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White Sox: ‘A number of factors’ contributed to slow entry into U.S. Cellular Field



CHICAGO IL - MARCH 31:  Fans gather for Opening Day game between Chicago White Sox MinnesotTwins U.S. Cellular Field

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 31: Fans gather for the Opening Day game between the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on March 31, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Updated: March 31, 2014 5:39PM

For many fans heading into U.S. Cellular Field Monday to catch the White Sox-Twins Opening Day matchup, their entrance would be delayed well into the game.

The White Sox attributed the slow entry to several factors, including the large crowd and tailgating outside the ballpark that lends itself to large numbers entering en masse at the last minute.

“There were no lines at the gates at 2:40 and then there were crowds soon after,’’ said Scott Reifert, Sox senior vice president for communications, said.

“Our ballpark operations personnel constantly monitor all of the gates at U.S. Cellular Field. Once the backlog began, we re-directed some fans to different gates and even held other fans north of 35th street, sending them to Gate 5 rather than Gate 3. It seemed that the issue was resolved for most fans by the third inning.

“As part of our communications with fans last week, we did ask them to arrive early, citing, in part, these new policies, and general traffic, parking and crowd issues common on Opening Day. These recommendations were released to the media, were emailed to our season ticket holders and were posted on our website.

“The best recommendation we continue to provide to make is to get into the ballpark early.’’

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