|It seems to me that Guaranteed Rate Field (originally known as Comiskey Park)
has gotten a bad rap from the beginning. This is probably for two reasons.
First, many fans want to compare it to old Comiskey, which was apparently
very intimate and an excellent place to see a game. Second, it is
criticized for not being like Camden Yards which opened a year after it. Yes, it's probably not as good
as Camden Yards, but it measures up to other new parks like Jacobs Field
and Ameriquest Field quite well. This is especially true after the
extensive renovations that have been completed between '03 and '05.
Originally the color scheme of the park was mostly blue. Now everything is
being changed to a dark green or black color, presumably to resemble old
Comiskey. The seats are still blue, but these are all scheduled to be
replaced by green ones by '06. In addition, a lot of brick has been added
to the concourse to give it a more classic feel. The seating is still not
the park's strong suit, but it is no worse than at some other new parks.
The upper deck always received the most criticism, hence they shaved about
10 rows off of it and put a nice roof (with poles) on it. This helps to
give the park a slightly more intimate feel. Some complain that it is
still too high, but I believe this may be based on perception since there
is no club level between the lower and upper decks. Also, the seats are a
bit narrow, but hopefully the new ones that are installed are a bit
roomier. The main concourse (which is not accessible if you buy an upper
deck seat) is open to the field and circles the entire park. This
concourse, while a bit narrow, is packed with concession stands offering a
nice variety of food and drink options. Regional favorites like brats, deep
dish pizza, and Italian beef sandwiches are offered. Prices are typical of
a MLB park, but the quality is quite good. The outfield concourse features
a kid's play area ("FUNdamentals") as well as a picnic area on top of the
batter's eye. Despite having a relatively new park, the ChiSox have not
forgotten about their history. Murals depicting famous teams line the
upper deck concourse and a small team hall of fame is located in the gift
store behind home plate. In addition, there are two statues in the
outfield - one of Charles Comiskey and the other of Minnie Minoso. The
atmosphere at Guaranteed Rate Field can best be described the "anti-Wrigley"
experience. Despite having a legendary organist, lots of loud music is
blared between batters. Access to the park is very good as it is located
right off the Dan Ryan Expressway. Parking is plentiful around the park
and is just $8 if you're an "earlybird". Otherwise you'll be dishing out
$17. Maybe Guaranteed Rate Field doesn't have the nooks and crannies or standout
features that a lot of the newer parks have, but still it is a fine place
to take in a game.