US Cellular Field
Home of the Chicago White Sox
Experience the Park US Cellular Field Fan Guide
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 factors into the equation. While wind gusts can affect play it’s not nearly as pronounced as at Wrigley Field. There are theories about the tall stadium structure causing the wind to curl around and push balls out of the park, but it’s just that, a theory.
And that stadium façade isn’t as high as it used to be. After the 2003 season the Sox lopped eight rows off the much-criticized upper deck and put on a new black steel roof that gives the park a more classic look. It was a vast improvement for a ballpark that came in for heavy criticism pretty much since the day it opened in 1991. The upper deck was too high and frighteningly steep, critics said, and the stadium had a sterile feel.
Much of that has been addressed, although the upper deck, separated from the lower concourse by skyboxes, is still too high. The White Sox had the misfortune of building a ballpark right before the trend of cool retro parks took hold, and they’ve been trying to address the deficiencies ever since.
One thing that’s remained unchanged at The Cell is that a Bossard still runs the grounds crew. Roger Bossard has been head groundskeeper since 1983 when he took over for his father Gene, who’d been doing it since 1940. Gene’s dad was also in the business as head groundskeeper in Cleveland, and so were various other relatives. The Bossards have been known to use tricks of the trade to give an advantage to the home team: letting the grass grow to help a sinker-baller; drenching the infield to slow down an opposing base-stealer; doctoring the baseballs. All of that may be in play at The Cell. Watch for sharply hit grounders that die in the infield grass or a speedy base-runner who loses his shoe in the mud around first base.