New Chicago Casino Could Be Placed Close To White Sox' Ballpark
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has put out a list of potential locations for a long-discussed casino in the city that "eventually could play into the long-term future of the White Sox," as one of the potential spots is city-owned land on the "other side of the freeway from Guaranteed Rate Field," according to Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com. If the casino were to land at that site, it "could turbocharge an area of Chicago that is already growing fast." But "a lot" is still unknown, with the "big item being the future owner." White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf is 83 years old and "no one ... in Chicago seems clear about what's supposed to happen when he's no longer around." There is a "tremendous amount of potential in the future of the White Sox, both on the field and as a commercial entity." The White Sox' deal with the state to "maintain the current ballpark" expires in '29. One goal of the ballpark's setup was to "make sure there is plenty of surface parking around the venue," so there is already an "ample supply of land" nearby. If the White Sox can control that land, it "could be developed for mixed use in much the way the Cubs have done in the north part of the city and the Atlanta Braves pulled off with the concurrent construction of SunTrust Field and The Battery." If the proposed casino does end up across from the ballpark, and the White Sox' rebuilding plan "pays off with a long run of contention, there is a real opportunity for someone to turn the franchise into a cash cow and to challenge the Cubs' seemingly unbreakable hold on the city" (ESPN.com, 7/19).