CHICAGO (CBS) — It will be less fun and games as part of the giant 70-acre Lincoln Yards project.
Plans for a soccer stadium and entertainment district on the North Side are scrapped.
Ed Burke’s troubles have shined a negative spotlight on an alderman’s control over permits and zoning. But in Chicago’s 2nd Ward, Ald. Brian Hopkins used his authority to quash a Lincoln Yards stadium.
And residents seemed pleased.
The proposed 20,000-seat soccer stadium and entertainment district generated plenty of heat during weeks of neighborhood meetings and surveys. Alderman Brian Hopkins of the 2nd Ward said he got the message.
“It became clear that the soccer stadium in particular and also the entertainment district just did not have sufficient community support,” Hopkins said. “They were generating, on the contrary, a lot of opposition. So I reached the conclusion that they simply had to go.”
The primary concern: traffic congestion.
But the entertainment district also drew opposition from Chicago’s independent music industry, because music giant Live Nation would own it.
“They just didn’t want to have to go up against this multinational conglomerate, Live Nation, to compete for the same bands,” Hopkins said.
Elimination of a soccer stadium is also a blow to Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, who bought a franchise in the United Soccer League to play in the venue.
Developer Sterling Bay envisions the now-vacant 70-acre riverfront site as a bustling complex of high-rises, offices, homes and retail.
But it acknowledged the stadium opposition saying “we have removed the stadium and broken up the entertainment district.”
Both moves welcomed by residents in adjacent neighborhoods.
“We know it’s going to be completely horrible with the new Lincoln Yards but I just don’t see the point in having a stadium there,” said one resident.
“I thought it was overly ambitious for the area. I thought it would bring too much traffic and mess and I just didn’t see how it was going to work,” concurred another resident.
Neighborhood surveys showed 53 percent of those responding opposed the stadium with 23 percent in support and 25 percent undecided.