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Guaranteed Rate Field: What could have been

by Sox On 35th Contributors

Guaranteed Rate field shows a beautiful view from home plate, as the light from the setting sun illuminates the pinwheels and scoreboard. In addition, the food is known to be some of the best in the entire league. However, what about the view beyond the scoreboard? From home plate, or directly behind it, all you see beyond the outfield, is the towers on the opposite side of the Dan Ryan expressway. It often makes one wonder why the Sox never made for the backdrop to be the broad-shouldered skyline of Chicago.

When old Comiskey was finally laid to rest in 1990, and U.S. Cellular was built, there were many concerns and angles considered as to if the White Sox should retain the same location, or try to gravitate to somewhere else in the city to be closer to their fanbase. Ideas considered were, obviously, across the street, a lot closer to downtown, or the south suburbs in an area like Addison or Orland Park. Many fans were worried about the bar McCuddy’s being taken away, or moved as a result of the decision. Eventually, the team decided on the location, as it would be built on 35th/Shields, facing southeast–the opposite direction from the city.


Let’s be honest, the current backdrop of Guaranteed Rate Field is not very interesting at all. Teams like the Pirates, Cardinals, and Padres have some of the most notable backdrops to their stadiums, with all three teams having their respective city’s skyline behind the scoreboard. Those stadiums look great on television and even more amazing in person. Had the White Sox shifted the direction of their park, they could easily compete for one of the top views in all of baseball. Mix that with the great food and other amenities this stadium has to offer, and this immediately skyrockets the ballpark to near the top of the rankings, perhaps turning the South Side into more of a destination for the average baseball fan.


Despite the lack of aesthetic for Instagram pictures, the view from a ballpark doesn’t really affect what happens on the field. The White Sox had a World Series season at then U.S. Cellular field, and there’s no statical data that leads to the belief that the stadium backdrop breeds more success on the field.

Here is one thing we can all agree on: Guaranteed Rate Field looks really great when packed with a sellout crowd. While that may be far off due to COVID-19, the thought is still a fun one.

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Featured Photo: Chris Tejeda/Twitter

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Was a reason for the SW to NE layout to keep 35th/Shields as the home plate entryway? In hindsight, a major error.

Steve Klumpp

The lower level would not have that downtown view anyway because the outfield concourse and billboard/scoreboards would block it. Might make the upper deck slightly more valuable but parking & EL train access would be worse. I’m fine the way it is and that first sunset photo you show is where many thousands of fabulous fan photos have been taken.


In that case, you redesign the outfield billboards & scoreboards so that they’re low-profile.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lou

Before they removed rows from the upper deck you could see sailboats on the lake!!

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