333 West 35th Street
Chicago, IL 60616
Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 pm. (day Games), 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (night games)
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (day games), 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (night games)
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (day games), 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (night games)
U.S. Cellular Field almost didn’t exist. It was only after the team threatened to move to Tampa that the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to build what was then called the new Comiskey Park. Construction of Comiskey Park began May 7, 1989 and the ballpark – owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority – opened April 18, 1991. It was built adjacent to the old Comiskey Park, which originally opened in 1910. A parking lot and Gate 5 of the new ballpark now reside on the old Comiskey Park lot. A concrete home plate was placed in the parking lot in the exact location of where home plate used to sit in the old ballpark.
The new Comiskey Park is widely considered the first in the new wave of ballparks that have opened across Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, it also provided a blueprint for what not to build when it originally opened. The White Sox were proud of their 40,000-plus unobstructed seats, but the result was a widely criticized upper deck that was deemed too high and too steep. The blue seats and boring blue batters’ eye in center field also led to a dull, non-exciting landscape inside the ballpark. After Baltimore’s Camden Yards – featuring a more retro, aesthetically pleasing look — opened in 1992, Comiskey Park received even more criticism.
Starting in 2000, the White Sox starting making renovations to the stadium and today it hardly looks like the ballpark that opened in 1991. Seats were added along the foul lines. The bullpens were relocated. The outfield walls were moved in closer to home plate. A two-tier batters’ eye was constructed with a fan deck built on top of it. Ivy and bushes now provide a natural, green batters eye, instead of the old blue one. The transition from blue to green continued when the White Sox secured a 23-year, $68 million naming rights deal with U.S. Cellular. The field lost its traditional “Comiskey Park” name, but the team received more money to put back into the ballpark. Eventually the old blue seats were replaced with new green seats. A new “scout seat” section was added behind home plate. And in what was maybe the biggest change, eight-rows were cut off the upper-deck and a new roof was built over the back section of the upper deck to create a much more retro feel. Additional changes have been made to make the concourse look nicer, including the addition of brick columns. Half of Gate 5 was also rebuilt and a new bar and grill was opened inside Gate 5 prior to the 2011 season. Construction of a new, expansive team store has been underway all season long and is slated to open in October 2011.
From the North:
Take I-94 East. After it merges with I-90, follow south through the downtown area and exit at either 31st Street or 35th Street. Fans paying for parking or holding a green coupon should exit at 35th Street. Fans with a red coupon should exit at 31st Street.
From the Northwest:
Take I-90 East. After it merges with I-94, follow south through the downtown area and exit at either 31st Street or 35th Street.
From the South:
Take I-57 North to I-94 East. After it merges with I-90, follow north and exit at either 31st Street or 35th Street.
From the Southwest:
Take I-55 North to I-90/94 East. Exit at either 31st Street or 35th Street.
From the West:
Take I-290 East to I-90/94 East. Exit at either 31st Street or 35th Street.
CTA: The CTA’s Red Line stops at 35th street adjacent to U.S. Cellular Field. The Green Line also has a stop at 35th street and is only a few blocks further east.
Metra: Metra’s Rock Island line now stops at 35th street within walking distance to U.S. Cellular Field. Exit the station and walk west to the ballpark.
Parking and Tailgating
Cash parking is available in lots F, L and G for $23.00. Lots F and L are located south of the ballpark. Lot G is located northwest of the ballpark, just west of the train tracks.
Green coupons are good for lots F and L. Red coupons are good for lots A, B and C, just north of the ballpark.
Tailgating is permitted starting two hours prior to each game when the parking lots open. Small grills are encouraged and there are bins provided for dumping coals. Kegs are prohibited.
Food and Drink
U.S. Cellular Field has always had a reputation for serving good food. Hot dogs, pizza, brats, Italian Sausages are available on the concourse. There is also a wide variety of Mexican food available on the concourse. Typical ballpark treats like nachos, popcorn, churros and pretzels are available. The corn off the cob with is a must-try. There are also a number of different sweets available on the concourse. A gluten-free menu is available.
Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Lite is main beer at U.S. Cellular Field, but there are also a number of local micro brews available in both outfield corners on the main concourse. Corona, Heineken and Leinenkugel’s can also be found on the concourse.
U.S. Cellular Field is located in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. A number of local bars and restaurants can be found in the immediate area including: Cork and Kerry At The Park, Turtle’s, Rocky’s and Buffalo Wings and Rings.
Adam Hoge / 670 The Score