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SBD/June 14, 2012/Facilities
Sources Say Bulls' Move To New Practice Facility Is Tied To Entertainment Complex Deal
Published June 14, 2012
NO SWEETHEART DEALS: In Chicago, Fran Spielman notes Emanuel yesterday "did not rule out an extension of the lucrative property tax break." The mayor said he would “represent the taxpayers and make sure they’re not taken to the cleaners” to help a professional sports franchise. Emanuel: “There will be no sweetheart deals and there has been no discussion. This was purely bringing the Bulls home in the off-season to sweet home Chicago. You are a Chicago basketball team. What are you doing practicing in Deerfield?” He added, "I’m glad that the Bulls are expanding. I’m glad they’re gonna spend $95 million. I’m glad they’re gonna create jobs, and I’m glad they’re moving the Bulls back. But that doesn’t mean you get what you got before." Spielman notes the Bulls have "outgrown the 20-year-old Berto Center and are searching for ways to consolidate team offices and reduce commuting times for players." The Bulls also said that a new facility "could be used for other things, including events and educational space" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/14). In Illinois, Mike McGraw noted the Bulls are "expecting to use the Berto Center for at least two more years" (DAILYHERALD.com, 6/13).
GIVE A LITTLE, TAKE A LITTLE: In Chicago, Mark Brown writes, "Of all Chicago’s sports team owners, Reinsdorf has always been the most politically adept at getting his way." Sources said that Reinsdorf’s commitment to Emanuel "to build a Chicago practice facility has no connection to the development plan, although the new gym might be included as part of it." Sources added that there is "no connection to the Cubs’ hopes of obtaining a break on future amusement taxes to fix up Wrigley Field." But Brown writes it is "all connected, of course, in ways that have yet to be completely revealed to us" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/14).