Real estate developer Related Midwest has released renderings of a proposed new stadium for Major League Baseball’s Chicago White Sox in the South Loop neighbourhood of the city.
Reports emerged last month that the White Sox were in “serious talks” over building a new stadium. Related Midwest, which owns the site on which the stadium would be built, has now revealed a series of conceptual images of the proposed development.
Related Midwest said the project, dubbed The 78, would be a catalyst for the creation of Chicago’s “next great neighbourhood” and create tens of thousands of permanent and construction jobs. The 78 refers to the land’s potential to become Chicago’s 78th official community area.
The stadium would form part of a wider development, with renderings also showing several new high-rise buildings in the backdrop of the ballpark. The images also show a riverwalk running alongside the stadium and a pedestrian plaza.
The White Sox currently play at Guaranteed Rate Field in the Bridgeport area of Chicago. The team’s lease at the stadium expires in 2029, and in August a report claimed that the franchise was reviewing its options.
Guaranteed Rate Field has a capacity of 40,615 and has served as the home of the White Sox since opening in 1991. The stadium is located on 35th Street and is owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.
Although Related Midwest does not own the land at 35th Street, it has released conceptual renderings of how the land around Guaranteed Rate Field could look once developed.
“We knew there would be questions about 35th St. use, so we put together conceptual ideas, understanding there would be a robust community process to determine the best use for this land,” the company said in a statement.
Discussions have taken place regarding the potential repurposing of Guaranteed Rate Field into a home for Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, which currently plays at Soldier Field, primarily the home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
Related Midwest’s renderings of Guaranteed Rate Field display the venue in soccer mode and also include green spaces, restaurants and residential space.
The White Sox are not the only Chicago team considering building a new stadium, with the Bears also assessing the possibility of a move away from Soldier Field. The City of Chicago is trying to keep the Bears at Soldier Field, which opened in 1924.