April 21, 2024


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White Sox release statement amid Jerry Reinsdorf Stadium meetings – NBC Sports Chicago

White Sox release statement amid Jerry Reinsdorf Stadium meetings – NBC Sports Chicago

Amid news that the White Sox and Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf are visiting Springfield to request $1 billion in public funding for a new stadium at “The 78,” the team issued a statement in conjunction with the meeting they will hold on Tuesday.

“We recognize that discussions about The 78th serving as the future home of the Chicago White Sox have generated a lot of excitement about the positive economic impact potential of the larger project. We recognize and respect the legislative process and wanted to travel to Springfield to meet with legislative leaders in person. We are excited to share our vision, and appreciate Their time and hospitality.”

Another statement came from a relevant Midwest spokesperson.

“We appreciate the time lawmakers in Springfield gave us today. As we shared at the meetings, 78 is a generational development and investment in our city. This is personal to us, and we are excited at the prospect of delivering the city's next great neighborhood, while making a historic economic investment that will bring more than 10,000 construction jobs and 22,000 permanent jobs to our city and state. The long-term impact will be transformative – creating a new riverfront neighborhood anchored by a state-of-the-art ballpark for generations of fans to enjoy and helping to cement Chicago's position as a premier destination.

According to a recent and expanded report from Crane works in ChicagoReinsdorf is said to be confident in his chances of winning state approval for his complex financial plan to achieve the goal of building a brand-new Sox stadium, in collaboration with real estate firm Related Midwest, along the Chicago River.

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“Both [Reinsdorf and Related Midwest President Curt Bailey] “They are optimistic they can win state support by arguing that supporting the stadium will bring billions more in private investment, and the deal is structured in a way that does not require new or increased taxes,” the report says.

more: Jerry Reinsdorf willing to ask for $1 billion in public money for new stadium: report

The burden of the plan is to create special investment funds of housing, bars and restaurants, a 4,000-space parking garage and parks around the stadium from state support to provide funding back to the state.

The White Sox hope to use the 2% hotel occupancy fee—allocated to pay the ISFA [Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, a government entity used for constructing sports stadiums, including the White Sox’ Guaranteed Rate Field] Annual debt service on their bonds toward the White Sox stadium and the Bears' 2003 renovations to Soldier Field — “decades after all bonds due are currently supposed to be paid off in 2034.”

The report notes that the Bears — who are also requesting IFSA's help in building a new stadium in either Arlington Heights or the Chicago lakefront — have not met with the White Sox to develop a joint plan. The two teams will compete for the opportunity to collaborate with FIFA for their stadium plans.

The plan includes extending FIFA's bonds for 30 years, while adding a line of revenue through the private investments mentioned above, which should be sufficient to cover the stadium's initial capital, according to the report.

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“A new stadium is a very important driver of this investment, but it is a small component as an overall dollar amount for a project that will change the face of the city of Chicago in so many ways,” said a source involved in the meetings. Crane said.

Reinsdorf, according to the report, also wants to use sales tax generated from the surrounding area to not only support the stadium but also to allow for new IFSA bonds. According to the report, this sales tax will give Reinsdorf the funds to build a stadium while paying off FIFA's existing debt.

Of the $399 million that IFSA has funded for the Bears, $384 million is still outstanding.

The comprehensive and complex plan requires state approval, which will be the most difficult part of the plan. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, like other state politicians, is reluctant to use public funding for stadiums because it rarely generates positive profits for the city/state.

Last week, Pritzker indicated that he thought the designs for a potential new Sox stadium were beautiful, but said his administration would soon hold formal talks about the plans. The governor noted that the state needed to “be careful with public funds” while wondering aloud what kind of benefit the stadium would bring to the state.

The International Federation for Food Safety will certainly need to participate in signing the plan as well, because the amendments to its bonds are radical. The plan leaves the guaranteed price field missing, and they are on the hook to pay.

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If approved, it could be a massive turning point in Chicago's history.

Check back on this story for more updates

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