Chicago alderman throws support behind South Loop White Sox Stadium
The alderman whose ward includes the South Loop parcel of land where the White Sox are said to be exploring the possibility of building a new stadium threw his weight behind the emerging idea Friday after meeting with developers of the proposed project.
I give birth. Pat Doyle III said in a statement that she met Friday with Redwest Midwest, which owns the vacant 62-acre parcel called 78. Its support for the prospective stadium as a “positive anchor” for the development, which it has long promised for the underutilized portion, brings critical support to the project.
“Assuming the financial details can be worked out, this development shows promise as a significant growth opportunity for the city of Chicago,” Doyle wrote.
But these details are no small obstacle. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been cool to the idea of public funding for stadium projects. The government agency that owns Grant Ritt Field, where the Sox now play, still owes about $50 million to build the stadium, which opened near 35th Street and Shields Avenue in 1991.
Doyle planned to meet with the developers on Thursday after news of the team’s potential move first emerged earlier this week, she said at the time.
With the White Sox in “serious” negotiations over the stadium, team owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Mayor Brandon Johnson met to discuss “the team’s ideas for remaining competitive in Chicago forever,” Reinsdorf and Johnson wrote Thursday in a joint statement.
I give birth. Nicole Lee, whose 11th Ward includes Guaranteed Rate Field, also met with representatives from the Sox and the associated Midwest on Friday, she wrote in a statement.
Although the potential stadium would be just blocks from her suite, the idea of the Sox leaving Bridgeport is “difficult to accept,” she wrote. However, the team and developers presented an “impressive vision” that included a mixed-use development alongside a football stadium.
“Discussions are ongoing, and as always, my top priority is working to solicit community input and amplify community benefits as we evaluate this proposal,” Lee wrote.
Doyle said Friday that planning is “at a very early stage in its process.” Concerns including traffic, noise and pedestrian access must be resolved before any playground can move forward, she wrote. She added that the upcoming stadium bodes well for the city.
“Adding great markets, affordable housing, retail, a world-class baseball stadium and a concert venue could be the kind of catalytic investment this city needs.”
Update: This story has been changed with new input from Ald. Nicole Lee.