U.S. Cellular Field Seating:
Upper Level Restrictions
I don’t know the exact reason for this policy, which has been in place for some time now. From what I’ve read, the White Sox had trouble with upper deck patrons going out onto the field and attacking coaches and umpires, but that seems a pretty thin reason to enforce a policy that no other team has to my knowledge.
My guess is that with the White Sox drawing about 25,000 a game, they would have troubles dealing with the occasional seat poacher and decided to free up their security for other potential problems.
For many Sox fans, this is a source of irritation. Lower level seats are more expensive than upper level seats, and the lower level has a much wider variety of concessions, souvenirs, photo-ops and other attractions, like the huge center field concourse.
The upper level is minimal with its food selections, although they do have a Leinenkugel’s beer kiosk that sells some strange combinations of Leinie’s brews. But there are also some fans who like the policy, mostly lower level season ticket holders who don’t want to have to throw someone out of their seat.
I can sympathize with both sides of the issue. But whatever Sox fans’ opinions about it, it is what it is, so it’s a key thing to remember. You don’t want to make a pilgrimage to a ballpark and miss most of it because of a restrictive policy that you’d never heard of before.
There are some ways to beat the system, though. Or at least try.
The first is to simply try getting in at a gate that leads to the lower level. When the gates open and there are lines, chances are that the ticket scanner will simply let you through without bothering to check the ticket. I read this in a forum post from 2002, however, so I’m not sure whether that would work today. The White Sox may have updated their scanners to not allow this.
The other is to find someone you know who has a lower level ticket to the game, get a copy of it, and once you’re in the ballpark, use the copied lower level ticket to get into an area otherwise restricted to riffraff like you whenever an usher asks to see your ticket. This should work fine, but if you get confused and use the wrong ticket to get in, you risk personal injury that wouldn’t entirely be unjustified.
Sometimes, in later innings, if you explain nicely to an usher that you are visiting and just want to see the Harold Baines statue, they might let you through. But obviously, this isn’t something you can count on.
So really, sorry to say, the best option at U.S. Cellular Field is to simply get a seat in the lower level; it's a little easier now that the Sox offer cheap tickets in the outfield corners. There’s a lot to see, between the statues and the outfield concourse and the interactive games and such. Plus there is a much wider variety of food choices in the lower level, and there’s a lot of good grub at the Cell.
The upper level has some perks—there’s a great view of the city from the ramps, a nice breeze on warm days, and murals of Sox history on the upper concourse walls. But honestly, between the nerve-wracking agitation from possibly the steepest upper deck in baseball and the limits of what can be accessed, I wouldn’t get an upper level seat unless I was just going to a game and didn’t care about seeing the ballpark. Many White Sox fans are perfectly fine with that. But you might not be if you had driven hundreds of miles to see the place.
I don’t makes the rules folks, I just show ya how to live with ‘em.
More About U.S. Cellular Field:
The New Metra Rail Station
Food at U.S. Cellular Field
Curse of The Black Sox: Where's The Sympathy for Sox Fans?
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