Message from the Chairman
It continues to be my pleasure and great honor to serve as Chairman of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority (ISFA), which remains focused on its number one mission of maintaining Guaranteed Rate Field as a multi-use, world-class facility and a great home to the Chicago White Sox. ISFA continues its efforts to market Guaranteed Rate Field as a venue for major events and to work to promote it as an asset in the community that can lead to economic development in the immediate surrounding neighborhood. Although, this past year ISFA did not host a major concert event, we remain committed to promoting the stadium and will work with partners to establish it as an entertainment venue.
ISFA was created in 1987 by the Illinois General Assembly for the express purpose of constructing and renovating sports stadiums for professional sports teams in the State of Illinois with the intent that it undertake the development of new Comiskey Park, which it completed and officially opened in 1991. In 2001 the General Assembly amended ISFA’s enabling act to expand its bonding authority and responsibilities to enable it to issue bonds to finance the renovation of Soldier Field and the surrounding parkland.
During 2017 ISFA made a number of necessary stadium improvements and repairs, including the continuation of a multi-phased program to replace waste and venting systems and replacement of various heating, ventilation and air conditioning units and related equipment that are at the end of their useful life. Other capital repairs and projects included installation of new video surveillance equipment and completion of a field re-lamping project that replaced all on field lighting. These improvements with a total value of approximately $7 million are examples of our continuing commitment to the maintenance and enhancement of Guaranteed Rate Field.
ISFA continues its tradition of partnering with community organizations to assist them with their fundraising efforts by providing ticket donations or working with them to use part of Guaranteed Rate Field for activities on non-game days. Guaranteed Rate Field was used as a venue for several well-known events such as the Chicago Public League vs. Chicago Catholic League High School All-Star game, ALS Les Turner Charity 5k Run/Walk, the 18th Annual Chicago Police Department vs. the Chicago Fire Department Charity Baseball Game, the Fenwick vs. De La Salle High School Baseball Game, IIT vs. University of Illinois College Baseball game and the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) 2nd Annual Toy Drive.
Our Board members Rosemarie Andolino, Norm Bobins, Richard Price, Timothy Rand, Jim Reynolds and Jeffrey Yordon are dedicated and have contributed their time and expertise to provide oversight and guidance to the CEO and staff. Our professional staff are responsible for the day-to-day operations of ISFA and we thank them for their hard work and dedication.
We remain dedicated in our governance of ISFA and all of its responsibilities and would like to thank the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago White Sox for their continued partnership and support.
Manuel “Manny” Sanchez