Baseball: Happy camping at U.S. Cellular Field June 29-30

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

I think it’s safe to say one of the things people enjoy about camping is the challenge of finding the perfect campsite. Some people prefer a secluded setting, or perhaps just the right view of the lake might be a priority to others.

Neither of those things will be available at U.S. Cellular Field this Friday night, June 29, and still hundreds of Chicago White Sox fans will plop down a hefty fee ($200 for adults and $125 for children age 13 and younger) to pitch their tents on the outfield grass for the “White Sox Campout” presented by the Outdoor Channel and XFINITY and Bass Pro Shops.

Fans can get into the park starting at 5:30 p.m. and stake out their little piece of heaven in the outfield. Instead of roasting marshmallows and singing campfire songs, they’ll be treated to a broadcast of the Sox versus Yankees game live from New York on the video boards inside the park. Campers will also receive a goody bag, dinner, late-night snack and breakfast on Saturday morning.

There are also a few rules you won’t find at most other conventional campgrounds. Maximum tent size is 10 feet by 10 feet. Chairs of any kind will not be allowed. Sleeping bags only — no cots or inflatable mattresses are allowed.

Additional rules: No smoking in the stadium, no pets allowed, no campfires, no coolers and no chairs (lawn, camp, bean bag, etc.).

All food and soft drinks will be provided; therefore, no coolers will be necessary or permitted. Beer will be sold on a limited basis. Absolutely no alcoholic beverages are allowed to be brought into the stadium. All U.S. Cellular Field rules will apply during the event. Quiet time will be enforced at 11:30 p.m.

Campers will not be allowed to sleep in, either. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m., and everyone is required to leave the ballpark/campground by 8 a.m.

As fun as all of that sounds, I think my daughter and I will look for something a little less regulated and a lot closer to an actual campground. Besides, if it rains this weekend, we can always pack up and head for higher and drier ground, and I won’t be out $325. That makes me a happy camper!

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the June 27-July 3, 2012, issue

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