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View Full Version : Aldermen split on renaming Comiskey


Jerry_Manuel
12-20-2001, 08:41 AM
From the Sun Times:
Two South Side aldermen cried foul Wednesday at the prospect of Comiskey Park being renamed, but the alderman whose ward includes the ballpark gave the potential sale of stadium naming rights his blessing.

Ald. James Balcer (11th) said corporate sponsorship is the rage now in professional sports, and if White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf needs the money to soften Comiskey's much-maligned upper deck, the alderman is all for it.

''Look, he's trying to redo the stadium--reconfigure it--and I support him on that,'' Balcer said. ''Hopefully, we'll have a World Series at White Sox Park: the Cubs vs. the White Sox.''

Die-hard Sox fan Thomas Murphy (18th) had a different view. He said the Comiskey name is a tradition in Chicago, part of the fabric of baseball, and that's the way it should stay. If Reinsdorf needs money to finance the third phase of the Comiskey makeover, he should take it out of his own pocket, Murphy said.

''The taxpayers built the stadium,'' Murphy said. ''The state is putting in money for [early phases of the Comiskey] renovation. It would be nice to see the Chicago White Sox and Jerry Reinsdorf contribute something.''

The proposed naming-rights deal ''sounds like a great deal for Jerry Reinsdorf,'' Murphy said. "He gets a renovated stadium that's only 10 years old, and he doesn't pay a penny of it out of his own pocket.''

Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), the City Council's resident historian, said he would be ''very sad'' to see the Comiskey name dropped for reasons that have more to do with politics than baseball.

''The original Comiskey was a Chicago alderman, who raised the first Irish battalion that fought in the Civil War--the first organized group of Union soldiers that volunteered to fight for the Union cause at the beginning of the Civil War,'' Burke said.

''That name is important in the history of Chicago--not simply for what it meant to the White Sox, but for what it meant, really, to the very beginnings of our city.''

The Sun-Times reported Wednesday that the confidential Comiskey makeover that Reinsdorf shared with Mayor Daley last week includes a center-field scoreboard that reads, ''Welcome to Household Field.''

That's ''Household'' as in Household International, the 123-year-old financial company headquartered in Prospect Heights and better known to consumers as HFC.

Sources close to the Sox and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority acknowledged the team had discussed a potential naming-rights deal with Household.

However, a Household spokeswoman said Wednesday the company no longer is interested.

''As one of the largest companies in Chicago, it is natural we were given the opportunity to consider the renaming rights to Comiskey Park,'' said Megan Hayden, Household's manager of corporate communications. ''While we're always looking at ways to enhance the recognition of our corporate brand, Household is not pursuing this opportunity.''

The name ''Household Field'' was included in the stadium renderings ''just to give the mayor some idea of what the stadium would look like with somebody else's name on it,'' said a team source, who asked to remain anonymous.

Charles Comiskey IV, great- grandson of the legendary Sox founder Charles A. Comiskey, called the would-be name change a ''sacrilege to baseball.'' The 20-year-old Comiskey said his great- grandfather would be ''rolling over in his grave.''

Sixty-two major-sport arenas have sold their names to private companies that collectively have paid $3.4 billion for the steady stream of publicity, according to records compiled by consultants who specialize in naming-rights deals. The Bears recently bowed to pressure from veterans groups and agreed to forfeit the $300 million they could have earned by selling naming rights to the renovated Soldier Field.

duke of dorwood
12-20-2001, 10:03 AM
Pretty much the extent of our "hot stove" activity.

Kilroy
12-20-2001, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel
''The taxpayers built the stadium,'' Murphy said. ''The state is putting in money for [early phases of the Comiskey] renovation. It would be nice to see the Chicago White Sox and Jerry Reinsdorf contribute something.''

The proposed naming-rights deal ''sounds like a great deal for Jerry Reinsdorf,'' Murphy said. "He gets a renovated stadium that's only 10 years old, and he doesn't pay a penny of it out of his own pocket.''

They act as if there is no return on that investment.

Nellie_Fox
12-21-2001, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel
The Sun-Times reported Wednesday that the confidential Comiskey makeover that Reinsdorf shared with Mayor Daley last week includes a center-field scoreboard that reads, ''Welcome to Household Field.''

That's ''Household'' as in Household International, the 123-year-old financial company headquartered in Prospect Heights and better known to consumers as HFC....''While we're always looking at ways to enhance the recognition of our corporate brand, Household is not pursuing this opportunity.''

Jeez, that's almost too bad. It would bring back memories of warms summer nights listening to the tinny earplug of my equally tinny transistor radio when I was supposed to be asleep. Bob Elson on WCFL droning on in the monotone for which he was famous, dropping in a plug for "Friendly Bob Adams at Household Finance," a major advertiser for the Sox in the Fifties.

Paulwny
12-21-2001, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

Jeez, that's almost too bad. It would bring back memories of warms summer nights listening to the tinny earplug of my equally tinny transistor radio when I was supposed to be asleep. Bob Elson on WCFL droning on in the monotone for which he was famous, dropping in a plug for "Friendly Bob Adams at Household Finance," a major advertiser for the Sox in the Fifties.

Wow, I don't remember that, all I can remember is " WCFL the voice of labor in Chicago".

CubKilla
12-21-2001, 04:32 PM
As far as I am concerned, Comiskey Park is just a memory. While the new ball yard may have the name of it's predecessor, the REAL Comiskey Park, the ball park BETTER than Wrigley Field, will always be on the Northeast corner of 35th and Shields. The real tragedy is that the aldermen are having a snit over renaming Comiskey. Too bad they didn't fuss over the demolition of the once "Oldest Ball Park in Major League Baseball." Then this renaming thing would be a nonissue.

Nellie_Fox
12-22-2001, 02:39 AM
Originally posted by Paulwny
Wow, I don't remember that, all I can remember is " WCFL the voice of labor in Chicago".
Yep, WCFL was the station of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) and was the regular station of the White Sox back then. Their regular announcer, Bob Elson, was perhaps the most droning, boring man ever allowed behind a microphone. But they were my White Sox, and I'd have listened to them being tapped out in Morse code.

RichH55
12-22-2001, 09:53 AM
Do the Aldermen really matter on this at all? I'm not pollyanna enough to say Mayor Daley doesn't get some say, but Aldermen being up in arms>? Cmon
Soldier Field had veterans groups, whereas Comiskey has a 4th generation 20 year old? Jerry is going to beat him like a red-headed step child


Comiskey the 4th after this ordeal
:o: :?: :whiner:


and of course :reinsy
:cool: :cool: :cool: