Chicago taxpayers helped pay for work at U.S. Cellular Field, Soldier Field

By Jared S. Hopkins Tribune reporter 12:45 p.m. CST, November 30, 2011

After hotel tax figures came in this year, the city of Chicago for the first time had to pitch in extra money to help pay off renovations and maintenance to Soldier Field and U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox.

When the stadium’s owner, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, couldn’t pay back its annual advance to the state for debt payments, the state tapped $1.1 million in taxes that were supposed to go to the city of Chicago, records show.

The stadium authority relies primarily on hotel tax revenue from the state to help pay down its annual debt payments for bonds related to the stadium and Soldier Field renovations. The state provides an advance at the beginning of the year, which is then paid back with hotel tax revenue.