US Cellular Field
Home of the Chicago White Sox
Team: Chicago White Sox
Stadium Capacity: 40,615
U.S. Cellular Field was built right before the trend in retro parks took hold and has been trying to make up for it ever since. A few years ago they lopped eight rows off the much-criticized upper deck and added a classic black steel overhang, which was an improvement. The famous exploding scoreboard remains, and Sox fans are a hearty, unappreciated bunch. On the way in check out the home plate of the old Comiskey Park, the one-time Baseball Palace of the World, in the parking lot across the street.
Jimbo’s Lounge just north of U.S. Cellular Field is home base to many Sox fans and the place to start. This old-school joint touts itself as the anti-Cubby Bear, a dig at that team on the North Side and the bar across the street from its entrance. So don’t go in wearing Cubs’ gear and ordering a sea breeze. The owners have been fighting eviction, so get there while you can. … Unlike Wrigleyville and its yuppies and high-prices condos, Sox Park, as many locals call it, is adjacent to Chicago’s historic Bridgeport neighborhood, for generations the heart of Chicago’s old-style machine politics and home to more than a few wise guys. A few years ago the Feds dug up a parking spot near The Cell looking for the remains of one of them but found nothing. … Before entering the park visit the monument to the 2005 World Champs right outside the gates. The Sox often feel overlooked in Chicago and nationally (their championship drought was actually a year longer than the one of that other Sox team, but who would know besides White Sox fans?), and this giant sculpture seems to be compensating for something. … After the 2003 season the White Sox lopped eight rows off the much-criticized upper deck, but it’s still too high and should be avoided if possible. A better bet are the outfield seats; cheaper, a good view of the field and access to a concourse where you can grab food and beer and stand and watch the game. … The influence of the legendary baseball owner and promoter extraordinaire Bill Veeck can still be seen and heard at The Cell with the famous exploding scoreboard, which lights up and shoots fireworks when a Sox player hits a home run. … Come hungry, because the food at The Cell is better and more diverse than the offerings at most parks. This is Chicago, so the grilled dogs, brats and sausages, Polish and Italian, are the stars. Try a Chicago-style dog, a meal in itself. … After a day game, get back on the Red Line and take it north one stop to Chicago’s Chinatown and do some exploring there. Go to Won Kow for dinner, a historic spot that’s been open more than 80 years, or any of the other restaurants in the neighborhood. … For nightlife, take the Red Line a few stops further and into downtown with its nearly endless array of bars, restaurants, clubs and other attractions.
Jimbo's Lounge, 3258 S. Princeton Ave., (312) 326-3253
Won Kow, 2237 S. Wentworth Ave., (312) 842-7500
Wise Guide Tips / Know what the locals know, go where the locals go
At Wise Guides, we believe “spectator” should be a verb. Not because you should suck down 12 beers, run on the field and try to take the first baseman’s job — you shouldn’t. It’s because there’s so much more to going to a game than simply sitting in your seat watching the action. There are stadiums and neighborhoods to explore, food and drink to try, history to learn and interesting people to meet. Try our Wise Guides tips, they are funny, helpful and, we hope, interesting.
Expect Home Runs
U.S. Cellular Field is known as a hitters’ haven, annually ranking high in runs scored and homers allowed. The fences were moved in several seasons ago and are just eight feet high, which definitely fac... Read more »