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The Ken Doll stadium does not belong on the lakefront

Brandon Johnson was giddy as a hormonally charged teen aged groupie at a rock concert over the McCaskey Ken Doll’s proposal for a stadium to ruin the lakefront. At a press conference with Ken Doll officials, he touted the $5-$6 billion dollar project and he will do anything to bring it to fruition.

“This is going to reinvigorate the entire city of Chicago,” Johnson said. “It will be the crown jewel of the city of Chicago.” (Chicago Tribune)

Ken Doll’s president, Kevin Warren, led the mayor by the nose and hawked benefits of the stadium like a cheap con artist, charlatan, and fraud. He is so glib he could sell snake oil to snakes.

The stadium, hotel, and other so-called improvements will not be the “crown jewel” of the city. They will be an ugly eyesore. The lakefront is the crown jewel of Chicago and Brandon Johnson is doing whatever he can to destroy it.

“They described a lush and reimagined Museum Campus with 14 acres of new parkland they claimed would add a worthy new chapter to the Burnham Plan.” (Sun-Times)

 Invoking the name of Daniel Burnham to build a repulsive structure is an insult to the father of the City Beautiful Movement in Chicago.

The McCaskeys are “willing” to put up over 2 billion dollars. The NFL will kick in some money. The McCaskeys want to bilk the taxpayers to finance the rest for their monument to fiasco. As I have written before, they could have had a new stadium over the past five decades. They refused to put up money or take out financing.

Why should the Ken Dolls despoil the lakefront? Why not use the former Michael Reese hospital property or partner with the White Sox and build on the 78? There are other large tracts of land in Chicago that would support a stadium and other amenities. Why the lakefront?

The McCaskeys ran away from Arlington Heights because they did not want to pay millions of dollars in property taxes to support local school districts. So, their scheme is to screw the taxpayers in Chicago. The majority will get no benefit from this monstrous plan.

With Mayor Brandon Johnson and his administration standing with the Bears, it is clear the city is willing to put private interests ahead of public benefit and cheer-on this ill-conceived and expensive effort to build a gargantuan domed stadium on Chicago’s lakefront… The size almost makes the Museum Campus buildings look like neo-classical LEGO blocks in comparison. (Lee Bey/Sun-Times)

Lee Bey is a noted longtime architectural critic in Chicago. While he likes the design rendering, he says the obvious. “It’s the right building but the wrong spot.

The mayor and the Ken Dolls made a major faux pas. They did not invite Governor Pritzker to their medicine show. They need his and legislative approval for this boondoggle to get off the ground. Good luck with that. Pritzker made his thoughts known. He is against the lakefront project. He believes money could be better spent providing critical services to the people. The state legislative leaders are not very warm to the project either. Warren will have to up his sales pitch to sell Springfield.

“How can a mayor — an allegedly progressive one, at that — allow a billion-dollar football franchise to build what it likes on the lakefront, then charge taxpayers for the privilege? It’s outright ridiculous.” (Lee Bey/Sun-Times/Emphasis mine).

Truer words were never spoken.

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