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Developer Wants To Lure Amazon HQ2 To North Side With A Flashy Sports Stadium

By Stephen Gossett in News on Oct 30, 2017 8:55PM

If the Great Amazon Pitch Frenzy of 2017 has taught us nothing else, it's that cities and developers will go to some pretty extraordinary ends to lure a projected 50,000 high-paying jobs. Case in point: now there's apparently a potential sports stadium on the table, from the developers behind one of Chicago's proposed sites.

New renderings obtained by the Tribune show plans—preliminary though they are—for what developers Sterling Bay call "a world-class sports and entertainment stadium" that could be constructed on the Lincoln Yards property, more commonly known among Chicagoans as the old Finkl Steel site (near the Lincoln Park/Bucktown border), and one of 10 potential sites put forth in Chicago and Illinois' official bid earlier this month.

Developers are already in talks with pro sports leagues and entertainment production companies, Sterling Bay claims in its proposal, according to the Trib. Additional renderings—which are more detailed than ones shared last month—illustrate further the riverside-campus concept that Sterling Bay envisions. (See above gallery.)

Other potential grand ambitions listed on Lincoln Yards' website include the long-discussed extension of the popular 606 trail, a riverwalk, a new Metra station, CTA shuttle service and new water taxis.

Developers claim that the first leg of an 8 million-square-foot campus could be built-to-order in under 18 months, the Tribune reports.

The Chicago-area Amazon bid reportedly includes at least $2 billion in tax breaks and incentives. One would hope that any major tax breaks wouldn't be extended to a pro sports team looking for a new home—since many economists agree that taxpayer-funded stadiums are rarely a good financial look for cities.