Three Separate Chicago Franchises Want Public Money To Build Three Sports Venues

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Chicago Red Stars

Where does the money come from?

Chicago, Chicago that toddlin’ town has become the epicenter in the seemingly never-ending well-heeled sports owners’ quest for public funds to build stadiums that are designed for wealthy patrons who have no problems spending money on the product whether it is Chicago Bears’ football, Chicago White Sox’s baseball or Chicago Red Stars’ women’s soccer. A billion here, a billion there starts adding add up and there is the question how much money should Chicago and Illinois taxpayers’ hand out to Jerry Reinsdorf, the White Sox’s owner, to the McCaskey family, the Chicago Bears’ owners or Laura Ricketts, who is part of the Red Stars’ ownership group. Governor J.B. Pritzker is “a bit reluctant” about using taxpayer dollars to finance not just one stadium but three stadiums. The Red Stars’ ownership wants a seat at the table when the discussion begins on how many billions should go to the teams. Reinsdorf wants a stadium-village closer to downtown Chicago.

The Bears’ CEO Kevin Warren has indicated that the McCaskey family is looking at putting a stadium in the Soldier Field south parking lot after an attempt to build a stadium-village on land owned by the McCaskeys in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights hit a roadblock because of the property tax assessment on the parcel. The Bears’ ownership felt the tax was too high for its liking and suddenly turned back to Chicago. The Ricketts led Red Stars ownership is looking at areas around the Chicagoland area that might make sense to the group where the group can be successful with its business venture. Ricketts’ business uses a Bridgeview, Illinois stadium that was built with taxpayers’ assistance for Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire franchise and opened in 2006. The Fire franchise bought out its Bridgeview, Illinois lease and left the stadium after the 2019 season to go back to Chicago.

J. B. Pritzker

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