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Will the Bears and White Sox play in the same stadium?

After operating on different planes for months and working to put together their own individual stadium proposals within the City of Chicago, state legislators recently told the Chicago Bears and White Sox if they want stadiums in the city, they’ll need to team up to make it happen.

According to a report in Crain’s Chicago Business Tuesday, the Bears and White Sox are hearing the same message from state officials after both sides have tried to angle themselves into a better position for the use of public subsidies to help fund building new stadiums.

Crain’s said Illinois State Senate President Don Harmon specifically told both teams there is little appetite among state legislators to approve separate stadium legislation.

“I’m not planning to referee fights between billion-dollar sports franchises,” Harmon told Crain’s in a statement. “I hope the teams took heed of the governor’s expression of reluctance to use tax dollars to subsidize new stadiums.”

The Crain’s report came a day after Governor JB Pritzker publicly downplayed the White Sox’s pitch with developer Related Midwest for a new baseball stadium in “The 78.”

“I start out really reluctant, and unless the case is made that the investment yields a long-term return for the taxpayers that we can justify in some way — I haven’t seen that yet,” Pritzker said Monday. “The taxpayers’ dollars are precious, and the idea of taking the taxpayer dollars and subsidizing a stadium — as opposed to, for example, a birthing center — [It] does not seem like a stadium should have higher priority.”

While no combined plan is close to coming to fruition, Crain’s said the two sides have sat down for an initial conversation.

Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Related Midwest president Curt Bailey met with Bears chairman George McCaskey, team president Kevin Warren and chief financial officer Karen Murphy last week, sources familiar with the meeting told Crain’s.

In a separate Crain’s article, Reinsdorf told reporter Greg Hinz he does not “want to be in competition with the McCaskeys,” with familiar sources also telling Crain’s the Bears “have always been more than willing” to work with the White Sox.

The White Sox have been much more aggressive — and public — with their desires to build a new stadium. On Feb. 7 earlier this month, the Sox released the first renderings of the team’s proposed ballpark in The 78.

A week later, Crain’s went public with a report that Reinsdorf would seek north of $1 billion in public subsidies to help build the proposed new stadium.

The Bears, on the other hand, have yet to make their plans publicly known for a new lakefront football stadium in the city, and have struggled to get stadium plans off the ground in Arlington Heights.

The club purchased the 326-acre Arlington Park Race Track back in Feb. 2023, but progress on getting stadium construction going stalled after the Chicago Tribune reported the Bears and three local school districts were $100 million apart in tax valuations on the property, leading to a perceived pivot back toward the team pursuing construction of a new stadium within city limits once more.