Representations of Wrigley Field Redevelopment(s) in the Chicago Tribune: Neoliberal Discourse and Urban Politics

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 University of South Carolina
  • | 2 Florida State University
  • | 3 Louisiana State University
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Since the concept of redeveloping Wrigley Field became prevalent, the Chicago Tribune has notably constructed a variety of narrative strands on related urban dynamics. Through a framework that connected post-Gramsci insights of hegemony, discourse, and critics of spatial and economic neoliberalism, this study examined how the newspaper strategically assembled discourses in mediatizing urban politics surrounding the Wrigley renovation. First, the newspaper fostered hegemonic consent that endorsed the redevelopment(s) by promoting old tropes of economic development and market growth despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Second, it also produced a parallel discourse that expressed moderate recognition and sympathy to the interest and experience of the community. Without fundamentally challenging neoliberal power, however, such discursive construction was a strategic and instrumental intervention that reinforced the contingencies and boundaries of neoliberal hegemony. Through such investigations, this study shed light on the ongoing rearticulation(s) of the media regime that strategically produced neoliberal rationalities, subjectivities, and discursive antagonism as it assisted to shape urban imageries and political economies of sporting spaces.

Yan is with the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA. Xue is with Sport Management, College of Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA. Seifried is with the School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.

Yan (chengyan@mailbox.sc.edu) is corresponding author.
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