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View Full Version : Happy 15th Anniversary New Comiskey/The Cell!!!


Hitmen77
04-14-2006, 12:38 PM
Actually, the anniversary date isn't until Tuesday (first game: 4/18/91). But, with the start of this homestand, I thought it would be a good time note that the "new park" is 15 years old.

I always liked the new park. I think it was unfairly maligned by Chicago's mediots. But, I think the park has looked really good since the renovations were done.

The Sox have already made a bit of history at the new park: 3 division titles, 1 pennant, and 1 world series title. Game 2 of last year's ALCS and WS will both become part of Chicago folklore in the years to come.

Any thoughts or reflections on US Cellular Field?

TomBradley72
04-14-2006, 12:51 PM
I absolutely hated the ballpark previous to the renovations...sterile, boring, with no connection to White Sox history.

As the ballpark stands today....I love it...truly enjoy it...and thinks it's a beautiful place to see a game. The much maligned upper deck is a decent place to see a game...as the "worst seats in the house"....it's great.

LongLiveFisk
04-14-2006, 12:52 PM
I agree that it looks so much better now than it did then. I can't believe it's been 15 years though! :redneck

gobears1987
04-14-2006, 01:05 PM
I sat in the upper deck corner, sec 557, the seats there are even great. I love the park. Now we also have good memories there in a WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

TheOldRoman
04-14-2006, 01:30 PM
I absolutely hated the ballpark previous to the renovations...sterile, boring, with no connection to White Sox history.

As the ballpark stands today....I love it...truly enjoy it...and thinks it's a beautiful place to see a game. The much maligned upper deck is a decent place to see a game...as the "worst seats in the house"....it's great.
I agree. I don't care if it isn't picturesque like PNC, ATT, and so forth. It it a great, great ballpark. That is why I have no problem calling it US Cellular Field. The biggest changes took place with the USC money.
The park was embarassing in its old stage, a huge concrete and blue plastic monster against all the other brick and steel parks. It was like showing up in khakis and a polo shirt to a black tie event. For so long the Sox had egg on their face. However, anyone not wearing a C on their hat (or in their heart) has admitted lately that the park is night and day compared to when it opened. It may not be Oriole Park, but it is a nice park, and it is something I am proud to call home as a Sox fan.

RedHeadPaleHoser
04-14-2006, 01:52 PM
It was cool when it was new because we were used to Old Comiskey, then Camden got built and we felt cheated. I proudly call it the Cell - were it not for that, we'd be in blue seats, with a generic concourse, no brick, etc etc etc....

At the end of the day, however, the players and the fans make the park.

lostletters
04-14-2006, 01:53 PM
I think the park has transformed into one of the less attractive, less worthwhile parks in the country, to being one of the best parks in baseball. I think all the little touches to the park that were done with the US Cellular money have turned the park into a real gem. I think once the green seats are all in, the park will stand as one of MLB finest.

Plus the park has a REAL history now with a world series championship.

Hangar18
04-14-2006, 02:01 PM
..............
then Camden got built and we felt cheated..

When I first felt cheated, was when HOK (the architects of the park) leaked it out and said they had a very similar brick and steel design for the SOX, but that Jerry and Savarise quashed it, and that Jerry wanted the exact design as it was. HOK has so distanced themselves from this park, they dont even admit on their website being the designer of the park. That was pretty bad. Thankfully, the US Cell money went right into trying to correct as many of the mistakes as possible and its a much nicer park now.
I think the Roof is the best part of the new park, as well as the dark colored light standards.

MrRoboto83
04-14-2006, 02:10 PM
Too bad 'Armour Field' never got built. I have always wondered what things would be like having this ballpark. http://whitesoxinteractive.com/FixComiskey/Bess/Conversation1.htm

rookie
04-14-2006, 02:11 PM
I love the concourse. I cannot imagine not being able to walk the perimeter of the whole park. I don't know how fans in other parks do it. And the best part is, on the lower level, even when you are by the concessions you can still see the game because it's open air.

Hitmen77
04-14-2006, 02:23 PM
...I think the Roof is the best part of the new park, as well as the dark colored light standards.

I think the best improvments to the light standards in the outfield was the adding of the championship banner. :cool:

tebman
04-14-2006, 02:55 PM
I was in a genuine funk on opening day in 1991. I went to the first game in New Comiskey and saw the ugly gaping hole in Old Comiskey where the demolition had begun. I had a seat in the upper deck corner and wondered too if I would warm to this shiny, new place.

The Sox were absolutely clobbered in the game that day. Embarrassingly so, losing 16-0 to the Tigers. The Tigers scored six runs in the third inning and the crowd was quiet, as you might expect.

When the Tigers finally made the third out that inning, there was an unmistakably sarcastic cheer and applause for getting the third out. At that moment I knew it was going to be okay in the new park because my friends were there. The no-nonsense Sox fans I knew all my life were still in the park, and the games would go on just like they had across the street.

It's been said, but it's true: it's the team and the fans who make the park, not the other way around.

IronFisk
04-14-2006, 03:02 PM
Yes, the park has turned into a great place to catch a game. The UD is TOTALLY different from when it was first built. I remember those wind tunnel days all too well!

Even so, I still ache over the fact that the park turns its back on the downtown. At least the RT homes were torn down - but what a missed opportunity.

gobears1987
04-14-2006, 03:07 PM
Too bad 'Armour Field' never got built. I have always wondered what things would be like having this ballpark. http://whitesoxinteractive.com/FixComiskey/Bess/Conversation1.htmI honestly like Comiskey batter. FUNdamentals, Fan deck, monster board, the neat upper deck roof, no poles, etc.

Hitmen77
04-14-2006, 03:29 PM
Even so, I still ache over the fact that the park turns its back on the downtown. At least the RT homes were torn down - but what a missed opportunity.

I really don't think facing away from downtown makes that much of a difference. Maybe if the Cell were located just south of the loop, a downtown view would have been impressive. But, from 35th St, the skyline looks a little distant.

Hitmen77
04-14-2006, 03:31 PM
I honestly like Comiskey batter.

Is that the stuff used to make those tasty funnel cakes at the Cell? :tongue:

MadetoOrta
04-14-2006, 03:36 PM
I think the best improvments to the light standards in the outfield was the adding of the championship banner. :cool:

I'll second that!:smile:

stl_sox_fan
04-14-2006, 03:36 PM
Wow 15 years! I remember dialing and dialing and dialing the phone(pre internet days) when tickets went on sale. I was denied opening day tickets(only to miss the whooping the Tigers dealt) and had to settle for Game 3(which was their first home win thanks to a ninth inning rally).
I also had the gut wrenching feeling walking by the hole in right center field of Ol' Comiskey.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pics/melido_perez_autograph.jpg

Scattered pictures......

KnightSox
04-14-2006, 04:37 PM
I'm not trying to hijack this thread, however what if U.S Cellular is bought out by another telecommunications corporation? Does the name of the park change? I'm sure there is provisions for this when the naming rights agreement was reached. With all the takeovers in the industry isn't it possible we could deal with another name change?

anewman35
04-14-2006, 04:46 PM
I'm not trying to hijack this thread, however what if U.S Cellular is bought out by another telecommunications corporation? Does the name of the park change? I'm sure there is provisions for this when the naming rights agreement was reached. With all the takeovers in the industry isn't it possible we could deal with another name change?

Yes. Yes. But, eh, if it happens it happens. Not much that can be done about it.

MrRoboto83
04-14-2006, 04:55 PM
Is that the stuff used to make those tasty funnel cakes at the Cell? :tongue:

No wonder why those taste so good, eating a piece of history:o:

Max Power
04-14-2006, 08:17 PM
For a long time New Comiskey was a missed opportunity. It was an okay place to watch a game, but nothing more than that. People praised Camden Yards for years after it opened, and that could have been us. Instead we had New Comiskey and the daily articles about how much it sucked.
And then came the renovations. Everything they did worked out great, especially the new roof on the upper deck. It's like night and day up there. I love taking people to USC for the first time (or the first time since the renovations) and seeing their reaction. Everyone says how they heard the place was so bad, but it's actually quite nice.
Now we have a home stadium to be proud of. 15 years? As far as I'm concerned the stadium is 3 years old. I'd prefer to forget about the first 12 seasons.

C-Dawg
04-14-2006, 08:28 PM
The Sox were absolutely clobbered in the game that day. Embarrassingly so, losing 16-0 to the Tigers. The Tigers scored six runs in the third inning and the crowd was quiet, as you might expect.



I missed that first game but I was there for Game 2 which was also a White Sox loss, this time 2 to 1 if I remember right. My biggest problem those first couple years was I went to about 10 games before I saw a winner.

A while back I posted a few pics from April 1991 on the Image Gallery page; they're still there I think. Looking back at how everything was blue and white, with those cheapie institutional lights in the OF concourse really makes you wonder whose idea those colors were. Especially in comparison with the old ballpark ("Hey fans, we are making this new park as a tribute to the old one, but, uh, everything is gonna be BLUE"). Remember the fence that kept people out of the OF concourse? I had forgotten it until I was scanning the pics. The reconfigured outfield and new bullpens really are some of my favorite parts of the revamped park.

TheKittle
04-14-2006, 10:16 PM
For a long time New Comiskey was a missed opportunity. It was an okay place to watch a game, but nothing more than that. People praised Camden Yards for years after it opened, and that could have been us. Instead we had New Comiskey and the daily articles about how much it sucked.
And then came the renovations. Everything they did worked out great, especially the new roof on the upper deck. It's like night and day up there. I love taking people to USC for the first time (or the first time since the renovations) and seeing their reaction. Everyone says how they heard the place was so bad, but it's actually quite nice.
Now we have a home stadium to be proud of. 15 years? As far as I'm concerned the stadium is 3 years old. I'd prefer to forget about the first 12 seasons.

You know in 1991, I don't remember reviews being THAT bad. But when Camden opened in 1992, they started to compare New Comiskey to Camden and that brought all this crap about how bad New Comiskey was.

Frank the Tank
04-14-2006, 11:21 PM
The ironic thing about New Comiskey and Camden Yards is that Camden was much "better" and New Comiskey cost considerably more to build. I have a hard time believing anyone who now says they felt let down when New Comiskey was first opened. Until the strike, I don't remember a single person complaining about that park. Period. Also, I don't really blame anyone for the flaws of New Comiskey. I think we were just victims of builing the park in an unforeseeable ballpark design transition period. Anyway, the park is now fine. The only 2 changes I would like to see made now is
1. Some sort of home run porch in right field
2. The remainder of the visible concrete to be covered with decorate brick or steel.

Parrothead
04-15-2006, 01:19 AM
The only 2 changes I would like to see made now is
1. Some sort of home run porch in right field
2. The remainder of the visible concrete to be covered with decorate brick or steel.

OH NO ! Not the home run porch again ! :o:

TheKittle
04-15-2006, 02:33 AM
The ironic thing about New Comiskey and Camden Yards is that Camden was much "better" and New Comiskey cost considerably more to build.

I think you have that turned around. Candem cost a lot more to build than New Comiskey. I don't have the exact figures but Comiskey cost something like $150 mill and Camden was the $240 mill range.

RadioheadRocks
04-15-2006, 02:43 AM
I missed that first game but I was there for Game 2 which was also a White Sox loss, this time 2 to 1 if I remember right. My biggest problem those first couple years was I went to about 10 games before I saw a winner.

I was also at the first two games, was way at the top of the upper deck for that Saturday game and it was FREEZING as the game went on. I believe Marjorie Vincent (that year's Miss America, from Illinois) threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the second game too.

Frank the Tank
04-15-2006, 10:18 AM
I think you have that turned around. Candem cost a lot more to build than New Comiskey. I don't have the exact figures but Comiskey cost something like $150 mill and Camden was the $240 mill range.

According to Ballparksofbaseball.com:

New Comiskey - 150 Mil
Naming Rights / Renovations - 68 Mil
Total - 218 Mil

Camden Yards - 110 Mil

I know there is some inflation to factor with the naming rights deal, but Camden was cheaper to build.

miker
04-15-2006, 11:17 AM
In true White Sox fashion, the park (like the fans and the team) has taken, and continues to take its fair share of abuse and come out better for it.

But tell me, what other ballparks in Chicago host the defending World Champions? :D:

gobears1987
04-15-2006, 11:22 AM
According to Ballparksofbaseball.com:

New Comiskey - 150 Mil
Naming Rights / Renovations - 68 Mil
Total - 218 Mil

Camden Yards - 110 Mil

I know there is some inflation to factor with the naming rights deal, but Camden was cheaper to build.Camden had to be more. Perhaps that is the amount of public funding used.

The Racehorse
04-15-2006, 11:48 AM
Happy 15th Sox Park, you've come a long way! :thumbsup:

tick53
04-15-2006, 11:50 AM
I'll always miss Old Comiskey, but I think with the renovations that the Cell are cool. A friend of mine is a Cards fan and was bragging out the new Busch. I
told him that he should move to St Louis. Have Birthday USCF.You are improving with age like fine wine.

TheKittle
04-15-2006, 04:33 PM
Camden had to be more. Perhaps that is the amount of public funding used.

He's right, just the stadium itself, Comiskey cost more than Camden. But the overall "project" for Camden cost more as highways, road etc had to be built to go to Camden Yards. Where Comiskey Park already had those things.

Frank the Tank
04-15-2006, 09:58 PM
I think a lot people have the misconception that New Comiskey came out so bland because JR built it on the cheap. In reality, I really think the Sox wanted to deliver a world class "modern" ballpark. I don't think there was anything cheap with their intentions. Only problem is modern went out of style.

Lip Man 1
04-15-2006, 11:03 PM
The new park got off to a 'strange' beginning. When you lose 16-0 you tend to forget everything you possibly can about the day...but what happened the next day according to Jack McDowell's WSI interview could only happen in Chicago..

ML: You also started the first game ever in new Comiskey Park when it opened against the Tigers. We wonít talk very much about what happened that day though! (Authorís Note: The Sox lost 16 - 0!)

JM: "That was a strange game. Sammy Sosa fell down going after a ball in right field, we gave up some bad hop hits, the Tigers had a ten run inning. The next day some of the guys were concerned that maybe the baseball "gods" were angry because we left old Comiskey Park. So before the game, before the fans got in, we had a little ceremony out by second base. We took Scott Radinskyís jersey and burned it. We just wanted to make sure the baseball "gods" knew it wasnít our fault that we left the old park!"

Lip

Lip Man 1
04-15-2006, 11:07 PM
Frank:

For what it's worth in the book 'Ballpark, the building of Camden Yards,' the author's quote a representative of the HOK architectural firm (who designed the new Comiskey) as saying his firm went to Jerry Reinsdorf directly and offered him Camden Yards (the design) he said 'no.'

Also Sox historian Rich Lindberg had this to say in his WSI interview for what it's worth:

"He (Reinsdorf) had surrounded himself with the wrong people. They screwed up the new ballpark, although in fairness, the upper deck problem was caused by the surrounding areas and the architects design, not Jerry Reinsdorf. That park wound up coming in below budget and the Sox didnít spend the money that was saved on the amenities it badly needed."

Lip

RadioheadRocks
04-15-2006, 11:13 PM
One complaint I've always had with the new park was all those levels of skyboxes, which contributed to the height of the upper deck. I noticed that many of those skyboxes toward the left field and right field corners remained empty and unfinished for YEARS.

JohnBasedowYoda
04-15-2006, 11:14 PM
It was cool when it was new because we were used to Old Comiskey, then Camden got built and we felt cheated. I proudly call it the Cell - were it not for that, we'd be in blue seats, with a generic concourse, no brick, etc etc etc....

At the end of the day, however, the players and the fans make the park.


Yeah camdem ruined everything. Thanks stupid HOK Sport!

C-Dawg
04-16-2006, 12:33 AM
I noticed that many of those skyboxes toward the left field and right field corners remained empty and unfinished for YEARS.

I assume they are filled now? How about in recent years, besides 2005? Its hard to see in through the glass from the lower deck.

Picture the ballpark without one level of skyboxes and it makes it quite a bit shorter. Of course that's all water under the bridge now; at least now hopefully they are all filled for every game so there's dollars coming in.

Frank the Tank
04-16-2006, 12:42 AM
Frank:

For what it's worth in the book 'Ballpark, the building of Camden Yards,' the author's quote a representative of the HOK architectural firm (who designed the new Comiskey) as saying his firm went to Jerry Reinsdorf directly and offered him Camden Yards (the design) he said 'no.'

Also Sox historian Rich Lindberg had this to say in his WSI interview for what it's worth:

"He (Reinsdorf) had surrounded himself with the wrong people. They screwed up the new ballpark, although in fairness, the upper deck problem was caused by the surrounding areas and the architects design, not Jerry Reinsdorf. That park wound up coming in below budget and the Sox didnít spend the money that was saved on the amenities it badly needed."

Lip

I think we're giving Camden too much credit. Other than the building in right field, I don't see anything overly unique or special with it. I would rather have the Cell.

Lip Man 1
04-16-2006, 01:15 PM
Frank:

Camden was the first of the 'retro-style' parks to come on line and the fans absolutely loved them.

To me the original design of the new Comiskey Park resembled Yankee Stadium and I personally don't find that place that attractive. Granted it was better then abominations like Veterans and Three Rivers but to me it lacked 'charm' for want of a better word.

Ironically it took 80 million dollars in renovations to turn it into something it could have been in the first place.

Lip

Hitmen77
04-16-2006, 01:58 PM
I was hoping this was going to be a more positive thread than rehashing old "we could have had Camden" arguments. Maybe this will steer things back to the positive side....

One of my favorite memories at the new park:

- Robin Ventura's game winning grand slam on 7/31/91. The Sox looked playoff bound at that point and Robin's slam was like something out of a hollywood movie.

Of course we all will list the '05 postseason run as our favorite memory. Anyone else want to share their favorite memory from the last 15 years at Sox Park?

ZachAL
04-16-2006, 02:20 PM
Too bad 'Armour Field' never got built. I have always wondered what things would be like having this ballpark. http://whitesoxinteractive.com/FixComiskey/Bess/Conversation1.htm
Armour Park is very cool, It would have been quite interesting. The funny part about it though is the outfield design, it is almost a rectangle. Here are some better pics in order to see that: http://www.thursdayarchitects.com/Baseball%20Projects/armour_field.htm