Chicago White Sox

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf meets with Nashville mayor amid stadium questions

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The Chicago White Sox have called the South Side home for more than a century, but as the team evaluates its future, they are apparently weighing all options.

The team is locked into a lease at Guaranteed Rate Field for at least the next five seasons, but beyond that, other options could be on the table, including moving to another location in the city, or even moving elsewhere.

On Wednesday, the White Sox confirmed that team owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who is in Nashville for baseball's winter meetings, met with Mayor Freddie O'Connell. That news had first been reported by Politico's Shia Kapos earlier Wednesday.

The team did not confirm what the two had discussed during the meeting, but there have been rumblings this year about the White Sox, as well as other MLB teams, looking at Nashville as a potential option for a stadium.

In early August, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the White Sox would consider moving out of Guaranteed Rate Field, as their lease expires at the conclusion of the 2028 season.

While the White Sox have said that no specific conversations have taken place, Crain’s also reported that the club would consider multiple options, including moving to Nashville.

“We have not had any conversations about our lease situation,” team spokesman Scott Reifert told Crain’s. “With six years remaining, it is naturally nearing a time where discussions should begin to take place. The conversations would be with the city, ISFA and the state, and most likely would be about vision, opportunities and the future.”

Currently, the White Sox pay rent to the state of Illinois for usage of Guaranteed Rate Field. The state of Illinois is responsible for “capital repairs” within the ballpark, according to terms of that lease.

State taxpayers owe $50 million on the bonds used to construct the stadium, and those funds still need to be retired.

The lease is set to expire following the conclusion of the 2028 season, and as a result, the White Sox are reportedly exploring their options when it comes to their future home.

In August, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the White Sox would consider a retractable-roof ballpark within the city, and that they could consider options outside of the South Side.

Nightengale’s report indicated that the team could potentially take a look at sites near the United Center, where the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks play. Jerry Reinsdorf also owns the Bulls, and could look to move the Sox to the West Side.

Another potential option? Soldier Field, as the White Sox will reportedly keep tabs on what ends up happening with the Chicago Bears as they mull their options for their future home.

The Bears have purchased land in Arlington Heights, with the intention of building a stadium there. However, the Bears have remained in communication with the city of Chicago about potentially remaining at Soldier Field in some capacity, and as a result, the White Sox could even look to move to Arlington Heights if the Bears decide to remain within city limits.

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