Over the past several weeks, two sports teams have announced their intention to develop large scale mixed use projects adjacent to their stadium or arena. The San Francisco Giants are teaming up with The Cordish Companies to undertake a $1.6 billion, 3.5 million square foot project that will be known as Mission Rock. It will occupy 27 acres adjacent to AT&T Park and the San Francisco waterfront.
The Chicago Bulls are planning to move forward with a 260,000 square foot, $80+ million retail/entertainment project on land currently used for surface parking at the United Center. The area surrounding the arena is largely devoid of pre and post-game attractions for the 1.5 million people who attend games and events at the facility.
It’s worth noting that it has been 18 years since The United Center opened and 12 years since AT&T Park was completed. So while it appears that both projects may finally be realizing their potential as catalysts for neighborhood rejuvenation, it also suggests that sports facilities may not provide the kind of instantaneous boost to redevelopment efforts often touted by their proponents.