White Sox share plans for new 500-level bars

White Sox fans are getting a sneak peek of two bars opening in the 2023 season at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“Bars with a view” under construction in the 500-level lobby will feature drink service and tables for seating, the Red Sox announced this month.

The crew demolished eight rows of seats in sections 516 and 548 to make room for the bars, which will be sponsored by Molson Coors’ Miller High Life and Blue Moon brands.

The idea behind bars is to help fans experience the park in new ways, Brooks Boyer, the White Sox’ director of revenue and marketing, said in a statement.

“These two new view bars invite fans to personalize their stadium experience by providing open spaces to view the game from different perspectives,” Boyer said.

The Sox initially had bigger plans for the bars when they applied for a building permit in September, but they were later streamlined to meet the budget.

The White Sox shared images of two

The crew demolished eight rows of seats in sections 516 and 548 to make room for the bars, which will be sponsored by Miller High Life and Blue Moon.

In that permit, issued by the city in November, the team said it planned to install a “premium box seat,” estimating the cost at $284,500. But the new renderings released by the team don’t show or mention the premium seats.

Internal planning documents also show that the team had planned to build full-service bars that would have required extensive plumbing and electrical work. The bars would have featured large upper “covers” to accentuate the bars.

An internal email from November 14, 2022 shows that the team decided to simplify the bars to meet their budget, four days before the city issued their building permit. The revised plan called for busbars to be “self-contained units with minimal plumbing requirements and reduced requirements for electrical services.”

Those documents were provided by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to the Sun-Times in an open records request. The authority is a government body that oversees renovations to Guaranteed Rate Field and Soldier Field.

The initial plan for View Bars included a covered bar and premium seating.  The White Sox simplified the bar layout to meet their budget.

The initial plan for the view bars included a covered bar and premium seating. The White Sox simplified the bar layout to meet their budget.

Screenshots of an “invitation to bid” from the White Sox for planned bars, August 2022.

Frank Bilecki, executive director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, declined to comment directly on questions about the planned bars.

A White Sox spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Construction was contracted to James McHugh Construction Co., according to the building permit.

This isn’t the first time the team has replaced bleacher seats with amenities. In 2019, the Sox added a bar in right field called “Goose Island”, now known as “Miller Lite Landing”.