Goodbye Bridgeport?

Back in August I mentioned in an article about the Chicago White Sox making changes in the front office that there was talk of the team moving out of Chicago to Nashville, TN that I did not see that ever happening. In fact, I said that I could see a world where Jerry Reinsdorf teamed up with the Wirtz family and built a Sports Complex like the ones in Cleveland and Philadelphia right here in the city to keep the Bears from moving to Arlington Heights.

Well, according to Jamie Nesbitt Golden’s wrote an article for Block Club Chicago a couple weeks ago saying that the White Sox are in “serious” talks to do just that over by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) campus.  As a Chicagoan who grew up in a split family of White Sox and Cubs fans this I see this as the best solution since there are repairs needed to Comiskey Park which is owned by the State of Illinois, not the Reinsdorf family. Since there is no land in Bridgeport where the park resides for them to do what they did back in the early 1990s building the new park directly across the street of the old one.

Now, do not misunderstand me I realize that Reinsdorf could just as easily have serious talks to get the repairs done to the current stadium. However, I believe he is having these talks to build a new ballpark near Little Italy and UIC/Halsted Blue Line are happening in an effort to keep the Chicago Bears in the city.

Here’s the thing folks: It is probably too late to involve the Bears and a sports complex likely won’t happen. This does not mean moving the White Sox over there would be a bad idea. It would tare apart Chicago’s booming Bridgeport neighborhood where Ramova Theatre recently opened because the White Sox have played there since 1910. That said, moving them slightly north would maybe get more baseball fans coming to games since it would put them closer to a more touristy part of our fine city.

Taring the neighborhood the White Sox have been in for 114 years and will be there at least 119 years since their lease for Guaranteed Rate expires at the conclusion of 2028.  No matter what that is longer than the Cubs went between championships and would not be the end of the world because the White Sox would be only two and half miles outside of the neighborhood they’ve built. It would also give the city an extra venue to use for concerts and other events therefore potentially drawing more tourists since it is just two blocks from the CTA Red Line at 35th Street.

Let’s also consider the support voiced when Rob Manfred MLBs Commissioner was asked in an interview about the potential of the White Sox moving to a new stadium here in Chicago and said, “I’m supportive, a new facility could be a game changer for the White Sox.” Watch the slideshow below to see a summary of the story and some of his other comments.

With that… only time will tell if the White Sox are leaving Bridgeport.

If you cannot play with them, then root for them!

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