CHICAGO – So far the White Sox have had a number of games at Guaranteed Rate Field where things feel a little bit more back to normal.
But Friday night, it all comes full circle, when the team opens up their stadium to as many fans as the venue will sit for the first time in nearly two years.
Now open to full capacity, the White Sox will hold “Reopening Night” against the Mariners at 7:10 PM, dodging the rain drops that have been around the ballpark all day.
It’s the first time the team has been able to open up Guaranteed Rate Field fully to fans since September 29, 2019 when they beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 in the season finale. It was the last of what was considered the rebuilding era for the franchise, with the team expected to return to competing for playoff spots in 2020.
They did just that, making the postseasons for the first time since 2008, but they didn’t have any fans when the did due to a COVID-19 pandemic-shortned season.
Now fans get to cheer on a team that currently sits in first place in the American League Central by two games despite losing five of their last six games. At least they were able to get back on track with a win in their series finale in Pittsburgh on Wednesday ahead of their “Reopening Night” on Friday.
As part of the occasion, the team will hand out 10,000 hats designed by artist Conrad Javier while also celebrating Country Music night. Caylee Hammack, a two-time Academy of Country Music Awards nominee, will sing the National Anthem before the game and after the team will hold fireworks for the fans on the reopening night.
Carlos Rodon takes the mound for the White Sox as they start the three-game series against Seattle as part of seven-game stretch as the team welcomes full capacity back to the ballpark. It will be the last time the team is home before the end of the first half of the season, with the group heading on the road for nine-straight before the All-Star Break.
Larry Hawley was at the ballpark on Friday to preview the “Reopening Night” for WGN News Now, and you can see his segment in the video above.