White Sox naming rights change for home ballpark is met with negative reviews from fans. The change will become effective November 1.
The White Sox were already mired in mediocrity, and are slowing becoming a national laughingstock. On Wednesday, the franchise made headlines once again for the wrong reason. However, the move they made wasn’t necessarily bad.
On Wednesday, the White Sox announced a 13-year naming rights deal for their home ballpark. The ballpark on 35th and Shields will be renamed Guaranteed Rate Field starting November 1. You read that right, the White Sox will play their home games beginning in 2017 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
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With U.S. Cellular leaving the Chicago market in 2013, the team’s current naming rights partner wasn’t a logical fit. U.S. Cellular still has a corporate office in Chicago, but they don’t have cell phone service in the area. After being bought by Sprint, there was no need for the team to continue naming their home ballpark U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox change to Guaranteed Rate as its naming rights partner for the next 13 years is an odd choice. Although the mortgage lending company is based out of Chicago, Guaranteed Rate Field isn’t the most appealing name to a casual or hardcore fan. We live in a time where many stadiums will have naming rights, while most are odd choices. This team couldn’t afford any more negative publicity, but unfortunately they received just that.
Shortly after the team announced the naming rights change, fans began a trend on twitter with #BetterSoxStadiumNames. In a season which saw the Adam LaRoche saga in spring training, and Chris Sale‘s jersey incident, this was another blow to the team’s public relations. Here are some tweets from fans and one notable recording artist.
This franchise will need a few seasons of respectability to escape from the nightmare that has been this season. Hopefully for this franchise, people will start to respect the name change for the ballpark. It will take some time for fans to get used to going to games at Guaranteed Rate Field.