Meanwhile on the South Side: Who Gets to See the Sox Live?
Tickets are scarce if available at all, but at least we got good broadcasters
The 2020 season ended in disappointment for the White Sox, but the overwhelming feeling headed to 2021 is one of excitement. Even the tone-deaf hiring of Tony LaRussa can’t dampen the mood. Heck, TLR sounds like he is going to let the players be themselves and the party is going to keep rolling along on the South Side.
How much we get to enjoy that party is the question. As it stands, only season ticket holders will be in attendance for early games. Unlike the Cubs, there isn’t even a lottery for the chance at single-game tickets. If capacity goes up throughout the season, it seems logical non-season ticket holders will get a shot, but it is murky at best.
Since the White Sox don’t release how large (or small) the season ticket base is, we can only assume its size. Considering they advertise almost year-round for season ticket plans, it’s a safe bet the pool is small, especially compared to their neighbors. Which begs the question: Why can’t the White Sox do something similar as the Cubs for the hoi polloi?
What’s more, the season ticket holder base didn’t exactly show up for every game even in pre-COVID times. The difference between paid attendance and actual people in the stands could be comically disparate. After the first blush of Opening Day, are season ticket holders going to fill the pods or is the limited capacity going to go unfilled?
Since so much is unknown at this point, we don’t have a good idea of what the price of admission might eventually be. My guess is the holiday vouchers I have from 2020 won’t quite be enough. Since safety is a concern, seats will be sold in pods, meaning two to four tickets at a minimum and up to potentially eight seats together. Regardless of the final numbers, the joys of hitting a game solo probably aren’t happening for another year.
I suppose I could buy up a whole pod, but not only does that feel selfish, but it will also be pricey. If the recent drive-in concerts by Umphrey’s McGee are any indication, it might be upwards of $200 to get in the door. Just as it’s difficult to find many around me who share my love of jams bands, there are not three other members of my circle who would go to a White Sox game.
Even if getting to an actual game is remote for 2021, the gameday experience got a huge boost for the coming season in part thanks to the Cubs. In a surprising move, Len Kasper moved from one side of town to the other, out of TV and into the radio booth. This move across town by a beloved broadcaster probably won’t result in Kasper having a statue erected in his honor, but you never know. Regardless, bringing him in is a definite upgrade.
Andy Masur wasn’t bad, but Kasper is often ranked one of the best. Kind of like the Cubs hiring Joe Maddon, when such a chance presents itself, it must be taken. Along with Jason Bennetti and Steve Stone, the White Sox have gone from one of the worst broadcast teams in baseball to one of the best. The only bummer is it will be difficult to decide whether to listen to the radio or television broadcast, a problem that hasn’t confronted White Sox fans since about 2005.