Few major league baseball parks retain the names they had when I was a kid, for teams have learned that they can make big bucks by selling the naming rights to corporations. Only 11 major-league teams haven’t done that, and thank Ceiling Cat that Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and Yankee Stadium remain.
Comiskey Park was the original name of the Chicago White Sox stadium, but it was demolished, rebuilt next door in the nineties, and then renamed US Cellular Field in 2003, with US Cellular paying $68 million. Now, as I’ve heard on the news, the naming rights have been sold again, and get the new name:
Guaranteed Rate Field
Yes, that’s right: it’s named after a lending company, and the rights hold through at least 2029. And I can’t imagine a worse name; this is even worse than Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres.
They interviewed some Chicago White Sox fans about this name change on the evening news, and, as you can imagine, they were not happy.
Everything’s for sale these days. The local buses have started being festooned with garish ads, websites abound with them (I pay to keep them off this site), and even park benches have ads on them.
What’s next? “Hey kids, let’s go out to Guaranteed Rate Field and catch the double header!”