Exterior photo of U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox.

View of U.S. Cellular Field's Exterior from Gate 5

After attending a Chicago White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field (now called Guaranteed Rate Field), I saw firsthand the differences between the White Sox and Chicago Cubs fan bases that I had heard so much about. I also saw the difference between both of their ballparks. And to be honest, I think the Chicago White Sox have the Chicago Cubs defeated in both categories.

I attended a Chicago Cubs - San Diego Padres game at Wrigley Field just the day before. (Read our review of Wrigley Field). Going into the White Sox game, I had heard that Chicago White Sox fans are a more passionate fan base and it wasn't just a social event for them like it is for Chicago Cubs fans. This was true. That could also be because the Cubs fan base is so used to losing and the White Sox have won a World Series as recently as 2005 under Ozzie Guillen. It was in the 30's that night (not including the Chicago wind) and still more than 10,000 fans managed to show up on a Monday Night. I would also add that the White Sox fan base is much more diverse ethnically than the Cubs fan base. I heard a lot of different languages on the subway on the way to the game. And I would also say that the White Sox fan base was a little more blue collar or working class than Cubs fans are. Those statements aren't put-downs, just my observations from one game at each stadium - I could be 100% wrong. 

 Statue of Charles Comiskey at U.S. Cellular Field, Founder of the Chicago White Sox.

Charles Comiskey Statue in Center Field.

On this particular night, the White Sox were playing their division rival - the Cleveland Indians. If you ride the "red line" on Chicago's transit system, you'll be able to get to either stadium. The U.S. Cellular Field stop is called "Sox-35th". Wrigley Field can be found just off of the Addison stop on the red line. For the other like-minded tourists, Chinatown is the stop before U.S. Cellular Field and has a lot of neat stuff. I think I was the most intrigued by going to the south side of Chicago. If you watch WGN News, you hear so many bad things about the area. The truth behind the matter is U.S. Cellular Field is right off of the Dan Ryan Expressway and you won't see any of the riffraff that happens on the south side. It's not in a rough area at all because there isn't much around it aside from parking lots.

Photo of U.S. Cellular Field from the upper level, Home of the Chicago White Sox.

Upon entering the ballpark, we were given two promotional giveaway items. One was a really nice 2015 Chicago White Sox team calendar. Their entire schedule and game times were listed on the inside. We also received a gray Jose Abreu T-Shirt with his number of the inside. I'm a big fan of his and will definitely be wearing this year around even though I'm not a Chicago White Sox fan. While we're on the subject of fan items, the White Sox gift shop has not just White Sox items for sale but they also carry items for the Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls. Sorry Cubs fans, no Cubs stuff is sold at U.S. Cellular Field.

Our seats were in section 102, row 2. This is an excellent location for home run balls and plays made on the ball in the deepest part of the outfield. This seating area is very rarely full, there were a ton of empty seats. I could see the infield pretty well. The only thing I hated about these seats was that our view of the jumbo tron was obstructed by a brick structure in upper center field. Other than that, I really enjoyed our seats here - super close to the field!

U.S. Cellular Field from outside the ballpark.

In the outfield concourse, you will find six or seven statues of former White Sox greats including founder Charles Comiskey, Harold Baines, Frank Thomas and Luis Aparicio. This is a great touch because it's easy to miss monuments and statues when they're scattered all over the stadium grounds. The outfield concourse is very wide open and allows for good traffic flow. I also liked the Xfinity area in the right field corner. It has a full bar with large flat screen tvs and a cell phone charging station. The Chicago Bulls were playing the Milwaukee Bucks in a playoff game that night and fans were scattered all over the area trying to watch the game.

 

Ever heard of the "Dodger Dog" at Dodger Stadium or the" Fenway Frank" at Fenway Park? The meat of choice at U.S. Cellular Field is the Polish sausage and they do it right! You can have it served plain or with sauteed onions. The smell of these sausages hit your nose as soon as you enter the ballpark; they were definitely worth the $5.75. The beer selection included Bud Light, Budweiser, Coors Light and Goose Island at most of the stands. The Xfinity bar in the right field corner has a larger beer selection than anywhere else in the ballpark.

When choosing your seats, keep in mind that the White Sox use the 3rd base dugout and bullpen in left field. The visiting team will use the 1st base dugout and bullpen in right field. On your ticket, there will be gates that they recommend you enter but fans can enter the stadium through whichever gate is the most convenient.

What I didn't like about the ballpark? Only two things really. Fans that hold upper level tickets aren't allowed to have access to the lower level. Every fan should be able to walk freely around the ballpark. If they sneak into more expensive seats, so what? That's your ushers job to keep them out. I also didn't like that there are no restaurants or bars immediately outside of the ballpark aside from the "ChiSox Bar and Grill" which is one of the best sports bar setups I've seen. It's a bar that you could expect to see at "Ballpark Village" at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Frank Thomas Statue at U.S. Cellular Field.

Frank Thomas Statue in left center field.

U.S. Cellular Field is definitely a better ballpark than Wrigley Field due to it's cleanliness, ticket affordability, large capacity size and excellent fan base and staff. It doesn't have nearly the history and nostalgia that Wrigley Field has but all of that stuff is overrated if you ask me. The White Sox did have such a ballpark until they tore down the old Comiskey Park more than 20 years ago. I would love to pay a second visit to U.S. Cellular Field in the future, after I have seen all of the other MLB Ballparks left on my list.

 

JUMP TO