U.S. Cellular Field will become Guaranteed Rate Field on Nov. 1. White Sox fans remember, it’s only a name.
The Chicago White Sox will usher in a new era when U.S. Cellular Field becomes Guaranteed Rate Field. Fans did not take the news very well, with many thinking it’s a stupid name. Even better, their logo is a red arrow pointing down. It does fit well with the current state of the franchise, however. But let’s not kid ourselves, when it comes to the stadium, it’s just a name.
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We are in an era where organizations, especially sports franchises, rely heavily on sponsorship dollars. After all, this is how the teams make additional money to be able to sign free agents and pay their coaching staffs. In the WNBA the teams have sponsors on their jerseys, similar to soccer. Teams make millions of dollars per year on sponsors. And while it may not seem like it, sports is a business. And businesses want to make money. At the end of the day, the White Sox agreement with Guaranteed Rate is about money.
At the end of the day, this isn’t going to make or break the team. I don’t buy the fact fans will start boycotting the team simply because they don’t like their stadium name. If anything, we should be boycotting because they play terrible baseball. I agree, the name doesn’t sound good. And it will probably go down as one of the worst named stadiums in sports. But all that matters is at the end of the day the White Sox win games. If they win games, no one is going to care where they play their home games.
The biggest travesty of this whole situation is the White Sox aren’t making any additional money on this. According to Peter Matuszak of the Chicago Tribune, the agreement will not pay the team any additional money. Instead, the team will receive $20.4 million, the amount remaining on the deal with U.S. Cellular.
Now that’s something to get mad about. If that’s the case, they might as well go back to Comiskey Park. However, it should be noted that Guaranteed Rate will have other sponsorships with the team, so they will have some money there. But it was still poor planning on the team’s part to not make any money on the naming rights.
However, at the end of the day, it’s just the name of where the White Sox play baseball. I know a ton of people who call it Sox Park or Comiskey Park. There’s no reason for us to ever utter the words Guaranteed Rate Field. Chicago still calls Willis Tower the Sears Tower. And it hasn’t been called the Sears Tower since 2009. So don’t fret White Sox fans, it may be Guaranteed Rate Field on paper, but it’ll always be Comiskey Park in our hearts.