It Was All A Dream About Tennessee

Because they just can’t help themselves, the White Sox once again made off the field news this week when an article in Crain’s Chicago Business broke that Jerry Reinsdorf is considering selling the team and/or moving them to a new location when the lease at Guaranteed Rate Field expires in 2029.  Alternative locations mentioned in the article were elsewhere in Chicago, the suburbs, or Nashville, Tennessee.

Now, first things first.  Reinsforf, who turns 88 next February, is unlikely to sell the team in his lifetime.  Reinsdorf made his bones as a tax attorney who was known for having detailed knowledge of the tax code and the loopholes within.  It has long been speculated that the team will not sell until after his death to shield his heirs from the capital gains tax that would be owed once the team is sold.  Reinsforf and company purchased the White Sox for $19 million back in 1981.  Conservatively, the team is worth upwards of $1 billion dollars today and would likely sell for over $2 billion.  If Reinsdorf sells, he owes taxes on the difference between the selling price and his initial $19 million investment.  If his heirs sell, they will owe tax on the difference between the value when they inherited the team and the selling price.  That’s quite a difference.

As for moving, I would be shocked if the team ended up moving out of state.  Firstly, there are still six years left on the team’s lease for the current ballpark.  A ballpark that, frankly, is in a better condition today than it was the day it opened.  The most likely outcome is that Reindorf and company is just rattling the cage in the hopes of getting concessions on a new lease agreement.  In the unlikely event the team were to move, the most obvious location would be the current Soldier Field, which the Bears are looking to abandon as they head to Arlington Heights.  Tearing down the existing structure would be costly and building something new would be costly (and what about the Fire and summertime concerts?), but could use buyout money from the Bears to cover some of that cost.  Suburban locations could also be on the table.  The teams fanbase is concentrated in the south and southwest suburbs, though last time they threatened to move they were looking to the northwest.  There is too much money to be made in Nashville as an expansion franchise for me to seriously consider that MLB would allow an existing team to relocate there.

All that said, this report will likely turn out to be much ado about nothing.  Which is exactly what you want when you’re fighting for a top draft pick in a season you were expecting to be competing for the World Series.


NBC Upfronts

NBC announced their new fall schedule yesterday and changes are afoot.  The week gets off to a familiar start with The Voice returning for another round on Mondays, followed by The Brave, a new drama starring Anne Heche which is sure to do well.  Tuesday has an attempt at a comedy hour, with Superstore and The Good Place sandwiched in-between The Voice and Chicago Fire.  Wednesday has 3 returning dramas, starting with The Blacklist.

The network will try to revitalize the Must See TV brand on Thursday, with the revamped Will & Grace leading off the night and this year’s breakout hit This Is Us, before a dramatized version of the Menendez brothers murders.  Blindspot moves to Fridays, where it will lead off the night.

Midseason will bring comedies A.P. Bio, starring Patton Oswalt, and Champions, from executive producer Mindy Kaling.  On the drama side, there is Good Girls, about suburban moms who decide to start robbing banks, Reverie, starring Sarah Shahi as a hostage negotiator, and Rise, from the people behind ParenthoodTimeless, which was cancelled last week and then not cancelled, will also return at some point.

Cancelled shows include The Blacklist: Redemption, Chicago Justice, Emerald City, Powerless, Trial & Error, Grimm, and The Celebrity Apprentice.