Renderings of the White Sox' hypothetical new stadium at "The 78" just outside downtown Chicago's South Loop area have been released, exclusive to WGN.
Included in the renderings is the "Project Impact" the stadium is expected to benefit the city of Chicago. In it, it projects 5 million annual visitors, a $9 billion investment in Chicago, $4 billion stabilized annual economic impact, 32,000 jobs, 1,000 affordable units, $200 million annual tax revenue, 10+ acres of space for the community and 1,300 residential units.
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For what it's worth, the White Sox' move to "The 78" remains as speculation.
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf issued a joint statement to NBC Chicago on the report, saying that both entities have been engaged in discussions about the team’s future home. The statement did not offer specifics on the proposed South Loop project.
“Mayor Brandon Johnson and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf met to discuss the historic partnership between the team and Chicago and the team’s ideas for remaining competitive in Chicago in perpetuity,” the statement read. “The partnership between the city and the team goes back more than a century and the Johnson administration is committed to continuing this dialogue moving forward.”
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker was asked about the potential stadium move in a press conference recently. He didn't add any substance to the conversations or acknowledge moving parts in the hypothetical move.
“Nobody’s made an ask yet. Having said that, I think you know my views on privately owned teams, and whether the public should be paying for private facilities that will be used for private business,” he said. “Having said that, there are things that government does to support business all across the state, investing in infrastructure and ensuring the success of business in Illinois,” he added.
"The 78" is a 62-acre area was created from a landfill project to straighten the South Branch of the Chicago River that ran from the 1910s to the 1920s. Back then, the space was used as a rail yard. According to “The 78”’s development website, in the 1970s the rail lines were removed and the space was vacant by 1977.
Former Chicago mover and shaker Tony Rezko bought the land in 2001 and had plans for mixed-use development, but those plans never went anywhere. Development group Related Midwest bought the property in 2016. They’ve already made plans to develop other big projects on the site, like the University of Illinois’ Discovery Partners Institute.
It's located in the South Loop, bounded by Roosevelt Rd. to the north, Clark St. to the east and the Chicago River on the west. It runs to just about Ping Tom Park to the south.
Three CTA lines stop right at Roosevelt and State Street, just a couple of blocks east of the property: the red line, green line and orange lines. Several bus lines also provide close access to the area: the 3, 4, 12, 18, 24, 29, 62, 130, 146 and 157 lines. For fans who want a ride down the river, there is also a water taxi stop at Ping Tom Park.
For everything you need to know about the White Sox’ potential move to the area, check out our coverage here.
Check back to this story for more updates.