Will White Sox stay in sweet home Chicago or go down on Nashville’s Music Row?
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Could the Chicago White Sox be moving to Nashville?
It’s possible, according to a report from Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business.
Hinz notes the White Sox lease on its home ballpark, Guaranteed Rate Field, expires in six years and that the team’s 87-year-old owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, may consider selling his ownership of the baseball team to focus on his controlling interest in the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.
“We have not had any conversations about our lease situation, but with six years remaining, it is naturally nearing a time where discussions should begin to take place,” White Sox spokesperson Scott Reifert said in a statement to the media. “The conversations would be with the city, ISFA (Illinois Sports Facilities Authority), and the state and most likely would be about vision, opportunities and the future.”
However, options exist for the White Sox to remain in Chicago with a new stadium in the city or in the suburbs. A proposal to move Bridgeport, Illinois, is serious enough that one unnamed Chicago developer is preparing a bid, according to Hinz.
In a poll from The Athletic, Nashville was the top pick by Major League Baseball players as the top possible expansion city. Other possible relocation or expansion cities include Montreal; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Portland, Oregon.
Several groups have pushed for an MLB team to either be awarded to Nashville, or to lure a current team to relocate to the Volunteer State, with the Music City Baseball ownership group spearheading those efforts.
The White Sox moved into Guaranteed Rate Field in 1991 after spending 80 years at Comiskey Park, which had been located across the street. The park is owned by the Illinois state government, which financed the construction costs of the stadium to the tune of $137 million, according to the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. Taxpayers still owe roughly $50 million on the bonds issued to construct the stadium, according to the Crain’s report.