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Here’s what the proposed new White Sox stadium would look like

And... it’s pretty cool.

Related Midwest

News broke a few weeks ago that the White Sox were proposing a new stadium be built in Chicago’s South Loop, near the corner of Clark & Roosevelt, as part of “The 78,” a new entier neighborhood that would be constructed on what is now vacant land.

Now, we have renderings of what that stadium might look like. One of the renderings is above. The skyline view such a ballpark would provide is pretty impressive.

Here are more renderings provided by Related Midwest, a Chicago real estate development company.

Related Midwest
Related Midwest
Related Midwest
Related Midwest

In the article I posted here a couple of weeks ago, linked above, I quoted MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred as saying this stadium could be a “game changer” for the White Sox and seeing those renderings, I have to agree. Presuming the stadium and surrounding neighborhood are built even close to what’s shown in the renderings, it will be a rebirth of the area south of Roosevelt Road, which has been neglected for decades. Of course, this is still likely many years away, and the Sox have a lease at Guaranteed Rate Field that runs through 2029, so we’re at least six years away from a stadium like this actually hosting the Sox.

It’s not our team’s ballpark, but this would be a good thing for the city of Chicago — with this caveat: Not. One. Penny. of public money should be spent on this stadium. Infrastructure? Sure, the city would need that anyway. I highly recommend this article by Neil DeMause at Field of Schemes, where he sums up the amount of property tax abatements that have been given to stadiums and arenas in the USA, writing about a book called Major League Sports and the Property Tax, by Geoffrey Propheter.

Here are the key paragraphs:

As of 2022, 79% of the 126 stadiums and arenas for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS were fully exempt from real property taxes, according to Propheter . . . the 105 current stadiums and arenas receiving tax breaks would have owed an additional $654.3 million in property taxes in 2022 if they’d paid like normal property owners . . .

. . . When Propheter extends those exemptions over the life of the buildings’ current leases, he comes up with a total public cost of about $18 billion (using a 3% discount rate for future value; it’s a bit less if you bump that up a couple points) that governments are handing over to sports team owners by letting them off the hook for full property tax payments on their current stadiums and arenas . . . Of that $18 billion in tax breaks, he calculates that $7.5 billion comes straight out of money for K-12 education, the most common use for property tax revenues.

Stunning. And yet another reason that if Jerry Reinsdorf wants these lovely ballpark renderings to become reality, he should pay for it privately.

As always, we await developments.