How Can the Park District be Broke?

Park visitors may soon see advertisements on Chicago Park District property such as lifeguard stands, garbage cans and tennis courts, as officials look for ways to plug a $22 million hole in next year’s budget.

(Full story here.)

The Chicago Park District owns Solider Field; that big ugly thing many Second Ward residents can see from their windows.  It’s the place that the Bears — the Chicago franchise of the National Football League — pay a pretty penny to play there.  (They better, because every time there’s a game traffic and parking become a nightmare.)

The Park District also controls Grant Park where… let’s see: all the summer festivals happen, the Chicago Marathon starts & stops, Lalapolooza occurs, and countless other functions are held.

It also earns revenue from every boater in the city as it controls nearly every single inch of public shoreline from Pratt on the north to 95th on the south.

Can someone say audit?