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Report: White Sox in ‘serious’ discussions about building new ballpark in Chicago’s South Loop

Guaranteed Rate Field

Sep 30, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Michael Wacha (52) delivers a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Kamil Krzaczynski/Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox are in “serious” discussions with the owner of a plot of land in the city’s South Loop about building a new ballpark a few miles north of their longtime home at Guaranteed Rate Field, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The Sun-Times, citing sources familiar with the talks, reported that the team and developer Related Midwest were discussing building a baseball-only stadium on an undeveloped, 62-acre parcel closer to downtown known as “The 78.”

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 White Sox and mayor Brandon Johnson issued a statement saying they are working together to keep the team in Chicago, though there were no mentions of a stadium.

“Mayor Brandon Johnson and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf met to discuss the historic partnership between the team and Chicago and the team’s ideas for remaining competitive in Chicago in perpetuity,” the statement said. “The partnership between the City and the team goes back more than a century and the Johnson administration is committed to continuing this dialogue moving forward.”

The White Sox have called Guaranteed Rate Field on the South Side 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. 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.