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U.S. Cellular Field

Chicago, IL

Home of the Chicago White Sox

3.6

3.5

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U.S. Cellular Field (map it)
333 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60616


Chicago White Sox website

U.S. Cellular Field website

Year Opened: 1991

Capacity: 40,615

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U.S. Cellular Field: Home of the Chicago White Sox

I’ll say this much for U.S. Cellular Field: it is the perfect complement to the Chicago White Sox. Not without its flaws and problems, the park epitomizes the team and its fans to an almost alarmingly eerie rate. A relic of the 1970s-early 90s era of ballparks in which bigger was better, and the ramp down from the upper deck stretches on for what seems like miles, there’s a feeling of being trapped in time.

For a team like the White Sox, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

3.6

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

I haven't been to a game in quite some time that offered such a diversity of food and beverage choices. There are plenty of places for thirsty fans, including a daring Leinenkugel's stand that would combine various beers into plays off drinks like a black and tan.

Obviously in Chicago, pizza, hot dogs and Italian beef reign supreme, and you're not without your chances to get that, but I was also pleasantly surprised to find options like veggie and turkey burgers, a carving station and Mexican food as well. Prices were pretty standard for an MLB game.

Atmosphere    4

The Cell is probably a bit too big and could afford to shrink the park in some places even more then they already did back in 2001, especially in the upper deck. Above all things, give yourself the opportunity to give the lower level one full circuit walk around during your visit. Walk past the statues of Fisk, Baines, Fox, Thomas, Aparicio, Comiskey, Pierce, and Minoso along the outfield concourse. Mingle, and listen to the conversations of those fellow strollers.

The seats are comfortable with plenty of leg room and cupholders. I vastly prefer to sit in the lower deck, just about anywhere in the lower deck, over the somewhat steep upper deck. Your total experience improves tenfold, so do what you can to sit in the 100 level.

There are three large scoreboards in the outfield, each with a different style. In left field, you'll find an old traditional scoreboard with a simple line score, strikes, balls, and outs. Center field is the main scoreboard, upgraded in 2003. Above the 28x53 scoreboard in center field you'll see fireworks explode to begin the game, after a home run, or at the conclusion of a successful victory. In right, you'll find the out of town scoreboard, which also flashes the occasional factoid in between innings.

Neighborhood    2

There's not too much going on in the immediate neighborhood. If you go down a ways to South Halsted, you can find a few charming bars and pubs, like the Bridgeport Restaurant, Mitchell's Tap and Schaller's Pump, but those are all at least a 15-minute walk away.

One of the closest, and my recommendation, is Cork & Kerry at the Park. Located about a 1/4 mile to the north of the stadium, Cork & Kerry has a reasonably priced menu of sandwiches, burgers and pub favorites all priced under $10. Their menu is interesting, as it is reminiscent of a line-up card, including options inspired by the day's White Sox opponent.

There is also better than average tailgating for an MLB venue here at U.S. Cellular Field. If you are driving, plan on coming early with supplies and you can have a great time in one of the parking lots.

Fans    4

The fans are loud and knowledgeable without being overly obnoxious. They cheer, even in tough spots, wear apparel with pride and are reasonably inviting to outsiders. Sure, you're going to get a little flak if you wear Cubs stuff or something from an AL Central team, but a teams' fans aren't worth it in the long run if they don't give you a little bit of a hard time for it.

Access    4

Much like the rest of Chicagoland's transit system, it is easy-on, easy-off on the L. The Red Line runs like clockwork, and even after the game the trains weren't too busy. There were plenty of buses running as well. Getting back on the highway is also simple, since the park is right off of the Dan Ryan Expressway. Most major cities could take a cue from how to run public transit from Chicago. It is clean, quick and efficient.

Return on Investment    4

Tickets were not too pricy, concessions were averagely priced, and it was only $4.50 to get to/from the game by taking the train and took about 20 minutes each way from downtown. The White Sox are a competitive team and put a solid amount into gameday promotions.

Extras    3

The "Old Comiskey" home plate is a neat touch outside of Gate 5, as are the sculptures of former players like Minnie Minoso, and Harold Baines throughout the ballpark. The postgame fireworks (when they have them) are plentiful and exciting, and the ease of transit deserves its own special point and mention.

Final Thoughts

The neighborhood around the ballpark could use some work, but with the location where it is, especially off the highway, it's naturally difficult. That said, the concessions are plentiful and good, the "L" train makes it easy to get back from games off the Red Line if you aren't driving, and most seats offer a solid vantage point of the game, even from the cheap seats.

While the Cell could use some renovations here and there, it's impossible not to mistake some of it for nostalgia and a feeling that is fundamentally South Side. The fans are passionate, and the team plays without pretense - and U.S. Cellular Field captures that marvelously.

Attended a day game at US Cellular Field Yesterday, the weather wasnt the best 50 degrees and a cons

Attended a day game at US Cellular Field Yesterday, the weather wasnt the best 50 degrees and a constant rain, but besides that an enjoyable experience. The stadium is quite easy to reach from the "L", making for easy get to and getaway once the game is over. Have to give the fans a 5 out of 5 since even through the heavy rain the majority of fans never left thier seats.The food is great, if you go have to try the dog with fried onions one of the best things I've ever consumed in my life. The out of park entertainment Paul is pretty right on with, bring your walking shoes. But overall I have to say despite the weather have to give this ballpark experience a 4 out of 5.

by pderrick | Apr 26, 2010 06:27 AM

It\'s easy to forget that this team won it all just a few short years ago in 2005. Unfortunately wit

It's easy to forget that this team won it all just a few short years ago in 2005. Unfortunately with so much attention paid to the team on the North side of town, that's just the way it is in Chicago. The Cell was built right before teams started getting creative with their new parks; as such it's a big building with little character. The neighborhood surrounding offers little. I do enjoy the option for tailgates that many city parks lack; since there is an abundance of parking lots here, you'll find lots of fans grilling and playing bags before games. And White Sox fans are die-hard, so the energy in the park is good.

by jonah | Apr 27, 2010 09:34 AM

Although Chinese food isn\'t available in the park, it can be brought in. The policy at the park is

Although Chinese food isn't available in the park, it can be brought in. The policy at the park is to allow food to be brought in, provided that it's not in a hard container. We've been turned away when trying to bring in food in Tupperware. But we've been allowed in with food that we brought from Chinatown, provided that it was in the cardboard box containers. It works with any food. We bring sandwiches and fruit in plastic bags - no problem.

by zeker434 | Oct 07, 2010 07:04 PM

Level Selection

Hi Paul - Question about the level selection. If I got a ticket to say the 500 level, would I still be able to walk around the 100 level and see all the wonderful things you talked about? Or, does the stadium restrict entry to levels based on your ticket (like Dodger Stadim)? Thanks.

by megminard | May 06, 2011 11:02 PM

RE: Level Selection

Nope. If you get a 500 level ticket, then you're restricted to the 500 level - not a good thing.

by paul | May 06, 2011 11:49 PM

blue seats

The two blue seats in the outfield represent where the home runs landed from Paul Konerko and Scott Podsednik hit home runs during the 2005 World Series run.

by fookayooka | May 24, 2011 04:49 PM

RE: blue seats

That's cool...I didn't know about those. I'll have to check that out the next time I'm at the park. Where are they?

by paul | May 24, 2011 07:21 PM

RE: blue seats

I believe one is in left center and the other is in right field. Not exactly sure which sections, though. I do know that the left center one is in a section fairly close to the batter's eye.

by BelugasandBHawks | Apr 14, 2012 09:47 AM

Bullpen Sports Bar

Just thought I would a few things to the article.
1. The Bullpen Sports Bar is located in the right field under the seats and behind the fence. Opens early before the game and a great place to watch BP and maybe get a ball.
2. The new(er) Bacardi Sports Bar is now open across the street from the Stadium and is fun. Has outdoor and indoor seating and a ton of TV's inside. Bar and grill food, and drinks can be pricey but typical for stadium bar.
3. Also next door to the bar is the new two level fan shop for all Chicago sports (moslty Sox).
4. Lastly, a simple piece of advice for anyone heading to game in 2013, the red line (transit) that drops you off right next to the stadium will be under construction at some point this year and likely not open. The green line is another 4-5 blocks down and is usuable. I am sure that the organizaiton will have other ideas in place for fans that typically take the red line.

by mitch1674 | Mar 01, 2013 03:19 PM

Love this park

With the Sox being my favorite team I guess I'm biased saying that this is my favorite ballpark. The atmosphere at a Sox game is always entertaining and the food is the best in the majors. The outfield concourse is always a good spot to hang out and talk baseball with fans, sit in the bleachers and you're guaranteed to have a good time.

To add to what Mitch was saying about the red line it will be closing on May 19th and will be closed until October, it will be closed from the Cermak-Chinatown station to 95th. The red line will be using the green line tracks and go to 63rd and Ashland where the green line normal goes, the green line will only be going to Cottage Grove.

by chicagowhitesox91 | Mar 17, 2013 11:47 PM

Red Line Closing

Thanks for sharing that info on the red line shutting down. Wow, that is going to cause a lot of problems for commuters from the south side. The green line still works for fans who don't want to drive for games. The walk is a bit further, but not unreasonably so. Good news for parking revenue for the Sox though. Also, fans should keep in mind that the Cell has some of the best tailgating in MLB, so that can be worth the parking cost if you plan to arrive early and make a day of it.

by paul | Mar 19, 2013 11:34 AM

Red Line is reopen

The Red Line is open again. The Dan Ryan Branch was completely rebuilt in those five months that it was shut down and provides a much faster trip to and from 95th than before.

The Green Line is actually three blocks from the ballpark, it runs in an alley between State and Wabash.

by chicagowhitesox91 | Dec 03, 2013 09:30 PM

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Crowd Reviews

U.S. Cellular Field

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

There's a bit of an edge at U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox, that is difficult to explain without the use of some cliche like "blue-collar." Nothing that I am able to think of adequately describes the feeling inside a White Sox game, so I'll just leave it there, with an edge.

This "edge" translates to the fans as an energetic baseball-focused experience. The food is some of the best in the Major Leagues, the concourses are wide, and the fans are true. There's everything you are looking for. And in many ways it is the antithesis of the northern neighbor at Wrigley Field.

It's an eminently walkable stadium, as long as you have 100 level tickets. This is my major criticism of the Cell. The experience from the 500 Level is so vastly different (read: worse), and segregated from the outstanding experience found in the lower section. It's more than just the view that is better on the lower concourse; it is also the food selection, ability to circumnavigate the entire stadium, and even the quality of the restrooms. This is definitely a stadium to spring for the pricier seats if you are able.

U.S. Cellular Field, Home of the White Sox

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 2

Many long-time White Sox fans continue to refer to the park as Comiskey, but when U.S. Cellular Field is referred to as "The Cell," it conjures up images of a dark and foreboding fortress. This image does not do the park justice. It is a wide open structure with great sight lines and large concourses that will be enjoyed by most fans of the great sport of baseball.

It's still Comiskey to me.

Total Score: 3.71

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

The best part of the new Comiskey (why I insist on calling it Comiskey, when its namesake, early 1900's owner Charles Comiskey. was a fantastic jerk is beyond me) is what so many criticize it for. It has great sightlines, a huge, walkable concourse with great field views, and is essentially a more recent Kaufmann field. I like that, as it's not pretending to be something it's not, just a good place to see a ball game.

good times...

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

Went to the cell this past weekend for the first time. The ball park is really easy to get to, just hop on the red line. They have good food and big beers... makes for a great night any day of the week. Also I was lucky enough to be there for the Friday night fireworks and watch Andruw Jones smoke a fastball to left for the walk off homerun

good times...

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

Went to the cell this past weekend for the first time. The ball park is really easy to get to, just hop on the red line. They have good food and big beers... makes for a great night any day of the week. Also I was lucky enough to be there for the Friday night fireworks and watch Andruw Jones smoke a fastball to left for the walk off homerun

I like it...

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 0

I really enjoying going here for games. Being able to hop on the Red Line and get delivered to the field is a huge plus. I've had some great food here (corn cup is a must) and haven't ever had a bad view regardless of where I've sat.

A Nice day at the park

Total Score: 3.14

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 2

The Cell is a pretty bland stadium, and the upper-deck seats are not good for anyone with a fear of heights. That said, it's easy to get to on the red line and the tailgating is great. Not something you find at a lot of other baseball venues. I was there on opening day a few years back and t was a blast.

12 in a row for the Tigers!

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

Saw my beloved Tigers play the Sox on 9/13 (night game) and 9/14/11 (day game). I went with my wife for the night game and highly recommend club seats for a "date night" (we were in section 316). Outfield bleachers were fine for the next day and I recommend these for a game with the buddies or family. If you are cheering on a visiting team get a seat around section 105 near the opposing bullpen. You can get right next to your favorite pitchers. The food is top-notch for stadium grub, better than what I have had at either Wrigley or Soldier Field.

Better than Wrigley

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

I may be one of the only people in the world that actually enjoys this place more than Wrigley but I do. Wrigley has great history and and great fans but I think "The Cell" is the better park. I have only been to Wrigley once as well as "The Cell" once so I'll try not to be harsh and chalk it up to just being more impressed with "The Cell". Wrigley definitely has the better neighborhood though one of the best in all of sports.

New Comiskey Much Nicer than the Original New Comiskey

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 1
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

When it opened, the ballpark was a mix of concrete and a squeaky clean, bright bowl of seats. Everyone used to love the Old Comiskey, but with age showing the landmark poorly, it was time for a change. After a few years of the first New Comiskey, interest began to wane. Then the club transformed it into a "classic" venue where much of the old style environment was put back in (such as the pull shower along the outfield concourse). It is a much more enjoyable venue wide concourse and a nod toward a classic ballpark. Great stuff.

Not Great but Not Bad Either

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 1
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

When the ballpark first opened, it was a disaster. Who was the moron that thought of Dodger Blue seats? But since then there has been a number of renovations (including getting new seats) that have greatly enhanced the fan experience. I love sitting in the outfield bleachers the crowd is fun and unlike Wrigley bleachers the people actually watch the game.

My biggest knock against The Cell is that the nieghborhood is not the most pleasant. So it's go to the game and head on home. Wish there were options to hang out after the game.

Treat YourCELLf to a Great Game

Total Score: 4.86

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

A few years ago, I went to my first White Sox game with my dad. So we take the the Amtrak "Wolverine" train to Union Station, caught a cab and headed to the park. We got there late, but it was just in the bottom of the 1st inning when we arrived. because of the hot weather, we had to change our seats, originally from the outfield to right behind home plate, so my dad paid 100 dollars for home plate seats. The food we had was awesome, the game atmosphere was great, we listened to great organ music by organist Nancy Faust who was there(as in being hired)at the time. The PA Announcer Gene Honda had a great bass voice. It was sunny, plus we won. The fireworks(even in the day time)were great to listen to. So come down to Chicago to see a white sox game.

A place for a fan and a family

Total Score: 3.71

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

There is not a bad seat in the house thanks to the renovation. The access is fantastic as you have 3 different train lines all within 4 blocks and I94 and I55 are right there. Parking is plentiful. The neighborhood offers some bars and places to eat to the west of the stadium, within walking distance. The food at the park is up there among the best in MLB. The quality is good and there are a lot of options. The Sox also offer a wide variety of beer from the standards to imports and "beers of the world" stands are located around the park. My younger kids love it for the "fundamentals" section which offers all sorts of baseball activities for kids from running the bases vs. an animated backdrop to actually coaches working with your kid on their swing. The product on the field is usually pretty good and the Sox have a host of giveaways and promotions that make it a great park for any family.

The UnFriendly Confines

Total Score: 2.43

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 1
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 1
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

I didn't care for U.S. Cellular Field. It's literally right next to a highway and has no neighborhood surrounding the park. The food was average and the seating was adequate. There was nothing about this ballpark that makes me want to return. We sat in the upper infield section and were denied access to the lower level to view the statues in the outfield. We paid more for our tickets than the outfield seating but weren't allowed to access that part of the ballpark without getting permission from an elevator attendant who gave us a break. The atmosphere in the outfield section was like a college party. The bathrooms were disgusting and the people were terrible. With that having been said, I liked the statues in the outfield. They were the only bright spot in an otherwise dull stadium.

Great Ballpark

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

US Cellular Field gets a bad rap from many people who have never been to a game here or who have not attended a game in quite some time. First, the food is top notch and plenty of variety from Cuban sandwiches, brats, nachos, hot dogs and burgers. Second, the wrap around concourse offers great views of the playing field and provides visitors to visit statues of former players, cool off under the fame showers, or visit one of the team stores. Third, parking is secure and only $10 on Sunday games where the Sox wear a throwback uniform. There are many who are afraid of the neighborhood, but it is not as bad as people say. There are homes, businesses and retail shops in vicinity. True, you are unable to walk to many of them from the ballpark, but the are is safe enough. Last and not least, the Sox fan is die-hard and hardcore fan who lives and dies with their team. I wish the Sox would lower prices in certain section for some of their games, but there are opportunities to save on tickets.

So many suites

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

The thing that stuck out to me was the amount of suites. Three levels of them from foul pole to foul pole was outrageous.

Overall, it was nicer than I was expecting. The amount of stats that are shown on the various video boards is kind of silly. I don't know that fans really want to see a different stat after each and every pitch during the game.

Be sure to visit the old Comiskey home plate located in the parking lot near the Bacardi at the Park.

dull

Total Score: 2.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 0
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 0
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 2
  • Extras: 3

dull and soulless ..... compared to Wrigley field

only saving grace was the decent food

didnt help that there must of only been 4 thousand fans in the place

easy to get to though

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