The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority (ISFA) retained GHA to evaluate the existing conditions both internally and externally at US Cellular Field (now Guaranteed Rate Field). Since opening in 1991, the lower levels, dugouts, and bullpens of GRF (home of the Chicago White Sox), have experienced chronic flooding issues. ISFA then requested GHA design stormwater management and pump upgrades to reduce the likelihood of flooding at events which can affect upwards of 50,000 people attending.

All work was completed in the off-season and was confined to a 12’ wide workspace inside the stadium to protect the turf. A new 18” diameter storm sewer with perforations was installed from first base, around home plate, down to the left field corner and out to center field. The line was then installed under the stadium out to the players parking lot to an underground vault storage system. A 30” diameter steel casing pipe was augered and jacked under the four grade beams in the center field causeway. This new storm sewer intercepted field drainage and directed it away from the existing internal pumps that could not keep up with the flow from the field and stands.

GHA provided full time construction observation and communicated daily with staff from the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority and Chicago White Sox. Undocumented utilities were encountered and incorporated successfully into the project on a regular basis.