Originally Posted by TDog
The lower deck at the new park is superior to the lower deck at the old park overall. The upper deck in the old park was closer, and that detracted from the quality of the lower deck seats. It wasn't just the beams supporting the upper deck that was the problem. As far out as the upper deck stretch, it obstructed the view of the deeper lower deck seats. Fly balls disappeared because of their trajectory. That it why, as they say, they don't build 'em like that anymore. The same was true, to an extent, deeper in the upper deck. I had upper deck seats for a game in the mid 1970s where everything in foul territory behind the catcher was obstructed, and the seats were between home and first. Not only couldn't you see a foul ball behind home plate, you couldn't see if the catcher was going after it.
I grew up with Old Comiskey being my ballpark standard. I loved going to games there. When I was in college studying photojournalism, I got passes to do work from the photo boxes down the line (thank you, Don Unferth). I was all over the park for crowded openers and for Sunday's in September when there was a fire barrel in the centerfield bullpen and the Bears game from radios echoing off empty seats. I loved the old park. When I moved out to Arizona in 1979 and started going to newer parks regularly, I saw that there were better places to watch games (sort of a Plato's cave thing). I would return to Chicago and the flaws in the old park would be more obvious.
I miss it, but not because it was a better place to watch a baseball game.
Every ballpark built before Dodger Stadium and Candlestick Park both built in the early 60s, had the same problem with the girders and sightlines, that's the way they built ballparks in the early 20th century.
I read a book on Comiskey Park that Zachary Davis who designed Comiskey told Charles Comiskey that he could build a park without girders much like todays parks but the cost would have been 300,000 dollars more, Comiskey nixed the idea because of the cost and he also thought that the upper deck would be too far away from the action.