As a reminder to ourselves that our duty as “Voices of the Fan” for our beloved White Sox is to talk ballpark, baseball, bullshit, etc. I’ll review, the 5, the Gates of Entry to the ballpark.
5. Gate 4 – As MySoxSummer would say, this is where the “fancy people” enter the ballpark. I’ve personally only entered through this gate once and they looked at me like a bailiff eye-ball fucking a parolee. It’s not a race thing, Chorizy-E and I just look like we might be no good. Despite the fact that we have comfortable white collar jobs, you’d never know that by sitting with us at a game. This gate is also right out in the front of the ball park at the corner of 35th and Shields, so you have tons of people meandering around, so navigating this gate is actually much tougher than it would seem. Most of the meanderers look like they could use a shower, or at least some Axe body spray and that’s just the ladies. Regardless, since we aren’t really ever allowed into this gate, it rates last. I suppose if the White Sox ever extended the Olive Basket and invited me to some games where this was the best gate for me to use, it might move up the rankings. You might even see a little “BeefLoaf Was Here” carved into faux stone wall right there near the entrance. But alas, no such gesture has been made, so it will sit comfortably here at numero (that’s “number” for you non-romance language speakers) five.
4. Gate 1 – This is actually a good gate, but it’s rarely ever open to the ordinary patron. I believe they allow the patio party folks into the ballpark via this entrance. This gate actually most reminds me of going to jury duty, because each courthouse has a gate that sort of looks like this. We 108’ers occassionally enter this way on weekends when there is an overflow crowd, it’s actually a very non-descript entrance, but the cement stairs lead you right up into the concourse in right center field, which is hella close to the 108 and is actually very convenient for us. If this gate were open all the time, it would be our go to, it is pretty well concealed. One issue with this gate is they only have 2 lines, so if you get a MySoxSummer or a WallyMoney$$$ ahead of you in line it could be awhile before they search through their massive sacks of goodies and actually get to you and allow you into the ballpark to enjoy an ice cold Modelo.
3. Gate 2 – The 108’ers as a group have probably entered through Gate 2 more than any other gate, due to the old Slumpbuster / NiceShotNurse parking lot tailgates of yesteryear. Back in those days we’d have our late entry, but we’d just stroll directly into the park via Gate 2, because everyone would be in the ballpark by then. In recent years Gate 2 has become the most cocked up gate there is. As the level of White Sox operations staff has decreased in its efficiency, Gate 2 has been the worse recepient. They must put the folks at this Gate that are the most junior or possibly just the ones that give the least of a fuck. Regardless, Gate 2 should have lots of promise as an entry gate, but it doesn’t. You’d think that the Gate that spits the 108’ers out RIGHT. AT. OUR. SEATS. would rate higher, but it just doesn’t. It’s still the “Nuts” (sorry, this is poker parlance for “the Best” aka an “unbeatable hand”) as a gate to leave the ballpark for the 108’ers as the folks manning the exits always have a smile and say nice things and even ignore our obvious and reckless levels of intoxication. In fact on Sundays, you can see yours truly, the BeefLoaf and the lovely Bonita Steakie “racing” down the ramp to the Gate 2 exit, where the ‘Loaf summarily loses and needs to hit his inhaler before strolling back to Casa de BeefLoaf to prepare for the #SundaySoak.
2. Gate 5 – This gate is solid, the folks here even helped Chorizy-E and BeefLoaf locate XL throwback jerseys for one of the more iconic 108 photos. There are also a lot of lines to get in through gate 5 so you can usually move fairly expeditiously. I won’t get into some of the “tricks” that some folks are able to pull at Gate 5 because of the high level of lines / entrances. We’ll save that for a later post by folks that actually do those sorts of things. This is also a gate where you might run into a slightly intoxicated (read HIGHLY INTOXICATED) @cmmarysz or @dirrty862 as you enter the ballpark and chat for a bit on your way in, either about White Sox stuff or not. This entrances does offer that level of serendipity as you have lots of folks who were recently tailgating jumping in line and possibly realizing they forgot their tickets back in the car. This gate also has the option to use the escalator or ramp (the 108’ers primarily escalate). Also, if you use this as an exit gate, you can most definitely hit ChiSox Bar and Grill (although the grill part will be closed 8 seconds into your stay because half priced appetizers are a good advertising tool, but not necessarily something the proprietar wants to dish out in vast numbers). The downside of this gate is that it is a LONG fuggin’ walk inside the park to get to the 108. No offense against the reader here, as most of the folks that read our posts are courteous fans who get through the concourse quickly or who get in line expeditiously, but navigating the concourse between where Gate 5 spits us out and the 108 seems to take FOREVER. Even Chorizy-E (Costanza) who effortlessly weaves in and out of concourse traffic can’t stand entering through this gate on a crowded day because of this issue. There will be a future post on concourse ettiquette, it has to happen, as most people are so fucking oblivious to other humans that it creates chaos, but for now, let’s just say that people need to STAY WOKE in the concourse.
1. Gate 3 – The winner and still champion (despite a hotly contested final scorecard and Teddy Atlas going berserk post fight) is Gate 3. Gate 3 has 2 full entrances AND several lines. It also has a set of lines that “look like” they are going somewhere special, but really don’t, so if you have a neck tattoo, or if you are a pregnant lady tryna chug down that last few swallows of Corona before hitting the gate, don’t fret, Gate 3 is for you also. Another perk of Gate 3 is that depending on the flow of where people are parking, the southern most side of Gate 3 might be completely fucking empty, while the northern side has a substantial line. It is weird, but does often happen. This is most likely to occur on a non-Sunday, or some reason, on Sunday’s the lines are fucked up on both sides. This entrance also has both an escalator and a ramp, so you can choose your mode of transportation up to your destinated level. The staff at this gate is also the best, they usher you to the shortest line and they get you through the fucking line fast. I assume that despite being on the West side of the ballpark that this might be the most patroned gate, as the staff here seems to do the best job. One thing to note, if you are a giveaway hound like our very own MySoxSummer, this might NOT be the best gate for you. This gate is highly traveled and although you can get in quick, this gate usually is out of giveaways (ie, Chorizy-E and I basically never get to a game early, unless a Yoan Moncada or something is making their debut and we’ve never gotten a giveaway late at this gate, kapish!). This gate also has the happy medium of being close to the 108’ers seats but minimizing the outside vs. inside walking time. I should stuff the suggestion box and ask the White Sox to operate all the gates as smoothly as Gate 3, but truth be told, they won’t listen, so hopefully you have listened to the BeefLoaf, so you can get into the ballpark most expeditiously…..
In closing, choose the Gate that serves your needs the best. If you are looking to randomly see some old (read intoxicated) friends, I suggest Gate 5. If you are trying to get into the ballpark with the least hassle, try a Gate 3. If you are in no rush and want to walk the ramps, old school style, take a Gate 2.
I’d love to hear your feedback on Gate entry, tweet at me at @fromthe108!