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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Daryl Van Schouwen

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf meets with Nashville mayor

(AP Photos)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsforf met with Nashville mayor Freddie O’Connell while baseball’s winter meetings were taking place this week, the club confirmed Wednesday. But the Sox will have nothing more to say on details of the get-together, spokesman Scott Reifert said.

The Sox’ lease at Guaranteed Rate Field expires in six years, and this summer Reinsdorf shot down a report that Nashville was being explored as potential landing spot for his team, which has been based in Chicago since 1901.

“I’ve been reading about I’ve been threatening to move to Nashville,” Reinsdorf said in August. “That article didn’t come from me. But if we have six years left, we’ve got to decide what’s the future going to be? 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 Sox lease Guaranteed Rate Field from the Illinois Sports Facility Authority.

Most people in the baseball industry don’t see major league baseball approving a move by the Sox to Nashville, which wants an expansion team. But any reported action by Reinsdorf suggesting intent to or exploration of moving the Sox will attract attention.

O’Connell has stood against private funding for a hypothetical major league baseball stadium. In his recent race for mayor, he took a hard stance against a $2.1 billion stadium deal for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.

“Mayor O’Connell did not share anything with [Reinsdorf] that he hasn’t previously said publicly,” a spokesman for O’Connell told Axios, a Nashville news outlet.

With their lease expiring after the 2029, the Sox are known to be in the exploring stage for a new ballpark, possibly near Soldier Field or the United Center in the city or Arlington Heights in the northwest suburbs. The Bears purchased land in Arlington Heights with the intention of building a stadium there.

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