After a flurry of activity a few months ago, the Chicago Bears’ pursuit of a new stadium seems to have fallen silent. The information available was straightforward. Property tax issues led to a standoff on the Arlington Heights plan. As a result, team president Kevin Warren decided to pivot. He began accepting meetings with several interested suitors for hosting a new Bears stadium. It spans from Naperville to Waukega, Aurora, and Rockford. Perhaps the most interesting one was when Warren struck up a dialogue with Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson.
That was the first indication the Bears might be considering an effort to stay in downtown Chicago. Nothing was promised, but it was evident the two sides were having a serious dialogue on the subject. Now another layer has been added to the intrigue. According to Parkins & Spiegel of 670 The Score, the Bears have hired a land survey company to evaluate the potential viability of the South Lot near Soldier Field. While not a massive strip of land, it would be familiar territory and a way out from under the thumb of the Chicago Park District.
The Chicago Bears wouldn’t be the first team to do this.
There are several examples of organizations building new stadiums right next to old ones. The Houston Texans built NRG Stadium in 2002, barely a half mile away from the old Houston Astrodome. It would be the same idea for the Bears. Fans would be able to travel the same ways to downtown. Only this time they’d be going to a new stadium instead of Soldier Field. This would be a great way to keep people happy. They won’t have to adjust their travel plans and the team would stay downtown.
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The challenge will be dealing with the notorious Cook County politics. It’s the same people that are giving them problems in Arlington Heights. The difference here would be the Chicago Bears have a potential ally in Mayor Johnson. He knows it would be a major political victory if he managed to keep them in the city, cleaning up the mess left by Lori Lightfoot. Warren is well-versed in these dealings. He will likely keep searching until he finds a deal most favorable to his owners.