White Sox, Related in talks on new stadium at ‘The 78’

MLB team eyeing developer’s 62-acre parcel known as The 78 in South Loop

The Chicago White Sox are reportedly engaged in “serious” discussions about constructing a new stadium on the site known as “The 78” in the city’s South Loop. 

The team is in talks with developer Related Midwest for the possibility of building a baseball-only stadium on the 62-acre parcel, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, citing sources familiar with the discussions who requested anonymity.

The potential site at Roosevelt Road and Clark Street is owned by Related Midwest, and is one of Chicago’s largest undeveloped parcels. The talks will eventually involve the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, which owns and financed Guaranteed Rate Field, the current home of the White Sox. However, the authority has not yet been involved in initial conversations about the new stadium.

White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Mayor Brandon Johnson have met about the potential development. Their meeting occurred in the wake of an August report by Crain’s Chicago Business that the team was considering new stadium options — including potentially leaving Chicago — ahead of its 2029 lease expiration at its current ballpark Guaranteed Rate Field in the South Side’s Bridgeport neighborhood.

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“We met to discuss the historic partnership between the team and Chicago and the team’s ideas for remaining competitive in Chicago in perpetuity,” Reinsdorf and Johnson said in a joint statement.

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The 78 site is currently slated for a University of Illinois tech research center called Discovery Partners Institute. While there are concerns about space limitations, some believe both projects could coexist with proper planning, including mass transit access and a potential water taxi service.

Veteran stadium consultant Marc Ganis told the newspaper Related’s land is the “best undeveloped site” in Chicago. He drew parallels to successful mixed-use developments like Truist Park in Atlanta, home to the Braves. The potential move has implications for the Chicago Fire soccer team, as the publication’s sources suggested it could relocate to Guaranteed Rate Field if the White Sox move out.