Jerry Reinsdorf, a billionaire known for his real estate ventures and sports team ownership, has requested $1 billion from the state of Illinois for a new stadium for the Chicago White Sox. With Chicago facing underfunded schools, dilapidated infrastructure and homelessness, should the state give $1 billion to a billionaire?

The core complaint with the deal is the amount of money involved, and Reinsdorf is still receiving funds from the state for the new Comiskey Park, now Guaranteed Rate Field, built in 1991. He is owed $50 million from the Illinois Sports Facility Authority for a stadium built 33 years ago. He is also scheduled to receive $589 million for 2002 renovations to the iconic Soldier Field.

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Reinsdorf is not alone among billionaires who ask for public money for sports arenas. The owner of the Kansas City Royals is asking for a new baseball stadium, which is not sited in a vacant area but in the Crossroads Arts District, a place with thriving small businesses that would be razed.

Critics argue that with pressing issues like underfunded schools, crumbling infrastructure and homelessness in Chicago, Reinsdorf’s request for public funds is misplaced. They point out that the city spent $138 million on migrant care, with $59 million coming from taxpayers, and faces challenges like overcrowded schools and budget overruns in the police department.

Studies suggest that public funding for sports stadiums often fails to deliver promised economic benefits. A study from the Michigan Journal of Economics called “Cities Should Not Pay For New Stadiums” details how the costs to build a stadium do not bring equivalent benefits to the local economy.

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White Sox fans also question whether a team with such lackluster performance warrants a new stadium. Complaints include hiring aging manager Tony La Russa and Reinsdorf’s mismanagement of the team.

In light of these factors, many question why Reinsdorf, with his resources, needs help to fund the project himself. Some suggest he could sell the Bulls to finance the stadium. Others argue that Guaranteed Rate Field (the current Chicago White Sox stadium), with its convenient location and amenities, is perfectly suitable, especially after renovations that would cost substantially less than a new building.

The debate over public funding for sports stadiums is not new, but Reinsdorf’s case highlights the tensions between billionaire owners seeking public subsidies and communities facing urgent needs. As discussions continue, the outcome will not only impact the future of the White Sox but also raise broader questions about public priorities and private interests in the world of sports.

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This article Billionaire Owner Of Chicago Bulls And White Sox Jerry Reinsdorf Asks The State Of Illinois For $1 Billion To Build Stadium — Meanwhile, Schools Are Underfunded And Homelessness Crisis Continues originally appeared on

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