Last month, when we were on our meat run to Michigan, we were on the Dan Ryan and passed Comiskey Park. That was the first time I noticed it - there was something different about the park. The Upper deck looked the same, so there was no structural change there, but something else was going on. So, since I had nothing else to do today, I drove down to Comiskey to check it out.
I had heard some rumors that there would be another round of renovations at the park before this year's All Star Game in July. In the prior years, I've always heard about what was going on through our Season Ticket Rep, but nothing was released this year. I vaguely remember Hawk talking at the end of the season about a new scoreboard. At our last season ticket game and the last home game at the park last year, it was obvious they were doing some testing of paint.
The first thing I noticed on the drive to the park, as I was heading south on the Dan Ryan, just before that big sweeping turn at the Stevenson, you could see a crane inside the park. I didn't look too heavy, but it was definitely taller than the top of the stadium. I drove to the park and parked in the E lot and walked around the park. The sun may have been out, but it was cold out there. Well, there wasn't much I could see from the lot (the angles were all wrong) and I was getting a bit spooked-out by the security cameras panning around, so I got back in the car and drove around the park a few times and in different routes. The upper deck has definitely not changed in size or shape. There are temporary walls on the upper deck concourse. My guess is that they're doing renovations similar to the Main Concourse renovations of last year. The ramps outside the left field corner are now painted dark gray. the other ramps are still bare concrete. The inside of the roof on the upper deck that used to be white is now black. Even though we saw paint tests on the concrete facing of the upper deck at the end of the season, I couldn't get a good angle to see into the park to see if that had been done. All of the truss work above the outfield concourse (that held all of the advertising and the scoreboards) that used to be white is now painted black, or maybe a very dark gray. This includes the light towers as well. The backside of the scoreboards and ads are still white. There was a service door that was open behind the left-field scoreboard, and you could see that the scoreboard was gone - just support girders were left. The crane that can be seen inside the park seems to be positioned by that scoreboard. (I wouldn't mind seeing an upgrade to the scoreboards. The Sony display on the main scoreboard, though only 12 years old, sure isn't the latest technology. And the bulb density of the left field scoreboard could be upgraded a bit.) I'd like to see if they've changed the color scheme inside the park at all (I, for the record, am against the all blue crap used in the park - blue seats, blue scoreboards. blue padding on the outfield walls.) So far, in general, it looks like the park is going to look "darker", which, from a player perspective, is a good thing. You see, the players have always complained at Comiskey that they lose sight of the ball against the color of all the concrete used in the place. My guess is that they're painting the concrete to darken the background for the players. Maybe we'll find out more next weejkend at SoxFest.