Chicago Mayoral Candidate Vows to Reopen Meigs Field

Election in tight race will take place next week.

Northerly Island Park
Northerly Island Park replaced the space where Meigs Field had been in operation since 1947.Lee Hogan

Undecided pilots who are eligible to vote in the Chicago area might want to take a close look at Willie Wilson, who has vowed to reopen Meigs Field, should he be elected. Wilson estimates that the airport, which was located on a 120-acre man-made peninsula adjacent to downtown that is now Northerly Island Park, will generate more than $500 million for the city's economy.

Wilson first announced his intent to reopen Meigs when he ran in the 2016 Mayoral race. That year, Wilson finished third with 10.7 percent of the vote.

It's been nearly 16 years since the city's former Mayor Richard M. Daley's illegal destruction of the airport. While the property, which was built in the 1930s, was initially intended to be a park, the airport had been in operations there since 1947 and was a convenient place to land for visitors to the nearby convention center and downtown Chicago. The Chicago Park Districts operates more than 600 parks covering more than 8,800 acres of land in the area.

With only a week to go in Chicago’s Mayoral election, the race is getting tight between the long list of candidates. A recent poll by Ogden & Fry puts Wilson in a close race with County Board president Toni Preckwinkle. However, it appears to still be nearly anyone’s race between the 14 candidates. A poll from Telemundo Chicago/NBC 5 is showing Preckwinkle at the top with 14 percent, hardly a comforting number with one in five voters undecided, according to the same poll. In this survey, Wilson was not polling in the top five.