Chicago Architecture Info

Guaranteed Rate Field

Also known as
Sox Park
The Cell
Formerly known as U.S. Cellular Field
New Comiskey Park
333 West 35th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60616
Basic Information
Designed by HOK Sport Venue Event
Cost $167,000,000
Type Entertainment Venue
Neighborhood: Near South Side
More Information
  • Original capacity: 44,000 seats. Reduced to 40,000 in 2004
  • Left Field line: 330 feet
  • Left-Center line: 375 feet
  • Center Field line: 400 feet
  • Right-Center line: 375 feet
  • Right Field line: 335 feet
  • Backstop: 60 feet
  • Outfield Wall Height: 8 feet
  • Luxury suites: 103
  • Club seats: 1,822 with enclosed concourse. Featuring in-seat waitstaff service, multiple television viewing areas, and bar-style concessions
  • Wheelchair-accessible seats: 400
  • This stadium was designed by HOK Sport (Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum), now known as Populous, which also designed Chicago’s United Center
  • The ballpark is owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, but operated by the White Sox.
  • The stadium was built strictly for White Sox baseball.
  • The ballpark was the first new major sporting facility built in Chicago since the Chicago Stadium in 1929.
  • The architects were given the directive: “Don’t turn your back on old Comiskey.”
  • An homage to Old Comiskey Park may be seen in the front façade windows: reddish-brown concrete arches filled with colored glass and the exploding scoreboard which recalls the original installed by Bill Veeck in 1960. This was the first exploding scoreboard in the major leagues, and also produced electrical and sound effects. For each Sox home run, the famous scoreboard featured “ten mortars bristling from the top for firing Roman candles. Behind the scoreboard, the fireworks crew shot off bombs and rockets.”
  • The location of Comiskey Park's home plate is now a marble plaque on the sidewalk next to U.S. Cellular Field (located just north of the park, Gate 5, Lot B), and the former foul lines are painted in the parking lot.
  • The original blue seats were eventually replaced by forest green seats. The new green and black color scheme resembles the old Comiskey Park.
  • The White Sox have also added murals to the interior concourses, a prominent feature of the old stadium.
  • The upper deck as originally built was heavily criticized for its height, pitch and distance from the field. In response, the stadium has undergone numerous renovations since 2001.
  • Relief for overheated fans on hot days abound: the Rain Room (near section 107 & 537) and the Chicagoland Plumbing Council Shower (near Section 160), a carry-over from old Comiskey Park.
  • Even though the seats were replaced, two original blue seats remain and stand out from all the others. They are the seats where Paul Konerko’s Grand Slam (left field) and Scott Podsednik’s walk off home run (right center first row) landed in game two of the 2005 World Series.
  • When the White Sox won the 2005 World Series, the victory parade began at U.S. Cellular Field and circled the block where old Comiskey stood before heading on a route through south side neighborhoods and toward downtown Chicago.
  • This was a filming location for the 1993 movie Rookie of the Year
  • This was a filming location for the 1994 movie Major League II
  • This was a filming location for the 1994 movie Little Big League
  • This was a filming location for the 1997 movie My Best Friend’s Wedding
  • This was a filming location for the 2000 movie The Ladies Man
  • 1988: The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to allow construction of the park (south) across the street from the old Comiskey Park.
  • May 7th, 1989: Groundbreaking ceremony was held with Mayor Richard M. Daley and Governor James Thompson in attendance.
  • April 18th, 1991: Opening Day
  • 1991: White Sox opening season in new park - still called Comiskey Park.
  • 1991: Old Comiskey Park was demolished, starting from behind the right field corner and continuing all summer. The last portion to be razed was the center field bleachers and the exploding scoreboard. The site of the old park was turned into a parking lot for the new ballpark.
  • January, 2003: U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights for this stadium for $68 million over 20 years.
  • 2001-2007: extensive renovations to stadium were carried out in phases by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group at a cost of $118 million.
  • 2002: The main concourse was upgraded with brick facade, stainless steel counter tops, and new lighting.
  • 2001: Distances to the outfield wall were changed, particularly down the foul lines.
  • 2003: Scoreboard and video boards were upgraded. A full-color, high resolution 28 x 53-foot video screen was added to center field scoreboard and two 300 x 5-foot video LED ribbon boards were added along the upper deck façade.
  • 2003: The outfield steel framework and the underside of the canopy roof were painted dark gray. The concrete in the seating areas and on the pedestrian ramps was also stained gray.
  • 2004: The upper deck seating area was renovated with 6,600 seats removed from the top.
  • 2004: A flat roof, elevated 20 feet above the seating area replaced the sloped canopy-style roof.
  • 2004: The outfield wall was redone with pictures of the White Sox players who have had their numbers retired.
  • 2005-2007: Green seats, modeled after those in the original Comiskey Park, replaced the old blue seats. The bleachers in left-center field were also painted green.
  • 2006: New banners were hung on the outfield light towers (2005 World Series, 1906 and 1917 World Series, all White Sox American League pennants, all division championships). The flags for these titles, now on the banners, were replaced with flags of all the Sox logos in club history.
  • 2007: A new press box was built on the first base side.
  • April, 2008: The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority unveiled the first environmentally-friendly permeable paving parking lot (Lot L) to be used by a Major League sports facility, reducing the amount of water entering Chicago's stormwater system, improving overall water quality, and helping to reduce the urban heat island effect.
  • 2009: About $15 million in renovations were done to Gate 5 (north of 35th Street) to improve access to the park.
  • 2009: A new 23 x 68-foot scoreboard with 913,000 LEDs replaced the older out-of-town scoreboard in right field.