Gov. Pat Quinn last week made four appointments to the board of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, including former state Senate President Emil Jones Jr. as its chairman.
The other three are former labor leader Dennis Gannon, developer Elzie Higginbottom, and attorney Manuel Sanchez, a founder and partner at Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP. Sanchez’s firm provides bond counsel services.
Board members do not receive a salary.
The sports authority was established in 1987 to manage the financing and operations of a new ballpark for the Chicago White Sox. The ISFA’s $150 million of bonds, sold in 1989 for the project, are backed by a state appropriation and repaid with hotel taxes.
The authority issued $400 million in 2001 to finance the renovation of the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field. The bonds are repaid with the same tax-revenue stream.
The owners of the Chicago Cubs have pressed for legislation authorizing the ISFA to issue more than $200 million of revenue bonds to help finance renovations to Wrigley Field, but it has not come up for a vote.
Former Gov. James Thompson most recently served as the authority’s chairman. The Illinois Senate still must sign off on the appointments.