White Sox will host football once again as NIU bring Toledo game to US Cellular Field
CHICAGO – There was once a member of the National Football League that called the corner of 35th and Shields on the South Side of Chicago home.
It’s OK if you didn’t know that. A number of the fans that trot into US Cellular Field weren’t even alive the last time the White Sox shared their home with a major football team.
That was the Chicago Cardinals, who played at old Comiskey Park from the majority of the time from 1922-1958. They won an NFL Championship in 1925 and 1947 and featured 12 future Hall of Famers including Ollie Mattson, Dick “Night Train” Lane and Jim Thorpe.
But when the team left for Soldier Field in 1959 and then for St. Louis in 1960, the old ballpark would never host a major football game again. When US Cellular Field opened in 1991, it was without football during it’s first 25 years.
As the ballpark gets ready to celebrate it’s silver anniversary, however, the time seemed right to finally put a gridiron in “The Cell.” Football, for at least one day, will return to the South Side.
The White Sox along with Northern Illinois announced that they are moving their game with Toledo on Wednesday, November 9th from Huskie Stadium in DeKalb to US Cellular Field, marking the first time a football contest will be staged in the ballpark.
“It is historic, here in this facility,” said NIU head coach Rod Carey of the game against the Rockets. “I think it’s going to be a great atmosphere and listen, the walls are a little higher and the winds might not be howling as much in November, right.”