Read about the history of Chicago White Sox ballparks, from the 39th Street Grounds to current day Guaranteed Rate Field.
New Comiskey Park / U.S. Cellular Field / Guaranteed Rate Field
The new Comiskey Park opened on April 18, 1991, three years after the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to build the park directly across the street from old Comiskey Park. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on May 7, 1989, with Mayor Richard M. Daley and Governor James Thompson in attendance. The new park featured an exploding scoreboard, an old-time facade complete with arches and over 40,000 unobstructed-view seats. The ballpark attracted a club-record 2,934,154 fans in its first year. In January 2003, it was renamed U.S. Cellular Field. In November 2016, it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field.
After nine years in the South Side Grounds, Charles Comiskey started construction on his new "Baseball Palace of the World" at the corner of 35th Street and Shields Avenue. White Sox Park opened on July 1, 1910, but soon became known as Comiskey Park.
The park was designed by architect Zachary Taylor Davis with help from Comiskey and pitcher Ed Walsh. Comiskey Park featured spacious dimensions (362 feet down each line and 420 feet to straight-away center field). Before the 1927 season, the park was enclosed by a double-decked outfield grandstand. On August 14, 1939, the first night game in Chicago was played at Comiskey Park, with the Sox defeating the St. Louis Browns, 5-2.
The first large center field scoreboard was built in 1950 and lasted until replaced by Bill Veeck's exploding version in 1960. In 1982, a new scoreboard, complete with color video board, was constructed along with new Golden Box seats, dugouts and a level of luxury sky suites.
The White Sox played their final campaign at old Comiskey Park in 1990. The festive final weekend of the old stadium was capped by a 2-1 Sox victory over Seattle in the final game on September 30, 1990.
The first home of the Chicago White Sox was located at 39th Street and Princeton, four blocks south of the present Comiskey Park. The 39th Street Grounds served as the playing field of the Chicago Wanderers cricket team during the 1893 World's Fair. Charles Comiskey built a wooden grandstand on the site in 1900.
The capacity of the tiny grandstand never exceeded 7,500. It served as the home of the White Sox until June 27, 1910 when the club vacated the park for Comiskey Park at 35th Street and Shields. The grounds were leased to John Schorling, a South Side saloon keeper who owned the American Giants Negro League team.
The park served as the home of Chicago's Negro League teams until the park was demolished in the late 1940s to make way for a public housing project.