Sunday, June 24, 2007
Day 1: US Cellular Field
Update: All of our US Cellular Field photos are available on Flickr.
And we're off! We departed Milwaukee at 9 AM this morning and arrived at US Cellular Field on Chicago's South Side at about 11. We set up our fundraising table across the street from the park but raised only $10. Tomorrow we have a more active strategy and hope that the Northsiders will greatly surpass this total at Wrigley Field.
The seats we bought way back in February turned out to be pretty good. We were 1/3 of the way u in the upper deck and about 1/2 way down the first baseline. The food was excellent. We both got a kosher hot dog smothered in onions, ketchup, and mustard and a Miller Lite. It was rather expensive though - $4.50 for a hot dog. This was later redeemed when we purchased some 16 oz. Old Styles in the 4th for 6 bucks. Only Erik had been to this park, and overall we found it to be alright. You can only walk around on the lower concourse if you have a ticket there, which is pretty horrible. And also Erik was not able to obtain a batting helmet because they don't sell them there! What the hell is that?
As for the game, it turned out to be a pitchers' duel, as the Sox battled the Cubs in the final interleague series of the season. This was supposed to originally be a Sunday Night game but was changed to a 105 start, and although this was disappointing, it ended up being a pretty decent day. It was scoreless through 5 and the Cubs ended up winning 3-0 behind a Soriano homerun and a strong pitching performance by Sean Marshall. It was the first sweep of the Sox by the Cubs at US Cellular Field in team history. The most exciting play of the game by far was a play late in the game that involved three runners being in a rundown simultaneously, and if you didn't see it on Sportscenter, you really missed out. Two of the runners were clearly tagged out but ended up being called safe and Ozzie Guillen ended up getting ejected.
After the game, we finally made our way to the lower concourse and walked around a bit more, and then we walked around IIT campus for awhile nearby, while concluding the evening with a leisurely drive up to Wrigleyville to watch Sunday Night ball at a tavern across the street from Wrigley Field. A special thanks to John and Megan for letting us stay at their house conveniently located two blocks from Wrigley, at which we will be attending a game tomorrow against the Rockies with Erik's dad and uncle.
park stats and rankings (1=worst/most $, 10=best/least $):
aesthetics - 5
views from park - 5 (you can see downtown, but only from the ramp behind the stadium)
view to field - 7 (few blind spots)
surrounding area - 6 (IIT campus and L nearby)
food variety - 5
nachos - 3 (cheese was of low quantity and chips were stale!)
beer - 8 (they have Old Style)
vendor price - 6 (food kind of expensive, beer was reasonable)
ticket price - 2 ($150 for two tickets, seats normally run around 40-50)
atmosphere - 8 (White Sox/Cubs rivalry is quite special...and angry...)
walk to park - 5 (bonus points for proximity to freeway and L, but it wasn't very scenic)parking price/proximity - 10 (we parked for free on the street - get there early!)concourses - 5 (nice but you can't see the lower deck unless you have a ticket)
team shop - 4 (lots of throwback apparel, but no non-protective helmets)
best food - Chicago-style dog
most unique stadium feature - pinwheel fireworks stacks reminiscent of Old Comiskey
best jumbotron feature - McDonalds food race
best between-inning feature - XM satellite radio Dance-off
field dimensions - 330/400/335
starters - Jose Contreras (ChW) v. Sean Marshall (ChC)
opponent - Chicago Cubs
time of game - 3:05
attendance - 39500
score - 3-0 L
Brewers score that day - 4-3 L (43-32)