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CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago White Sox’s next home could be a modern stadium in a ballpark village type of setting in the city’s South Loop, according to renderings released Wednesday by the team and the company that owns the land.
The pictures show an open-air ballpark surrounded by large green spaces and restaurants, businesses and residences on a 62-acre parcel called “The 78” that is owned by development firm Related Midwest. The ballpark would be closer to downtown and offer views of the city’s famed skyline, something the team’s current home at Guaranteed Rate Field on the South Side lacks.
The site at Roosevelt Road and Clark Street was one of several considered for a casino now planned for a different area of the city. There is nearby highway access as well as an “L” station serving several lines. The renderings show boats docked just outside the ballpark on the Chicago River and what looks like a water taxi passing by.
Guaranteed Rate Field would be redeveloped into a soccer stadium that could perhaps house the Chicago Fire if the Major League Soccer club moved from Soldier Field. Green spaces and restaurants, businesses and real casino slots for money residences would replace the sea of parking lots that surrounds the ballpark, according to the pictures.
The White Sox have called Guaranteed Rate Field their home since the ballpark opened in 1991. Before that, they played across the street at the now-demolished Comiskey Park from 1910 to 1990.
The White Sox´s lease at Guaranteed Rate Field, which is owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, expires after the 2029 season. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf acknowledged in late August the team would at least take a look at a new ballpark.
“It´s obvious, if we have six years left, I think that´s what it is, we´ve got to decide, what´s the future going to be?” he said then. “We´ll get to it, but I never threatened to move out. We haven´t even begun to have discussions with the Sports Authority, which we´ll have to do soon.”
The White Sox aren´t the only major Chicago team exploring a new home. The NFL´s Bears are mulling a move out of Soldier Field.
They closed last year on a 326-acre tract of land in suburban Arlington Heights that could become the site of an enclosed stadium. The team is also exploring options in Chicago, including building a new home on what is currently the south parking lot at Soldier Field, and listening to pitches from other towns in the area.
AP MLB: website show a modern stadium in a ballpark village could be the…
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