Manfred Endorses Reinsdorf Plan For A Chicago Riverfront Ballpark


Jerry Reinsdorf wants a new stadium for his White Sox business.

It is good to see that the Harvard Law School graduate and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is also a real estate expert. Manfred, who claimed that he knew nothing about the stadium negotiations between the Oakland Athletics’ owner John Fisher and the city of Oakland, is right on top of the deal that Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has with the city to build a new stadium closer to downtown. Except there is no deal, just a notion to relocate the White Sox ownership’s business to another part of town that would be closer to downtown Chicago on the riverfront. Reinsdorf even has a funding method for the stadium, using the two percent hotel tax that financed his present stadium that opened in 1991 and transfer that for his planned stadium. There is also a gadget named tax incremental financing that could be used. Simply it could kick a great percentage of local taxes generated within an area back to the developer who is building a project and needs financing.

Manfred said that the proposed stadium would be a game changer. A game changer for whom? Chicago? No, the business is in the city and moving to another neighborhood would bring money to that area and take money out of the south side area where the business has been located since 1910. Manfred in an interview with Crain’s Chicago Business said he supported the plan. What else is Manfred, who is employed by Reinsdorf, going to say? It’s terrible? Manfred repeated the White Sox owner’s claim that a new White Sox ballpark could be financed without any new taxes. Manfred said the proximity of the new ballpark to the city’s downtown would be a game-changer for the White Sox because baseball does well in downtown environments. It is very early in the stadium game in Chicago.

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Time to replace the old stadium