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ChiSox backlash over lounge name

CHICAGO - MAY 16: Manager Tony La Russa #22 of the Chicago White Sox looks on against the Kansas City Royals on May 16, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

(CHICAGO) — The Chicago White Sox facing backlash over their decision to rename a lounge at the ballpark, which had been named “Loretta’s Lounge” to honor Loretta Michele, a longtime concessions employee.

Micele’s family is upset with the club for replacing her name in favor of current manager Tony La Russa and claim they were not notified.

The food area is now called “La Russa’s Lounge” and the team says the changes were made following the 2019 season. Fans were not allowed to attend regular season games in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Prior to Tony La Russa becoming manager, a space that had been named after La Russa for many seasons was relocated to the current area on the 100 level during the 2020 season,” the team said in a statement. “Loretta Micele has always been a treasured member of the White Sox family and a plaque in her honor remains in the space to honor her memory despite the name change. As we say in the plaque, Loretta was a dedicated concession stand staff member known for her service with a smile attitude.”

Michele worked for the team for 60 years at old Comiskey Park, and the club’s current stadium, Guaranteed Rate Field, before her death in 2014.

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