For the first time in 13 years, the White Sox will play in front of thousands of fans in the postseason. The ballpark was empty last year due to COVID-19 protocol.
"Our fans did not get to participate in the postseason last year. It almost feels like we weren’t in the postseason because fans weren’t here," said Brooks Boyer, the chief revenue and marketing officer for the White Sox.
Boyer expects a sold-out crowd of around 40,000 fans on Sunday night, when the Sox host the Houston Astros for Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
"Our guys feed off the energy of the fans. That’s a real thing. We hope to create that atmosphere for our guys to hopefully pull through a division series win," said Boyer.
Final preparations were underway Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Crews could be seen installing ALDS signage in the dugout and cleaning seats in the stands. The field is already spray-painted for the postseason.
The White Sox are encouraging fans to arrive early and prepare for potentially long lines. To handle the crowds, there will be more points of sale on the concourse.
"The enthusiasm is there. The demand is certainly there because when we put tickets on sale they were gone immediately," said Boyer.
Tickets are sold out, for now, but Boyer encourages fans to keep an eye on the White Sox website. He anticipates more tickets will be released closer to game day.
Inside the stadium, COVID protocols will apply. Masks are required inside but not out, in alignment with state and city guidance.
Street closures and heavy traffic are expected with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon also scheduled on Sunday, Oct. 10. Fans are encouraged to plan ahead, check street closures and take public transportation, if possible. Gates open two hours before the game.
Only prepaid parking will be accepted at Guaranteed Rate Field during the postseason. Parking lots open three hours before the start of the game.
All fans entering the ballpark will get a black rally towel, and the team is encouraging fans to wear black.
And no matter who fans typically cheer for, Boyer says "the bandwagon is open."
"Enjoy the ride with us," said Boyer.