I like that Journey song Don't Stop Believin.
That is, I liked that song.
Now, it might as well be Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Good Bye.
The Welfare Sox have ruined a good rock ballad by adopting it as their own.
I heard it at a Hallowe'en party and almost wanted to leave.
And now Ozzie Guillen and Jerry Reinsdorf are coming to Springfield tomorrow to dominate the day.
I know Rich Miller is excited about it, and congratulations to Gabe Lopez and anyone else who worked to make this happen.
But enough already!
Then again, it is entirely appropriate that the Welfare Sox come to the General Assembly, since we state taxpayers are basically part owners of the club.
We built their stadium and we don't charge them rent, unless they sell enough tickets.
Yes, a privately-held partnership (the Chicago White Sox) gets a rent-free stadium. Rent free! Unless they have a good year. Then they are good enough to pay something.
And if the Welfare Sox (owned by a bunch of rich people) won't pay nearly enough rent to cover the cost of constructing the stadium, who pays for it?
$37 million a year from the state budget goes to the landlord, the Illinois Sports Facility Authority. (According to this site from the Illinois Policy Institute -- those corporate-funded think tanks can do some good research. . . .)
And a 1.97% tax on Chicago hotels, which makes our region less competitive for tourism and for conventions that generates around $23 million a year.
For a good breakdown on the Illinois Sports Facility Authority that hosts the Welfare Sox, check out this brief from the Metro Chicago Information Center.
At least the White Sox' lease is up in 2011. So we can say it's time to charge $10 million a year in rent on a ballclub worth $350 million. And if that's too much, I'm sure some other team would love to play in Chicago for that price.
Will Jerry Reinsdorf thank the taxpayers tomorrow in his General Assembly speech for making he and his partners far wealthier? Don't Stop.....Believing......