The Chicago White Sox will again be ending up near the bottom of the division in the AL Central at the end of this year. This has been an egregious trend for the White Sox over the past few years and things just don’t seem to be getting a whole lot better for the White Sox. Even when the Sox seem to have hope, things backfire to get them in a headline with negative press. At the beginning of the season, the White Sox had the second best record in the league right behind the Chicago Cubs. Now they are ranked 20th in the league and 8.5 games back of the Wild Card in the American League. To make matters worse, “The Cell” is getting a new field name that did not go over favorably with the Chicago public.
Guaranteed Rate has bought the naming rights of U.S Cellular Field. If you are like me and had no idea what Guaranteed Rate even was when you first heard of the field’s new name, here is some basic information Sox fans should know. Guaranteed Rate is a U.S residential mortgage company that is based in Chicago. The company was founded in 2000 by Victor Ciardelli and now employs 2,650 people. The deal is worth $20.4 million and expires in 2030. With the deal that they made in mind, they want to expand their company and brand their business more recognizable to the public.
A far as Chicago’s reaction, things have been generally negative on social media outlets. Chicago fans, just like all MLB fans, want their stadium name to stick out in a positive light. For instance, non-corporate stadium names such as Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field (not to mention, the former name of the White Sox stadium, Comiskey Park) are easily recognizable and some of the most famous stadium names in the world. Guaranteed Rate Field will just be another forgotten name in the crowd of thousands of stadiums worldwide that sold out to the highest corporate bidder with little affiliation to baseball. Sox fans have had no problem voicing their disappointment as Lake Forest High School student and Chicago White Sox fan Griffin Strang is one of the many who refuses to have a positive view on the new name. “I disagree with the name. Obviously it is the Sox just trying to make as much money as possible. It’s upsetting that the field is now named by a company virtually nobody’s heard of.”
After the new field name was released to the public, Twitter erupted, engulfing the White Sox in a cyber joke. The Chicago Bears tweeted “Breaking: Still Soldier Field”, while the Chicago Cubs sent out a harsher tweet calling the new name “Guaranteed Fate”. In addition, after some time the hashtag #BetterSoxStadiumNames became popular.
As for right now, it is just another disappointment for the majority of White Sox fans who opposed the new name. Now it is 14 years and counting until Guaranteed Rate’s deal with the White Sox expires.