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View Full Version : Stop Slamming The Cell!


MarkV
07-17-2003, 04:16 PM
New Comiskey/The Cell has always been my favorite ballpark. You get a great view from every seat, we've got the best ballpark concessions, and compared to other ballparks' prices, ours are among the lowest. With the renovations, Comiskey/The Cell is one of the most beautiful parks in baseball. The only thing that would make it perfect is painting the seats green. Yet, it still continues to get bashed by media-types and people who've never been to the ballpark. The upper deck is no steeper that any upper deck in most of the newer ballparks and we have the best sight lines in all of baseball. It's a fair ballpark to pitchers and hitters, and has the best field in all of sports, thanks to Roger Bossard. I'm sick of people bashing our park and the neighborhood around it, while glorifying the urinal that is Wrigley and the dilapidated neighborhood that surrounds it. Sox fans need to stick together and extol the virtues of Comiskey/The Cell so that the few intelligent people out there that have never been to the park aren't swayed into thinking that it's a lousy place for a baseball game.

fledgedrallycap
07-17-2003, 04:31 PM
I say let the National media portray Comiskey anyway they wish! All of us here and most of Chicago (even honest Cub fans) know it is a nice facility, we know it is not in a bad neighborhood. It isn't perfect, but for my needs it is damn close. Besides, our butts are the one's filling those blue seats, not some idiot from Atlanta, Washington or New York - Let them think it, I don't want anybody else there besides Sox fans.

MarkV
07-17-2003, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by fledgedrallycap
I say let the National media portray Comiskey anyway they wish! All of us here and most of Chicago (even honest Cub fans) know it is a nice facility, we know it is not in a bad neighborhood. It isn't perfect, but for my needs it is damn close. Besides, our butts are the one's filling those blue seats, not some idiot from Atlanta, Washington or New York - Let them think it, I don't want anybody else there besides Sox fans.



I agree with you. I'm just tired of hearing Comiskey bashing, while we're deluged with the glorification of the Urinal.

trimbo
07-17-2003, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by MarkV
and compared to other ballparks' prices, ours are among the lowest.

Huh? Maybe compared to Wrigley or Yankees, but not compared to teams in California.

Bleacher Seats (from memory in the last year of attending so may be off by a couple bucks):

- SF $15
- A's $8
- Dodgers $6 (!!!)

Don't get me wrong, I love the Cell, but look at the Dodgers. They have great attendance every year, have a huge payroll, and is still just $6 to sit in the bleachers. Sox want $22 for that seat. Oh, do I have to mention the additional kick in the pants that both SF and the Dodgers play in stadiums that were not funded by tax money?

Thunderstruck30
07-18-2003, 12:36 AM
I have never understood why Comiskey was so bad and Wrigley was so good. Can anyone honestly tell me if theres anything great about Wrigley besides the atmosphere. I havent been to the Urinal in about 6 years. Does it have all those special feature that Comiskey has like speed pitch, gift shops, etc. and not to mention all that walking room? No one is allowed to bash the upper deck at Comiskey unless theyve been up there. I admit its very steep and your usually out of breath by time u get up there, but from up there u can see the entire field and nothings blocking your view.

HawkDJ
07-18-2003, 01:11 AM
I've never sat in the upper deck but I honestly can't think of any complaints against the Cell. It is much nicer than Wrigley.

Vsahajpal
07-18-2003, 05:37 AM
I've sat in the upper deck a few times, once in the playoff series versus the Blue Jays some 10 years ago. My only memories of that game were Jordan throwing out the first pitch, the sea of fans waving white socks, and Warren Newson hitting an opposite field HR in the 9th.

I also remembered the incredibly steep slope and the incredibly narrow steps of the upper deck. And will someone tell me why the handrails aren't continuous? Walking those few steps without the rail is not fun.

I haven't been up there in some time, have they changed this?

hsnterprize
07-18-2003, 07:51 AM
I confess that I was one of those who chimed that Comiskey Park needed some serious changes. Personally, I'm glad the White Sox are finally doing something to put some life into that ballpark. However, the constant complaints and comparisons about U.S. Cellular Field are really getting old, repetitive, and tiresome. Let me try to explain as to why this whole this is even an issue...

When the new Comiskey Park first opened up, there was a collective sound of ooh's and ahh's...just like you'd find at any new stadium. However, there were complaints about the stadium's steep upper deck even back in 1991. However, they weren't as loud as they are today because the new Comiskey was the new ballpark in baseball, and there was nothing to compare the place to. However...that would all change the next year, when Baltimore's Oriole Park at Camden Yards (OP@CY)opened.

I know Jay Mariotti is often maligned on this site, but I have to agree with him when he made this statement years ago...Comiskey Park went from a modern baseball wonder to an obsolete monstrosity in 1 year when OP@CY opened. I was stationed in Korea when the 1992 baseball season started, and there was a national media love affair with OP, and the new Comiskey was totally forgotten about. People fell in love with the warehouse, the quirky corners, the old-fashioned look with the modern conveniences, the brick and steel designs, the color schemes, and all the other "bells and whistles" OP had. And every new major league and minor league baseball stadium that's opened since then tried to copy that image. Even a dump like Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida tries to put some old ballpark feel into a dome. But what's the similarity with all these new parks? Simple...not one new stadium used the new Comiskey Park for any kind of design ideas (or at least is not willing to publicly admit to doing so). The ballpark on 35th and the Dan Ryan was forgotten about on the national scene, and was constantly maligned in the local press. And here's the worst part...Cub fans and the Cub-friendly media used the distate of Comiskey to further promote Wrigley Field...and many, many people from all walks of life ate that up. So even though the Sox played better, the Cubs would get all the attendance because their ballpark was getting better press than Comiskey.

The Comiskey Park persecution has been going on for years, and unless the Sox win a world series, it doesn't look like it's going to stop. Even with the good renovations the Sox are doing from now until 2005, people are still going to slam the ballpark. They (i.e., the local and national media, casual baseball fans, etc.) want another Wrigley Field-type atmosphere here, and unless you're a Sox fan familiar with the area, you're not satisfied with the lack of trendiness and "cool spots" around 35th street. We all know that all people have to do is walk west of the viaduct on 35th street to get to the nearby Bridgeport neighborhood, but too many people are too lazy to do that...especially when there are bars and other hang-out spots right across the street from Wrigley. The bad perceptions about the "Cell" and the neighborhoods around the ballpark are wrong and unfair, but people who aren't as familiar with the area as we are are simply too lazy to find out the truth, and would just rather go on hear-say. It's funny, but I saw many members of the media the day after the all-star game actually say that U.S. Cellular Field is NOT A BAD PLACE TO WATCH A GAME. That's not much, but that's a far cry from all the negative press the place has received.

We Sox fans know that there is more crime at Wrigley Field than U.S. Cellular Field, but the press perception of a trendy Wrigleyville vs. a middle-class, working man's neighborhood in Bridgeport leads more suburbanite yuppies to the north side. With stories like people running on the field and attacking umpires don't help out the place either. For me personally, when I found out about a young, black teen getting beat up by white Bridgeport residents that sat uneasy for me. However, I've also heard about drunk white fans around Wrigley Field hurling racial epithets at black people...what's the difference? Yet, we'll hear about the "poverty" and "racism" more around the "Cell" than Wrigley. Why...because Wrigley Field is the place to be for the great baseball experience...at least that's what many people in the press say. We obviously know better.

We Sox fans go to the ballpark because we love our team. The ballpark is looking nicer year after year, but it's not the ballpark that draws us to the place. Remember, it's the team on the field that makes up want to either go or stay away from the park. We agree that the way Jerry Reinsdorf was stupid and greedy in putting the 2 levels of suites in the place they way he did. Other new parks have the suites, but they're put in such a way that it's tasteful, and not obviously grotesque. However, if the Sox were to completely tear down the "Cell" and build up a new place, high attandance isn't guaranteed if the team isn't committed to putting a winning product on the field. You can keep all the "bell and whistles" and other attractions the "Cell" has if there isn't any interest by the organization to put a winning team on the field.

Sorry for the long rant, but this isn't the first time U.S. Cellular Field has been blasted by local and/or national media. And until the Sox shock the world by winning a World Series and/or completely changing their ballpark, this criticism won't be the last. You've got the right idea, though...you're going to the ballpark because you like the team. Look at the attendance at places like Baltimore, Texas, Colorado, and Cleveland. Their numbers are going down because the novelty of the new "old-fashined" ballpark is dead, and those teams aren't winning. It's amazing how a winning club makes a ballpark looks better...isn't it. That is...unless you're the Cubs...then winning doesn't matter.

harwar
07-18-2003, 08:17 AM
I think Comiskey Park is a great place to watch a game.The attendance crap that won't go away is only there because WE KEEP LOSING.Start winning(more than 1 game in a row) and you'll see how fast it fills up this year.

TornLabrum
07-18-2003, 08:31 AM
The slamming started even before OP@CY was completed. The first year Comiskey II was open, the architecture critic for the (you guessed it) Chicago Tribune wrote a scathing article about the (you guessed it) upper deck. When the new place in Baltimore opened up, the criticism became a roar.

trimbo
07-18-2003, 11:17 AM
By the way, I've said this before in another thread, but the upper deck at Pac Bell Park--today's most hailed and attended park--is easily as steep, if not more so, than the upper deck of Comiskey.

People, especially the media, just like to cling to an impression they got a long time ago because they think is true, especially if it's impossible to argue against.

siugrad25
07-18-2003, 11:51 AM
I guess I've never really had a major gripe with Comiskey. For me, I would go to new 'palaces' like Camden Yards, Minute Maid, Pac Bell, Miller, Ballpark at Arlington to see these nice ballparks, and that might be once or twice or whatever, but unless the Sox were there I don't think I would want to pay for season tickets.

Since I moved to So. Florida last year I've been to Pro Player and the Trop, and the Trop was fine when we went because the Sox were in town. While I've tried adopting the Marlins as my N.L. team, going to games there, while nice, can't hold a toothpick to ANY of my games at Comiskey. I'm going to Pac Bell for the first time in September and can't wait, but unless the Sox are there, it won't be the same.

Baseball for me is tradition and being able to have a team to root for or emotional connection to. I have no connections in a SF/SD game or a STL/FLA game, but you bring the White Sox to town and I don't care if I'm sitting on a slab of concrete, because I get to see my Sox. Even if I did have problems with the park, which I don't, I wouldn't complain b/c I'm there to watch the team I grew up rooting for and have an emotional connection with, and to me, that's what's most important.

hsnterprize
07-19-2003, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by trimbo
By the way, I've said this before in another thread, but the upper deck at Pac Bell Park--today's most hailed and attended park--is easily as steep, if not more so, than the upper deck of Comiskey. Since you're from California, I'll go along with you. It's not that I don't believe you, but you're right there, so you're an eyewitneses to the whole thing. Just keep this one point in mind...

At Pac Bell Park, there is a body of water (McCovey Cove) that's within home run distance that makes the park look better...especially on TV. Not to mention, people can see the obvious quirks and other "bells and whistles" Pac Bell has compared to the ones U.S. Cellular Field has. It looks more appealing on TV to see Barry Bonds hit a ball into McCovey Cove rather than the Bullpen Sports Bar. Pac Bell, like other new ballparks, has what I call "outside eye candy" that fans in the equally-as-steep-as-U.S. Celluar Field-upper deck can look at (i.e., downtown Baltimore, downtown Cleveland, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, etc.) Even minor league parks like AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee are built right in the heart of the downtown area of the city so people can not only see the game, but also eye the surrounding part of the city.

Lazy journalism and comparisons...they're not new, and I have a feeling it will end soon. Until then, let's keep the press in line as best as we can.

soxnut
07-22-2003, 09:27 AM
hsnterprise......I basically agree with everything you wrote. I was wondering if you or anybody heard Chris Berman's comments about the ballpark during the home run derby. He said that when Comskey first opened along with the other new ballparks..it was the worst, but now, after the latest renovations, he likes it. I thought that ws nice to hear.

By the way, does anyone know when the Sox plan on announcing something about the rest of the renovations? I see that the ISFA website is under constrcution, so I figure that site won't be up until some kind of announcement has been made. :smile:

ozzman
07-22-2003, 09:41 AM
just imagine if they had built the new park facing the same direction as the old place. through the scoreboard in left, instead of seeing project towers, you see one of the best city skylines in the world. i really think that is what they messed up most about the design of the park.

alohafri
07-22-2003, 10:43 AM
As long as we've resurrected this dead horse again, I'll repeat what I've said before (and I agree with everything hsnterprise says)--but I'd like to add that I've met many out-of-towners at Sox games and every single one of them thought Sox park was a nice place to watch a game. Many of them had heard bad things about the park and were bewildered when they actually went to the park and couldn't understand all the bad press. One thing, though--these people were sitting in the lower deck, so I can't say if they'd feel the same had they sat in the UD.

A big problem with the UD is the lack of openings halfway up. Once you enter the seating area of the UD, it's a long walk up to the higher seats. If there was an opening half the way up to the top, it would not seem as steep and it would be much easier to walk up.

I've been to Mile High stadium in Denver, and believe me when I say the UD in that stadium is much steeper than Sox park and the views are not nearly as good.

SoxOnTop
07-22-2003, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by ozzman
just imagine if they had built the new park facing the same direction as the old place. through the scoreboard in left, instead of seeing project towers, you see one of the best city skylines in the world. i really think that is what they messed up most about the design of the park.

I agree whole heartedly. The one thing they could have done to improve the ambiance of the stadium without costing an extra dime was to have the field facing downtown. Then, at least when you are sky-high in the UD you could take in that fantastic skyline!!!