Does it make sense for the team to leave Chicago?
On one hand, going to Nashville means not having to share a market. On the other hand, it would be a major step down in market size.
The Chicago White Sox have found a way to exist for nearly 125 years and have a fanbase despite having to compete with the Chicago Cubs for attention. Chicago does lean towards the Cubs, but there are still plenty of people to draw enough revenue to support a sports business.
At the same time, Nashville’s population continues to grow, so the market size could be different in six years when the lease expires at Guaranteed Rate Field.
There is still an opportunity for Reinsdorf or a new owner to create revenue opportunities with the new stadium in Chicago.
They have been reported to be looking at moving out to Arlington Heights with the Chicago Bears (that is if the Bears move). The team has also been speculated to take over the land at Soldier Field if the Bears leave the city. The Sox might also move to a location near the United Center.
Leaving Chicago might be the only Reinsdorf can avoid having to put any of his money into a new stadium. Another city desperate for an MLB team might be willing to offer a blank check.