View Full Version : Write the Illinois Sports Facility Authority...tell them what you think.

02-10-2003, 06:20 AM
Hey everyone...I've written an e-mail to Dan Polvere with the Illinois Sports Facility Authority, and told him how I felt about all of this news about the ISFA not signing onto this U.S. Cellular deal. Here's a snipet of what I said...

While I respect the business side of this merger, as well as the need for all parties involved to have satisfactory results, but before any decision is made, please allow me to make one recommendation. We, the White Sox fans, have been complaining for YEARS about the blandness, and simple lack of fan intimacy of Comiskey Park. I personally have been griping about the steepness and height of the upper deck, just like many other fans. It seemed like we finally had a reason to be excited about the ballpark when this deal was formally announced since we knew how the money in this deal was going to be used. As much grief as Jerry Reinsdorf has taken from fans, whether justified or not, he definitely deserves praise for his efforts to correct a wrong that has caused many fans to stay away from Comiskey Park in droves. Now...there's a chance that effort could be wiped out.

I as a reporter will remain impartial on this issue. It is my job to report the facts from all sides of the story. However, as a White Sox fan, I cannot help but express my disappointment and concern that the efforts Mr. Reinsdorf usurped to get a deal done to improve my favorite team's stadium could be done away with. I sincerely hope the 7-member board will allow this deal to go through...as we fans will be glad our ballpark will finally get the improvements it so desperately needs. While we will cheer for our team regardless of the ballpark they play in, it will be a source of team pride and unity for us Sox fans if our ballpark could be placed within the upper accolades of others such as Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Coors Field, The Ballpark in Arlington, and other new ballparks that capture the retro-style of baseball stadiums. Ever since Oriole Park in Baltimore went up, Comiskey Park has been the subject of constant criticisms from local residents to national writers. Now...the White Sox finally have a chance to correct their publicly-acknowledged error. As a reporter, I'll tell you it doesn't matter to me what decision the board makes...I'll report on that decision objectively. However, as a White Sox fan, I plead with your organization not to ruin this rare opportunity to fix an obvious problem with privately-raised funds, and not taxpayer dollars. Another opportunity like this may not happen again for a long time.

If any of you would like to write the ISFA, write to Dan Polvere at Dan@ISFAuthority.com. Maybe if there is a strong presence of fans who want to hold the ISFA's "feet to the fire" they may go ahead and sign onto this deal. The bottom line is simple...we Sox fans want a quality ballpark that we can be proud of. Of course, we want a winning team to play in it, but we're tired of complaining about the upper deck, the blandness of the place, and the constant comparisons to other new and older ballparks who have more charm in their bathrooms than Comiskey Park has in its whole place.

02-10-2003, 11:30 AM
You're making a big deal out of nothing. They just need to sign on the dotted line, and it will be done soon enough. Don't worry about it.

02-10-2003, 11:36 AM
ISFA is the mom and dad. The Sox are the kids............................they're gettin the car.

02-10-2003, 12:24 PM
I'm going to write to express my view (that the naming rights deal should be approved), but as I understand it, the possible hold-up with the ISFA has nothing to do with the asthetics or popularity of re-naming the ballpark, but with the legal/financial ramifications should U.S. Cellular fall by the way side. I'm assuming that the Sox aren't going to actually make $3.4 million worth of renovations each year of the deal with U.S. Cellular, but instead plan to either borrow money against that credit stream or otherwise use other funds to pay for the renovations now in light of the future expected revenue from the naming rights deal. The problem the ISFA is faced with, is what if the Sox either borrow a bunch of money to pay for renovations, or otherwise use up a lot of their current cash to pay for renovations, and then U.S. Cellular goes belly up and the $3.4 million/year never materializes. What effect will that have on the Sox' ability to meet its obligations to ISFA or to others? As I understand it, the ISFA is just trying to make sure that the Sox would be able to withstand any default by U.S. Cellular. Can't blame 'em for that.

02-10-2003, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by hsnterprize
.....Here's a snipet of what I said...

.....We, the White Sox fans..... You want to write expressing your opinion, good for you. However, you don't speak for all White Sox fans. There are plenty who are not happy about the "naming rights" and plenty who don't think the ballpark needs major reworking.

And I do believe this is a tempest in a teapot. Do you really think JR would have made the deal public if he thought the authority would not approve?

02-10-2003, 02:59 PM
You have nothing to worry about (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/mlb_news.jsp?ymd=20030210&content_id=198622&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp).

02-10-2003, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by gogosoxgogo
You have nothing to worry about (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/mlb_news.jsp?ymd=20030210&content_id=198622&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp).

Thanks for the post. I read the article, and my fears have been quenched. All is well in Sox Land. Now let's "Go Go" win a pennant.

02-10-2003, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
You want to write expressing your opinion, good for you. However, you don't speak for all White Sox fans. There are plenty who are not happy about the "naming rights" and plenty who don't think the ballpark needs major reworking.

Okay...you raise a good point. I should have said, "A majority of fans..." because while I understand there are people who are satisfied with the name/style of U.S. Cellular Field as it is now, there are PLENTY of people who are rejoicing that there are now going to be significant changes made to the ballpark. Even though the name of the stadium is changed, that's a small price to pay in comparison to making sure the ballpark is someplace where people would be willing to go to...whether they are die-hard Sox fans like you and me, or the casual fan who is looking for an entertaining place to go. In either case, I really believe in my heart that when this whole renovation project is finished, we Sox fans can finally share in the glow of fans in other cities that have ballparks that are constantly written about, talked about, and praised.

Even though I'm hoping against logic here, I'm hoping that when all of this renovation is done, attendance at the "Cell" will consistently be respectable enough that all of Chicago, in spite of the influence of the "Cubune", will take notice that not only is there a good baseball team representing Chicago, that the "good" team also plays in a clean, modern, and now, more fan friendly ballpark.