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Park District Helps Re-open Thillens Stadium

By Benjy Lipsman in News on May 11, 2005 4:06PM

Chicagoist was saddened when Thillens Stadium closed due to insufficient funds, so we are elated to hear that the park will re-open thanks to the Chicago Park District.

With its charitable foundation lacking the funds to cover its $200,000 annual operating expenses, the Thillens family announced the closing of the park in March. Under the new deal, the Park District will lease the stadium and invest approximately $2 million to fix up the park. Much of those funds will come from corporate backers, including the Chicago Cubs. Chicagoist would like to see the Sox step up and donate, too.

While Park District Gen. Supt. Timothy Mitchell and Ald. Bernard Stone (50th) want to see the stadium re-opened this season, but Mel J. Thillens want to see the park renovated first and open for game in pristine shape for the 2006 season.

Ald. Stone also said he would like to see the park -- which stretches from Devon to Touhy Avenue between Kedzie and the east branch of the North Shore Channel -- annexed to Chicago. Lincolnwood, where it currently resides, has yet to discuss the issue. Such a move was discussed weeks ago as part of plans to save the park, but at the time Lincolnwood expressed concern over border control should Chicago carry through with a desired bridge at Pratt.
WTF? Border control between Chicago and Lincolnwood? Like people can't pass between the two at Touhy and Devon already?

Regardless, the Chicago Park Districts made the deal anyway and it's nice to see that Thillens will re-open for baseball -- whether this year or next.