5 Chicago Casino Location Candidates From Mayor Lightfoot
On Wednesday, some movement toward a possible Chicago casino made a little bit of progress.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot presented five locations in either the South or West sides of the city of Chicago for this new casino proposal.
But a Chicago Tribune report stated that Chicago city officials have said that this future casino won’t “necessarily wind up at one of the five spots.”
These locations are considered “test sites” and the selections make it rather clear that Mayor Lightfoot is looking to finish her campaign promise by bring revenue to the struggling areas of the city.
“We want to be transparent,” Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar told Chicago Business. “This is not the final list of sites. This study is designed to undertake a financial feasibility review. There will be a separate site selection process.”
Illinois hired Union Gaming Analytics, a Las Vegas-based consulting firm, to determine the economics of the Chicago casino proposal. Then they’ll deliver the discoveries to the state and city officials.
Regardless of where the final location ends up, Lightfoot is making a statement with this move, made possible when Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill to legalize sports betting.
“We are moving forward to ensure the new casino is viable for Chicago and all of its communities,” Lightfoot said in a statement posted on Chicago Business.
New Chicago Casino’s Possible Locations
The five locations that Lightfoot has listed are: A parcel near the Harborside golf course at 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway; the former Michael Reese Hospital site at 31st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue; a location near Guaranteed Rate Field at Pershing Road and State Street; the former U.S. Steel parcel, known as South Works, between 79th and 91st streets along South Lake Shore Drive; and the lone West Side location, at Roosevelt Road and Kostner Avenue.
Lightfoot’s list did not include any downtown locations, which could be a risk in terms of potential revenue. The areas surrounding there, including the popular Navy Pier, are a hit with tourists and locals alike.
A quick look at the five proposed locations:
- The Harborside site is very close to the Far South Side’s Pullman neighborhood and is a 63-acre location.
- The old Michael Reese Hospital is a bit west of South Lake Shore Drive and is a part of the Burnham Lakefront.
- The site on Pershing Road and State Street is only four blocks south of the Chicago White Sox stadium, Guaranteed Rate Field and sits on 19-acres.
- The biggest location, at the old U.S. Steel parcel, is now known as South Works. It sits on 440 acres and is the only privately owned location on the list of five sites.
- The site on the West Side, just a couple of blocks south of the Eisenhower Expressway, sits on 23 acres. It is along Kostner avenue a bit north of Roosevelt Road.
Casino Groups Vie For Danville Project
Meanwhile, about 150 miles south of Chicago in Danville, Mayor Ricky Williams told Fox Illinois that seven casino groups are expressing interest in building new casinos in the area.
The deadline for each casino group to submit a proposal an application to the city is July 31. Located just west of Indiana and roughly 11 minutes from the border into the closest city of Rileysburg, Danville is working its way into some revenue streaming with this move.
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Jake Perper covers casino news for TopUSCasinos.com. A veteran of more than a decade of sports writing, he has covered the Chicago Bears for the Bears Backer blog, and his stories have also appeared on nfl.com, The Tampa Tribune, The Naples Daily News and Bleacher Report. He is also the leas scout for Prep Hoops Florida, based in Tampa.