Thread: Kenny Speaks
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
Biggest problem with U.S. Cellular Field is that it's a park designed for the suburbs that got dropped in the city. People make fun of Wrigley for being a bar with a field in the middle of it, but that helps it anchor one of Chicago's most lively entertainment districts, even though it's farther away from the central core than Bridgeport. Sox Park was a soulless, sterile shopping mall with a field in the middle. It was designed to be built in some suburban wasteland like Addison or wherever, not to anchor a thriving urban neighborhood.

Jerry and Rocky are learning this lesson with the United Center, which has absolutely killed gentrification on the West Side, but luckily, Rocky's not a stubborn old man like his dad, and they're starting to chip away at the parking lots in favor of more urban-friendly development.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16th&State View Post
I would seem wise now, but the South Loop was hardly a hopping place-to-be until recent years. This is of course my opinion, but I'm sure many of the same criticism bestowed on Comiskey II and the area surrounding would have been said about even a Camden-style retro park until the neighborhood caught up.
The Sox had an agreement in 1986 with Harold Washington's administration to join in a South Loop baseball/football stadium. The Bears didn't want to do it. Talks dragged on and at the same time the Sox were buying property in Addison as a Plan B (or maybe it was Plan A). Then Washington died within a year and threw all the discussions into a cocked hat.

When the Sox pushed hard for a move to Addison, they came with architects' plans ready to go. Looking at the drawings you can clearly see what later became Comiskey Park II/USCF. It was cheaper and quicker to not redesign the park once the 35th Street site was chosen, though the park's design was intended for a suburban cornfield site.

That whole melodrama was a convergence of bad architectural timing (retro ballparks hadn't yet been considered), unlucky political timing (Washington's death, an unfriendly state legislature), and clumsy White Sox public relations (fill in any number of examples here). In the end I'm glad the park is located where it is, but I just wish it had been designed in the first place to be more like the original park. The later USCF remodeling was a huge improvement but they're still stuck with suburban parking lots and too many luxury suites.

An exciting, competitive team is the first priority. Beyond that they need to color outside the lines: Parking lot food carts? Ten-dollar upperdeck seats? CTA discount packages? Reduced-price parking for cars with three or more people? Balloons for the kiddies? What's needed is imagination to go on top of a winning team.
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