Tag Archives: guaranteed rate field obstructed views
Posted by Kurt Smith
Going to a White Sox game? Below is your complete Guaranteed Rate Field seating guide, where I share everything you need to know to choose a great seat for your taste and budget at the home of the Chicago White Sox. Stick with me, kid…I’ll help you get the most of your visit.
There’s a lot to cover here, so I’m breaking it down by section and price level.
Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Guide Contents
Guaranteed Rate Field Layout
Wintrust Scout Seats
Premium Seating – Diamond Suites, Other Suites and Guaranteed Rate Club
Club Level Seating
Lower Level Seating
Outfield Seats and Bleachers (+ Obstructed Views)
Upper Level Seating (+ More Obstructed Views)
Group and Party Areas
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Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 1) Ballpark Layout. The layout of Guaranteed Rate Field is simple enough, especially with its (now unusual) symmetry. Here is the Guaranteed Rate Field seating chart from the White Sox website.
The lower deck seats are on the 100 level, and the upper deck is the 500 level. The luxury seating levels and suites are the 200, 300, and 400 level sections, between the upper and lower decks.
The upper deck section numbering is a bit weird. Every so often it skips a number in the sections, so there’s no Section 532, for example. This was done to even it up with the lower sections, which were cut in half to reduce butts (or worse) in seated people’s faces and thus cover smaller space per section.
If you’re concerned about shade on a hot day (or a cold one…it is Chicago), the sun shines brightest and latest on the left field bleachers, as opposed to the right field seating in most ballparks.
Facing the field, Seat 1 in any section is always closest to home plate. Guaranteed Rate Field’s seating capacity is 40,615.
Here’s the lowdown on the seating sections, starting with the most expensive:
Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 2) Wintrust Scout Seats. The Wintrust Scout Seats are the best seats at Guaranteed Rate Field, for many reasons, and are priced as such. These are padded and wide leather seats directly behind home plate, and they include waitresses bringing you food items from a small menu. If you’re willing to get up, you may help yourself to more lavish buffet and open bar. There’s even a little desk on the side of the seat in case you need to work on that proposal at the game.
The Scout Seats have their own private entrance, a nice thing here. The buffet includes all of those high-quality food items from Levy Restaurants…carved meats, gourmet desserts, all the high end food items that baseball is all about.
For the price, though, most times you can just get a Platinum Box seat and buy enough food to split your pants with the money left over. But there’s probably something to be said for a cushioned seat with a great view and access to a climate controlled lounge.
If you want to score Scout Seats for a lesser demand game, try the TickPick or third party route and wait until game time draws closer. Chances are you’ll pay less than face price on a slow night (and the Sox have a lot of those), and face value is pretty darn high for these.
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Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 3) Premium Seating. One thing White Sox ownership got out of their new Comiskey Park is plenty of luxury suites and seating, as anyone can see looking at the mezzanine levels of the ballpark.
Still, there are lots of seats that aren’t out of the price range of the everyday fan. Most Club level seats, for example, are available at the same pricing levels as other seats. You can get them for a lower price when the Sox aren’t playing a popular opponent, in which case the cost isn’t bad at all.
If you’re going to a game in April or May, you may be glad you got a premium seat and access to a climate controlled concourse. Chicago is not baseball friendly in early spring.
White Sox Premium Seating: Diamond Suites. The Diamond Suites surrounding the ballpark hold 20 to 60 people, and include their own bar, comfortable seating, in-seat wait service, a private entrance with an elevator, and premium parking. Diamond Suites are at the highest part of the Club Level (400), so the view isn’t as great as you might think it should be for the price.
Like with most premium seating, there is a basic food menu that includes wings, roast beef and turkey sandwiches with the hot dogs, peanuts and beer; you can upgrade the food or the bar and have baby back ribs and Tanqueray, etc. for an additional fee. Suites have private restrooms, a benefit not truly appreciated until you’re sharing with a bunch of others after a game.
Most of the Diamond Suites are reserved for full or partial season packages to corporate types, but they occasionally are available for individual games. In 2017 the Sox added a suite on the field level behind home plate called Suite 134; good for 25 fans who have the considerable means (somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 a ticket).
White Sox Premium Seating: Guaranteed Rate Club. The Guaranteed Rate Club (formerly the Home Plate Club and Gold Coast Tickets Club) is the outdoor but covered section of seats behind home plate on the 200 level. There are just four rows of seats here, which is nice. The seats are padded and wide like the Scout Seats, with a nice bird’s eye view of the field. You can only access this level by a private elevator.
Fans (or their rich uncles) can access the private lounge with a view of the field and its high class buffet and open bar, even after the game. The prices for drinks go up after the game, reportedly. Season ticket holders get free parking in Lot D next to the ballpark, no small thing.
They even supply a concierge, in case you need to have a pizza delivered.
White Sox Premium Seating: Terrace Suites. The Terrace Suites are located down near the left field foul pole at the top of the club level. These are for group outings and can hold up to 400 people. Not the best view from here, the suites and clubs behind home plate might be better if your group cares. But you do get the full bar, and with a climate controlled area the price isn’t terrible at all.
The Upper Terrace does feature a nice view of the city of Chicago, but you can get that on the upper concourse.
White Sox Premium Seating: All-Star Suite. The 22-person All-Star Suite is located at Section 439 on the third base side. It appears to be similar to a Diamond Suite, although the White Sox tout its new furniture and refurbished private area. Not sure exactly what the improvement is, unless you’re looking to sit over the home team dugout. It is reasonable as suites go.
Like with the other suites, you can get a food upgrade with fancier items than the chicken wings and sandwiches usually served, and the bar is upgrade-able too. It also includes four parking passes.
Okay, whew! Now about the seating for us actual baseball fans…
Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 4) Club Level. The Club area, in the middle (300) tier of the mezzanine level between the bases, features outside seats in front of the climate-controlled lounge area, with a full bar and a premium menu with fancy extras.
If you plan to eat in the Club concourse, you should order as soon as possible, because it does tend to get crowded. The food isn’t complimentary here, but there is a better selection of it than in the lower or upper concourses.
Tickets for this level are reasonable by club seat standards in baseball. The Club sections increase in price as they get closer to home plate, costing almost double the price behind home as they do closer to the foul lines. The Premium Club seats do sport a much better view; and the White Sox ballpark is one place where that is worth springing for. You might find a good deal on TickPick.
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Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 5) Lower Level. The lower level at Guaranteed Rate in foul territory consists of the aforementioned Scout Seats, Gold and Silver Box, Premium Lower Box, and Lower Reserved. In that order.
The White Sox now rate types of seats by rows, so Rows 26 and higher of Sections 119 and 120 are cheaper than the rows in front of them, for example. In Section 111 there are three different price levels. So presumably, you can save a few bucks in the front row of a “tier”. When you’re buying tickets through the Sox, check the price of the different rows. No point in paying more for Row 14 when Row 15 is just two more feet away from the field.
Since the ballpark is symmetrical, there isn’t much difference whether you’re on the first or third base side, except for the fact that the sun sets behind the first base side and third base is in the shade last. The White Sox also adjusted the seats in the outer Lower Box sections to face closer to the home plate, making for a better viewing angle.
One very nice thing in the lower level is that sections have fewer seats in each row (usually eight) than in most ballparks, so you won’t have as much of a problem of folks getting up in front of you.
Remember that lower level seating obviously includes access to the lower concourse, and the rest of the ballpark for that matter, something upper level seats do not include. More on that in a bit.
There are usually 30-35 rows in lower level sections, and the upper deck overhang covers the seats from about Row 26 up, so don’t expect much protection from the sun especially for day games.
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Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 6) Outfield Seats + Bleachers. The Lower Reserved seats in the outfield are in left field near the foul pole and in all of right field. These are actual seats as opposed to the bleacher-style benches in left center, which are cheaper. Surprisingly, bleacher seats are often more expensive than most of the seating in the upper level.
The bleachers in left center field are bench-style seats, but they have backs on them with numbers, so you still have an assigned seat as opposed to most ballpark bleachers. You still might have to share with a neighbor’s cheek a little bit, but at least they are easier on your back.
Remember that the sun sets behind first base and it can be particularly blinding and hot in the left field seats. (Incidentally that’s why they call them “bleachers”, since they get bleached by the sun.) I highly recommend sunscreen and sunglasses sitting here.
The visiting team’s bullpen is in right field, all the better for heckling. If you get seats in front of either bullpen, the row numbers start with 8 in left and 9 in right. The bleachers in left are a good spot to catch batting practice home runs.
Obstructed View Alert #1: In the small section to the right of the batter’s eye is Section 100, which, along with the benches in Section 164 on the left field side, may have an obstructed view with the batter’s eye blocking a portion of the opposite field. It can also affect Sections 101 and 163 if you’re sitting high enough. With White Sox attendance you probably won’t have to deal with this, but just saying.
Be sure to get a low row if you get seats in these sections, from high up a good portion of the opposite field could be blocked from view, and you won’t like that. (The Sox will alert you about this before you buy the ticket, but I’m not sure that third party sellers will.)
The outfield seats have a nice and wide concourse area to roam around in, and they’re also close to the ballpark’s extra amenities, like the kids’ play area, the Plumbing Council shower, and the Craft Lodge in right field. They’re not the best or cheapest outfield seats in major league baseball, but they do have some things going for them.
By the way, this isn’t Wrigley Field—if you catch a home run here, you can be ejected for throwing it back on the field.
Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 7) Upper Level. The upper deck seats at Guaranteed Rate are better than they once were. Before the top eight rows were eliminated, the height and angle of upper level seats could be terrifying. Much was made of how the first row of seats in the upper level are further from home plate than the last rows at the old Comiskey.
Fortunately, the situation has improved. You can only go so high now, and while the angle is still dizzyingly steep, now it’s just “unnerving”. There is a flat iron roof covering the top two-thirds of the highest seats. There are 21 rows of seats in most upper level sections; like in the lower level, the lower rows are more expensive.
The Upper Corner sections are now the cheapest tickets in Guaranteed Rate Field (and most of baseball, for that matter). There’s a good reason for it though, as a Chicago native friend put it to me: “The Waveland rooftops are closer!”
For what it’s worth though, the upper concourse here is one of the nicer ones in baseball; it’s got murals of White Sox greatness and is covered with panels that let the sun in but not the rain. There is a decent food and drink selection too.
Obstructed View Alert #2: There are support poles holding up the new roof on this level; from Row 17 up at this level you could have a pole blocking a good portion of your view. Behind home plate and in the outfield it’s not much of a problem, but down the lines it can be annoying. Again, you probably won’t likely have to deal with it given current White Sox attendance numbers, but just so you know.
Remember, Seat 1 in any section is closest to home plate. So in the high rows down either line, seats 1-5 are likely to be the most problematic with the views. I would go for outfield seats rather than the sections down the line given the choice.
Pay attention, this is important: Upper deck ticket holders are not allowed in the lower level concourse, and the Sox enforce this–a matter of great irritation to some fans. So upper deck seats preclude shopping at the best gift shop, enjoying the more interesting food offerings, seeking autographs, and a number of photo-ops like posing with player statues.
So if you want the entire Guaranteed Rate Field experience, avoid upper level tickets, or use your Ballpark app to get an upgrade. Remember you can’t do standing room in the closed upper concourse here either.
If you want to be a cheapskate…and upper level tickets can be super cheap…you can get someone with a lower level ticket to give you a copy of their ticket, which you can then show to ushers, although you then risk using the wrong ticket to get in and a well deserved whupping. Or you can nicely complain to an usher or Guest Services and tell them you’re a tourist. They may let you down in later innings.
Heading up to the top level on the outside ramps does give one a striking view of the south side of Chicago, so you’re not missing everything. There’s a nice view at the top of the stands too, although it does get windy.
Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 8) Group and Party Areas. Finally, the recent renovation created some sparkling new party areas at Guaranteed Rate Field, for those looking to entertain at a reasonable price:
White Sox Party Areas: Miller Lite Landing. The Miller Lite Landing (formerly the Goose Island) is the outfield lounge and seating area at the foul pole in right field. The seating area includes cushioned seats, food and drinks, and drink rails which are always useful. The back rows are standing room, but still include the counters to lean on. The landing is in front of a bar with Miller products.
The lower rows of the Miller Lite Landing feature large and comfortable leather chairs, TVs since you’re pretty far from the action, charging ports, cup holders, and an extra $20 of concessions value in your ticket. All of the rows except for standing room include wait staff.
The lower seating area is at field level and you can watch the game through the fence, while sitting next to the visitors’ bullpen presumably to give opposing pitchers a hard time. Watching a game through a fence isn’t fun though, so I would go for higher row seats here.
Under the landing seats is the Leinenkugel’s Craft Lodge, where you can duck out of the elements and try any number of great craft brews…and since you’re paying what you’re paying for beer at the ballgame, you might as well drink something good.
White Sox Party Areas: CIBC Fan Deck. The CIBC Fan Deck is the two-tiered patio in center field, which is available for group outings of up to 150, at about $100 a person. The plan includes the barstool seating with drink rails and picnic tables in front of the scoreboard, and a low-level pregame buffet of normal ballpark fare; beer is included which is certainly worth a few bucks. Service starts when the park opens and ends as the game starts.
The Fan Deck is good fun for parties, but they definitely aren’t the best seats in the ballpark, being in straightaway center and elevated. The back rows especially lose quite a bit of the field, and the seating as it slopes off to the side isn’t good at all. You also can’t see much of the game when you are partaking of the burgers and bratwurst, obviously.
It also gets windy up there, so the Fan Deck might be better for hot summer days, so long as you have sunscreen.
White Sox Party Areas: Party Patio. Underneath the stands on the other side of the visiting team’s bullpen in right center field is the Party Patio; this is available for pregame and during-game parties of as many as 1,300 fans (the overwhelming majority of which will not be able to see the game until they head to their seats). In addition to a buffet of fried chicken, dogs and burgers (and beer), fans are treated to a great view of batting practice.
Seeing the game itself from the warning track area costs extra (you need a game ticket to attend the Party anyway), and they’ll kick you out if you haven’t paid for it. Honestly you’re not missing much; it’s a field level view behind a fence, and you can’t see any of the scoreboards–not worth wait staff in my humble opinion.
You can sometimes get a pass for the Party Patio from eBay or third party sellers. Or sign up for the White Sox newsletter; they will offer decent deals on a Patio pass that would be well worth the money at ballpark prices.
Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 9) Standing Room. The White Sox make standing room tickets available for big games like Opening Day and Cubs games, but since they don’t sell out a lot, standing room tickets aren’t offered too often. The White Sox did offer a FanPass with standing room access for a month’s worth of games in the past, but as of 2023 they’re not doing this.
Should the Sox be playing in the World Series or something and you find SRO tickets, there’s plenty of space in the large outfield concourse to stand and watch the game. The lower level concourse is open, so you could watch the action from there, but with the overhang of the upper level you won’t have much of a view of the scoreboard.
Lots of people roam around the ballpark through the game, so you might be able to find a seat no one is using somewhere in the outfield or the corners.
There you are my friend, your comprehensive guide to the seating at the home of the White Sox. I hope you’ve enjoyed the read and found it helpful…be sure to check out more Guaranteed Rate Field tips here, including how to choose a great parking spot and what to eat at a White Sox game.
And if you’re visiting Chicago for a baseball trip, be sure to carefully read my Wrigley Field Guide!
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