2009, 08:25 PM
I am probably a bit paranoid about this, but I think that there was a sort of conspiracy theory to remove all Veeckian influence from the White Sox, especially since Einhorn made a huge PR blunder by saying he wanted to run a "first class" organization or turn the Sox into one, something like that. Old Comiskey would always evoke memories of Veeck and Einhorn and Reinsdorf were sick of living in Veeck's shadow. So they got around to building the new ballpark, though if they wanted they could have done what the Yankees did and completely retool Comiskey. But clearly ownership had no desire to do that. According to a teacher I had who represented the Sox as a lobbyist, Einhorn genuinely wanted to move to Florida and was itching for an excuse to get out of the south side. Reisendorf at least wanted to keep the Sox in the Chicagoland area and after the state legislature turned down the Sox request to move to Addison, JR was content to build across the street. Einhorn however clearly wanted out. I believe there is video somewhere of Einhorn wearing a "Florida White Sox" t-shirt in a city council meeting.

Trav
06-25-2009, 08:36 PM
How do you differentiate between JR and Einhorn?

pistolesatdawn
06-26-2009, 01:16 AM
. . . . I believe there is video somewhere of Einhorn wearing a "Florida White Sox" t-shirt in a city council meeting.

I remember seeing something on channel 5 when this was all happening. I think they had jersey's at a press conference in Tampa or St Pete and the colors were similar to that of the U's. I had a dream shortly thereafter that I had one of these and also a cap. I guess you could really call it a nightmare.

Nellie_Fox
06-26-2009, 03:47 AM
...there were individual urinals in the mens roomNo there weren't. Troughs. Unless you counted the drunks peeing in the sinks as individual urinals.

Thome25
06-26-2009, 04:49 AM
Probably not.

The Scoreboard had electricity, there were individual urinals in the mens room, the hot dogs were manufactured no more than a month before being sold, there were no goats or bambinos causing the team to lose, etc., etc.......

Curse are what loser fanbases of perennial loser franchises use to justify the reason their teams suck and to rationalize all of the losing in their own sorry-ass heads. Could it just be that their teams have just flat out sucked for a really long time?

It's almost like they say to themselves:"Nah our team don't suck.....must be something else making them lose like a curse or somethin'"

parlaycard
06-26-2009, 07:35 AM
Probably not.

there were individual urinals in the mens room, ....


the only individual urinals that there were in the bathrooms at Old Comiskey were the sinks.

Unfortunately the most disturbing memory i have of Old Comiskley was Opening day 1976. I was 5 years old and my mom took me to Opening day. I had to go to the bathroom by myself as i went to the game with my mom. The bathroom was packed, and guys were urinating in the sink because it was so packed.

I ran back to the seats to tell my mom, thaty is was too packed for me to go and that guys were pissing in the sinks. She told me that if i had to go i had to go back in there by myself.

:whiner:

white sox bill
06-26-2009, 07:59 AM
Can anyone verify this-- Didn't it come out later AFTER New Comiskey was built, that the City of St Pete did NOT offer JR and crew the sweetheart deal that was originally published? Also wasn't Addison in the running for the new park however some environmental groups nixed the deal in the interest of protecting wetlands?

Or am I just confused???

Red Barchetta
06-26-2009, 09:14 AM
That was a fun video to watch. As much as I miss some of the architectural designs of the old ballpark, it was that - OLD.

I wonder what the fan and media reaction would have been if New Comiskey would have opened as it is designed today after all the renovations?

eriqjaffe
06-26-2009, 09:36 AM
Also wasn't Addison in the running for the new park however some environmental groups nixed the deal in the interest of protecting wetlands?I don't know about the environmental angle, but Addison was definitely on the Sox radar. IIRC, New Comiskey was originally designed to be built in Addison, and just got transplanted to the South Side.

WhiffleBall
06-26-2009, 09:45 AM
JR was on Monsters of the Morning last week and North asked him about old Comiskey. JR said they put millions into it every year and that the engineers basically told him it was a money pit. He then said it was economically obsolete.

JR loves baseball and I'm sure he understood the importance of an old ballpark to its fans but he is a businessman first and a pretty good one at that. The smart business decision at the time was to build a new ballpark and using his skills as a businessman he was able to get that done. The way he did it was pretty unpalatable for most Sox fans and still leaves a bad taste in my mouth but in the end I feel it worked out for the best with the exception of the new stadium not taking advantage of our awesome skyline. Credit also has to be given to JR for realizing his mistake and putting a ton of money into renovating the ballpark to make it a better place to watch baseball.

tebman
06-26-2009, 10:12 AM
I don't know about the environmental angle, but Addison was definitely on the Sox radar. IIRC, New Comiskey was originally designed to be built in Addison, and just got transplanted to the South Side.

The White Sox actually bought property near Lake Street and Route 53 in Addison. New Comiskey was indeed designed to be built there, and the Sox had a heavy PR campaign in Addison to get the necessary approvals. Addison voted them down, however, and Plan B (or Plan C, if you count St. Pete as Plan B) became the current location.

As much as I loved the old ballpark, it was done. It had all the problems Wrigley Field has now -- fallling concrete, bad plumbing, narrow aisles, weakened structure, and it would've had to have been completely rebuilt to be viable. JR's braintrust made two mistakes in that process, both of which were corrected: threatening to move to Florida, and designing New Comiskey to look like a suburban parking structure.

The Florida threat still rankles, the way an unfaithful family member's misdeeds gnaw after many years. The happy ending was that it didn't happen and the Sox are still here, and my understanding is that the state has actually made money on the deal.

The sterile design of New Comiskey was fixed in the renovations after they got the US Cellular money. It's a much, much better place to watch baseball now, and ironically even echoes the design of Old Comiskey in the upper deck. Nice work by the architects and builders.

1988 was an ugly year with a mediocre White Sox team and the uncertain threat of moving to Florida. But we came through that storm and lived long enough to see a World Series winner across the street from the home plate memorial of my old friend Comiskey Park. It's all good.

35th&Shields
06-26-2009, 10:15 AM
Had the retro craze hit a few years earlier, I doubt that Reinsdorf would not have capitalized on having the oldest park in baseball.

I would have like to have seen the place sandblasted, the original windows and canopies replaced above the main entrance, it would have been awesome. Yes, it would require alot of structural and cosmetic work, but I think it would have been worth it.

My understanding is that the Old Comiskey was beyond repair from a financial standpoint. But to answer your specific question, yes, it would have been considered one of the "temples" of American baseball. You could say the same thing about Tiger Stadium, but that park was falling apart as well.

The real "what if" is if the White Sox and the State of IL had built a "retro" ballpark in the south loop along the river at Roosevelt/Canal. It would have been walking distance from downtown, boats could have docked at the park, the skyline views would have been amazing, and the South Loop would have gone through the most unbelievable real estate boom in the history of the US.

"Comiskeyville" would have given Wrigleyville a run for its money. It would have had the advantage of the river, being close to the Lake, and closer to downtown. It would have been more easily accesible from the Ike and equally accessible from the Dan Ryan. And LSD would have been a few blocks away.

That's the real "what if."

35th&Shields
06-26-2009, 10:22 AM
1988 was an ugly year with a mediocre White Sox team and the uncertain threat of moving to Florida. But we came through that storm and lived long enough to see a World Series winner across the street from the home plate memorial of my old friend Comiskey Park. It's all good.

1988 was an ugly year. I was 13 and the White Sox were my life. I was heartbroken a few years later when the WS almost moved.

I can still remember going to games at Old Comiskey and the broken, cracked concrete on the stairs. The yellow paint on the railings were an absolute toxic threat. It was so run down it was dangerous. There is no way it could have been saved, short of gutting the entire thing and rebuilding it from the outside in.

doublem23
06-26-2009, 10:34 AM
I can still remember going to games at Old Comiskey and the broken, cracked concrete on the stairs. The yellow paint on the railings were an absolute toxic threat. It was so run down it was dangerous. There is no way it could have been saved, short of gutting the entire thing and rebuilding it from the outside in.

And we all know how well that works out.

http://academics.triton.edu/faculty/fheitzman/soldier%20field%202.jpg

parlaycard
06-26-2009, 11:03 AM
the South Loop would have gone through the most unbelievable real estate boom in the history of the US.

i dont think so

Have you visited Phoenix or Las Vegas lately?

Vegas and Phoenix have had hundreds of thousands of new residents over the past 10 years. And tens of thousands of new start homes.

I understand what youre saying, but you went way oveboard with it.

g0g0
06-26-2009, 11:21 AM
I liked Old Comiskey but my nostalgia is overwhelmed by the great views the Cell has now. I don't think I've enjoyed watching baseball as much as I have there. I also wouldn't want it to turn into a Wrigleyville. That's one of the reasons I like it where it is-people go to watch baseball. I don't want a bunch of drunks (well, more than usual) attending the game because it's the fashionable thing to do.

roylestillman
06-26-2009, 11:35 AM
the only individual urinals that there were in the bathrooms at Old Comiskey were the sinks.

Unfortunately the most disturbing memory i have of Old Comiskley was Opening day 1976. I was 5 years old and my mom took me to Opening day. I had to go to the bathroom by myself as i went to the game with my mom. The bathroom was packed, and guys were urinating in the sink because it was so packed.

I ran back to the seats to tell my mom, thaty is was too packed for me to go and that guys were pissing in the sinks. She told me that if i had to go i had to go back in there by myself.

:whiner:

We used to refer to the sinks as the "convertable urinals"

I too was crushed when they closed Old Comiskey, but years of abuse doomed the place. I remember going to get Opening Day tickets on a February day. Walking along 35th Street there were chunks of brick that had fallen of the park during the winter - it was like a gravel path. The park was primarily constructed of cheap Chicago common brick. The paint job just made the deterioration worse.

But man I miss it to this day.

Jimmy Piersall
06-26-2009, 11:37 AM
No there weren't. Troughs. Unless you counted the drunks peeing in the sinks as individual urinals.

Good times indeed at the Baseball Palace To The World.As Harry used to
say,"ah ya can't beat fun at the 'ol ballpark my friends" !

KenBerryGrab
06-26-2009, 12:02 PM
No there weren't. Troughs. Unless you counted the drunks peeing in the sinks as individual urinals.

There were the "Future Sox Star" urinals, though, for the little ones. Or was that just a sign at the end of the trough? The memory fogs....

TommyJohn
06-26-2009, 09:42 PM
There were the "Future Sox Star" urinals, though, for the little ones. Or was that just a sign at the end of the trough? The memory fogs....Did any future Sox stars ever use them?:redneck

KingXerxes
06-26-2009, 10:01 PM
The happy ending was that it didn't happen and the Sox are still here, and my understanding is that the state has actually made money on the deal.

I honestly find this very hard to believe, but am willing to believe it if someone shows it to me.

Does anybody out there have any info on whether the State of Illinois has been paid back and received a return on the money while it was outstanding? The reason I'm so doubtful is due to the fact that if this stadium is "paid off" with interest, that means that the White Sox have been paying rent in the tens of millions of dollars per year. Sounds high.

TDog
06-26-2009, 10:09 PM
An idle thought on a slow day here in the golf shop; if the old ballpark was left to stand and upgraded would it have become a baseball landmark and tourist attraction much like Fenway and that other place.

No.

Rod Carew was subbing for a broadcaster during an Angels game during one of the later years of Comiskey Park, and the young announcer said something like "you gotta love the old ballparks." Rod Carew said, "Not this one." He went on about how much he hated it and why. Ted Williams used to talk about why he hated it, but that was before they upgraded the lighting, a move that hurt the pitching staff.

Old Comiskey, not unlike Cleveland Municipal Stadium, didn't get the respect from the baseball world that Fenway and Wrigley did. The ballpark was symmetrical. Aside from the fact that it was old and dirty, there was nothing retro about it.

I had a lot of fun (mostly watching a lot of bad baseball) at the old park. I have great memories of the old park. Truth be told, I really loved the place. When I returned for a game near the end after living for awhile out west, I was amazed at how much cleaner it was under the Reinsdorf regime. What struck me about the San Diego and Anaheim was how clean they were compared to the baseball parks I went to as a kid.

The Cell is a much better place to watch a game than Old Comiskey ever was. The Cell is a better place to watch a game than Miller Park or Wrigley Field and should be more widely appreciated.

If Old Comiskey were still standing, it wouldn't be celebrated as a shrine. People on ESPN would be demanding it be torn down, or the Sox moved to some place with the decency to build a better ballpark.

Brian26
06-26-2009, 10:39 PM
1988 was an ugly year. I was 13 and the White Sox were my life. I was heartbroken a few years later when the WS almost moved.

I'm confused. 1988 WAS the year the White Sox almost moved. They were saved by Big Jim Thompson at 11:59 on June 30, 1988.

Brian26
06-26-2009, 10:39 PM
The White Sox actually bought property near Lake Street and Route 53 in Addison. New Comiskey was indeed designed to be built there, and the Sox had a heavy PR campaign in Addison to get the necessary approvals. Addison voted them down, however, and Plan B (or Plan C, if you count St. Pete as Plan B) became the current location.

As much as I loved the old ballpark, it was done. It had all the problems Wrigley Field has now -- fallling concrete, bad plumbing, narrow aisles, weakened structure, and it would've had to have been completely rebuilt to be viable. JR's braintrust made two mistakes in that process, both of which were corrected: threatening to move to Florida, and designing New Comiskey to look like a suburban parking structure.

The Florida threat still rankles, the way an unfaithful family member's misdeeds gnaw after many years. The happy ending was that it didn't happen and the Sox are still here, and my understanding is that the state has actually made money on the deal.

The sterile design of New Comiskey was fixed in the renovations after they got the US Cellular money. It's a much, much better place to watch baseball now, and ironically even echoes the design of Old Comiskey in the upper deck. Nice work by the architects and builders.

1988 was an ugly year with a mediocre White Sox team and the uncertain threat of moving to Florida. But we came through that storm and lived long enough to see a World Series winner across the street from the home plate memorial of my old friend Comiskey Park. It's all good.

Excellent post, as always. :thumbsup:

Brian26
06-26-2009, 10:43 PM
No.

Rod Carew was subbing for a broadcaster during an Angels game during one of the later years of Comiskey Park, and the young announcer said something like "you gotta love the old ballparks." Rod Carew said, "Not this one." He went on about how much he hated it and why. Ted Williams used to talk about why he hated it, but that was before they upgraded the lighting, a move that hurt the pitching staff.

Old Comiskey, not unlike Cleveland Municipal Stadium, didn't get the respect from the baseball world that Fenway and Wrigley did. The ballpark was symmetrical. Aside from the fact that it was old and dirty, there was nothing retro about it.

I had a lot of fun (mostly watching a lot of bad baseball) at the old park. I have great memories of the old park. Truth be told, I really loved the place. When I returned for a game near the end after living for awhile out west, I was amazed at how much cleaner it was under the Reinsdorf regime. What struck me about the San Diego and Anaheim was how clean they were compared to the baseball parks I went to as a kid.

The Cell is a much better place to watch a game than Old Comiskey ever was. The Cell is a better place to watch a game than Miller Park or Wrigley Field and should be more widely appreciated.

If Old Comiskey were still standing, it wouldn't be celebrated as a shrine. People on ESPN would be demanding it be torn down, or the Sox moved to some place with the decency to build a better ballpark.

Another excellent post.

The nostalgia for Old Comiskey is similar to the retro love for the old Sox uniforms of the 70s and 80s. The uniforms sucked beyond belief then, and anyone who was a White Sox fan prayed for the day they would actually get real uniforms. Its amazing that people today actually yearn for the Sox to wear the collared pajama suits or the Cambell's C hats or the 83 Astro doubleknits again.

DSpivack
06-26-2009, 10:52 PM
I'm confused. 1988 WAS the year the White Sox almost moved. They were saved by Big Jim Thompson at 11:59 on June 30, 1988.

While I am glad I was just 4 at the time and didn't have to live through the Sox almost moving, my favorite part of that story is that time stopped--Thompson had the clock read 11:59:59 for quite some time.

Shoeless
06-26-2009, 10:56 PM
While I am glad I was just 4 at the time and didn't have to live through the Sox almost moving, my favorite part of that story is that time stopped--Thompson had the clock read 11:59:59 for quite some time.

Sounds like Illinois at its finest. :gulp:

Brian26
06-26-2009, 10:58 PM
While I am glad I was just 4 at the time and didn't have to live through the Sox almost moving, my favorite part of that story is that time stopped--Thompson had the clock read 11:59:59 for quite some time.

Yes. Legend has it that Jim took the clock down off the wall while he walked around and lobbied one-on-one around the room for the Sox.

DSpivack
06-26-2009, 10:59 PM
Yes. Legend has it that Jim took the clock down off the wall while he walked around and lobbied one-on-one around the room for the Sox.

Now that is awesome.

tebman
06-26-2009, 11:17 PM
The happy ending was that it didn't happen and the Sox are still here, and my understanding is that the state has actually made money on the deal.

I honestly find this very hard to believe, but am willing to believe it if someone shows it to me.

Does anybody out there have any info on whether the State of Illinois has been paid back and received a return on the money while it was outstanding? The reason I'm so doubtful is due to the fact that if this stadium is "paid off" with interest, that means that the White Sox have been paying rent in the tens of millions of dollars per year. Sounds high.

I might have been sold a bill of goods on that, which is why it's only my understanding that it's true. It's an accountant's game and I'm not skilled in that art. The bulk of the bond-retirement costs are being paid by the hotel tax in the city, with Sox rent and other rental fees making up a smaller portion of the state authority's income. Since there's presumably no money coming out of the state's general budget to cover those costs and there's a small, but steady, income from the team, the state's not losing anything and even making a little.

But accounting, especially public accounting, can be a shell game, so I'm willing to be corrected on this. The ISFA's most recent annual report is here (http://isfauthority.com/images/ISFA_2008_AnnualReport2.pdf), and I defer to someone with an accounting background to say what's right and what's not.

Like any expenditure that involves public involvement, there has to be some benefit to the common good to justify it. There's really no question that making it possible to keep a 109-year old Major League team in the city is part of the public weal. In economic value and in terms of municipal-pride (which also affects economic value), having the White Sox as part of Chicago's identity is good for everybody.

And the 2005 postseason wasn't bad either. :cool:

Lip Man 1
06-27-2009, 01:59 AM
Thompson did not take the clock down off the wall. The clock was shut off and the bill was listed as having "officially" passed at 11:59 PM.

Lip

WSox597
06-27-2009, 08:37 AM
No there weren't. Troughs. Unless you counted the drunks peeing in the sinks as individual urinals.

Thank you, I thought for a minute there I was remembering the wrong things. I also remembered troughs in the men's rooms.

The oustide of Comiskey was better looking than the inside towards the end. I also hated the obstructed view with the poles.

TommyJohn
06-27-2009, 10:49 AM
Another excellent post.

The nostalgia for Old Comiskey is similar to the retro love for the old Sox uniforms of the 70s and 80s. The uniforms sucked beyond belief then, and anyone who was a White Sox fan prayed for the day they would actually get real uniforms. Its amazing that people today actually yearn for the Sox to wear the collared pajama suits or the Cambell's C hats or the 83 Astro doubleknits again.

I think people love best the uniforms they grew up watching. In the 1980's when I was a teen, I yearned for them to don the red pinstripes again. I was happy when they went to the current uni's. It is the design they should have kept. The staying power of them is quite obvious.

palehozenychicty
06-27-2009, 12:25 PM
I became a Sox fan in the late 80s due to Ozzie, Fisk, and Baines. I loved Old Comiskey's cozy, spacious feel and the food was excellent, although it was worn down to a crisp.

As someone mentioned earlier, I would have loved for the Cell to face the skyline and lake shore in the distance. That would have been spectacular. For years, the Robert Taylor Homes were in the distance, and it was a part of the New Comiskey's negative press cycle.

I hope to check out the park this summer for the first time in eight years. The upgrades look amazing on television.

roylestillman
06-27-2009, 01:59 PM
I might have been sold a bill of goods on that, which is why it's only my understanding that it's true. It's an accountant's game and I'm not skilled in that art. The bulk of the bond-retirement costs are being paid by the hotel tax in the city, with Sox rent and other rental fees making up a smaller portion of the state authority's income. Since there's presumably no money coming out of the state's general budget to cover those costs and there's a small, but steady, income from the team, the state's not losing anything and even making a little.

But accounting, especially public accounting, can be a shell game, so I'm willing to be corrected on this. The ISFA's most recent annual report is here (http://isfauthority.com/images/ISFA_2008_AnnualReport2.pdf), and I defer to someone with an accounting background to say what's right and what's not.

Like any expenditure that involves public involvement, there has to be some benefit to the common good to justify it. There's really no question that making it possible to keep a 109-year old Major League team in the city is part of the public weal. In economic value and in terms of municipal-pride (which also affects economic value), having the White Sox as part of Chicago's identity is good for everybody.

And the 2005 postseason wasn't bad either. :cool:

The myth of "the State made money" on the stadium deal is a shell game. It can be pretty well seen on page 16 of the ISFA report that you linked. When you strip away a lot of the other numbers, the deal came down to this: the State imposed an additional hotel tax of 3% (that is the $38 million revenue figure.) Addionally both the City and the State put up $5 million each of portions of the income tax that would have gone into the general fund of each entity's budget (that the State subsidy, City subsidy entry of $5 million each.) Finally the White Sox, based on attendance thresholds, pay "rent" to the ISFA (as recently as 1999 and 2000 they paid nothing.) That is that "Fees to the Authority from the Chicago White Sox number (about $4.1 miilion in 2008.) Until 2001 that money used to go back to the City and State. It now stays with the ISFA to help pay for retiring the Bonds sold for the the Soldier Field renovations. In other words, in this finacial shell game, the Sox subsidize the Bears.

tebman
06-29-2009, 02:02 PM
The myth of "the State made money" on the stadium deal is a shell game. It can be pretty well seen on page 16 of the ISFA report that you linked. When you strip away a lot of the other numbers, the deal came down to this: the State imposed an additional hotel tax of 3% (that is the $38 million revenue figure.) Addionally both the City and the State put up $5 million each of portions of the income tax that would have gone into the general fund of each entity's budget (that the State subsidy, City subsidy entry of $5 million each.) Finally the White Sox, based on attendance thresholds, pay "rent" to the ISFA (as recently as 1999 and 2000 they paid nothing.) That is that "Fees to the Authority from the Chicago White Sox number (about $4.1 miilion in 2008.) Until 2001 that money used to go back to the City and State. It now stays with the ISFA to help pay for retiring the Bonds sold for the the Soldier Field renovations. In other words, in this finacial shell game, the Sox subsidize the Bears.

Thanks for the insight. I'm not surprised that there's been sleight-of-hand techniques used since the ISFA was set up. Beyond the balance sheet the official justification for New Comiskey and space-age Soldier Field has been quality of life; that is, it's better to have major-league sports teams in the city than to lose them. It's supposed to improve commerce and strengthen local identities.

Maybe so, maybe not. I don't know how anyone could measure that, though I know a lot have tried. Would Boeing and Miller/Coors have moved their offices here if there weren't well-supported major-league teams? I don't know. It could be argued that it didn't stop Sears, Roebuck from moving, or the hundreds of smaller companies to close up.

Obviously I'm glad the White Sox are here. I wish they would've paid for it themselves but it didn't work out that way. If the city and the state didn't help them build a ballpark then St. Pete had one ready for them.

C'est la guerre, I guess.

35th&Shields
06-29-2009, 02:54 PM
i dont think so

Have you visited Phoenix or Las Vegas lately?

Vegas and Phoenix have had hundreds of thousands of new residents over the past 10 years. And tens of thousands of new start homes.

I understand what youre saying, but you went way oveboard with it.

Perhaps I should have been more clear that it would have been a SUSTAINABLE boom over the short term.

You can buy a house in Vegas or Phoenix for a pocketful of change these days.

35th&Shields
06-29-2009, 02:55 PM
Sounds like Illinois at its finest. :gulp:

Speaker Madigan presided over the House of Representatives. He is/was the official "timekeeper."

Madigan should get as much credit for keeping the Sox in Illinois as Thompson.

35th&Shields
06-29-2009, 03:06 PM
Speaker Madigan presided over the House of Representatives. He is/was the official "timekeeper."

Madigan should get as much credit for keeping the Sox in Illinois as Thompson.

Here's a previous post I wrote on this issue: (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=1947513#post1947513)

kba
06-29-2009, 03:17 PM
Sounds like Illinois at its finest. :gulp:

It's not unusual in Illinois or in other states for the legislature to "stop the clock" in order to pass a bill by some designated deadline. Usually, the presiding officer or his aides have a switch they can throw to cut off power to the clock in the chamber.

Jimmy Piersall
06-29-2009, 03:23 PM
Any truth to the rumor that the ghost of Boss Daley had
clock watch that night ?

FielderJones
06-29-2009, 03:37 PM
Thank you, I thought for a minute there I was remembering the wrong things. I also remembered troughs in the men's rooms.

There were the "Future Sox Star" urinals, though, for the little ones. Or was that just a sign at the end of the trough? The memory fogs....

the only individual urinals that there were in the bathrooms at Old Comiskey were the sinks.

Unfortunately the most disturbing memory i have of Old Comiskley was Opening day 1976. I was 5 years old and my mom took me to Opening day. I had to go to the bathroom by myself as i went to the game with my mom. The bathroom was packed, and guys were urinating in the sink because it was so packed.

I ran back to the seats to tell my mom, thaty is was too packed for me to go and that guys were pissing in the sinks. She told me that if i had to go i had to go back in there by myself.

:whiner:

My most disturbing memory of New Comiskey was Opening Day 1991. In the right field sections there was not enough men's bathroom capacity. The lines were well out the door on to the concourse. I got into line, and as I got through the door I heard someone say "Hey, where's the Future Sox trough?" All the lines to the new urinals were super long, so I got into the shortest one. When I got to the front it turned out to be a garbage can. :o:

TomBradley72
06-29-2009, 04:19 PM
There's alot of "what might have been" when it comes to Old Comiskey.

I don't think the original park was salvagable based on the overall direction MLB has taken, but I remember thinking at the time, just tell the architects to build a modern version of Old Comiskey (like they did with new Yankee Stadium). Make sure we have the arches ringing the field, have double decked outfield stands, center field bleachers, a huge exploding scoreboard, etc. But JR, etc. went with the most generic configuration possible with oceans of drab grey concrete and plastic blue seats, and one too many levels of luxury boxes, etc.

Opening Day 1991 was a very disorienting experience....zero connection of the new park to the 90+ years of franchise history that preceded it. I will say that the renovations of the past 4-5 years have dramatically improved the ballpark.

Trav
06-29-2009, 05:34 PM
JR was on Monsters of the Morning last week and North asked him about old Comiskey. JR said they put millions into it every year and that the engineers basically told him it was a money pit. He then said it was economically obsolete.

JR loves baseball and I'm sure he understood the importance of an old ballpark to its fans but he is a businessman first and a pretty good one at that. The smart business decision at the time was to build a new ballpark and using his skills as a businessman he was able to get that done. The way he did it was pretty unpalatable for most Sox fans and still leaves a bad taste in my mouth but in the end I feel it worked out for the best with the exception of the new stadium not taking advantage of our awesome skyline. Credit also has to be given to JR for realizing his mistake and putting a ton of money into renovating the ballpark to make it a better place to watch baseball.
It bothers me that JR can continue his lie about how much money he spent on the old park in maintenance. He was cought in his own lies back in 1990 but I guess bringing up facts to the Chairman must be intimidating to the yellow sports journalist in Chicago.

It also boggles the mind how anyone cannot see the agendas JR and Co. had in mind when they bought the team. EE wanted the pay per view and JR wanted a new park. With hindsight being 20/20, and JR's blackmailing techniques used by Selig to get public funding for building new stadiums you have to be willing to look the other way not to see it.

Lip Man 1
06-29-2009, 07:04 PM
Trav:

I agree that it was a blackmail type situation. That's what bothered me the most about all of it.

As far as the original stadium itself, I don't know if it was reuseable or not but in fairness the new owners did put a lot of money into the park the first few years upgrading it and modernizing it as much as possible.

I'm assuming their reasoning was that like with an old car, there is only so much money you can put into it before it basically becomes a waste.

What would have been interesting given the fan backlash over the original look of it was if JR would have used his own money (i.e. the organizations) to renovate it. Without U.S. Cellular money would anything have been done to change it?

Lip