Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Kevin Warren Revealed When He Hopes To Open Bears’ New Stadium


For months, it felt like the Chicago Bears were hurtling towards a new stadium in Arlington Heights after purchasing a massive property there. However, things seemed to shift once Kevin Warren took over as team president. Under the disguise of a property tax dispute with Arlington schools, he shifted gears back to Chicago. After long and productive talks with Mayor Brandon Johnson, the two agreed that a new lakefront stadium south of Soldier Field was in the best interests of all parties.

Of course, making plans for something doesn’t mean it will come to fruition. Warren and his people met immediate resistance from Governor J.B. Pritzker and his sitting state government. They have been adamant from the start that the Bears’ proposal for a lakefront stadium is impossible. With serious economic issues leaving taxpayers worried more about food and housing, helping fund a new complex is not high on the agenda. Warren stated at the Lincoln Forum at the Union League Club of Chicago that he understands these are difficult issues to navigate. Still, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times revealed the Bears president has a specific date in mind for making this project happen.

The deadline draws closer.

Warren offered little update on the Bears’ downtown stadium push other than to reaffirm that their preference is to build on the Lakefront rather than in Arlington Heights. He wants to begin construction next year and open in 2028, though that sounds ambitious given the blowback from local and state politicians.

“We live in a complicated world,” he said. “This is an election year. We have people that don’t have meals to eat. We have people sleeping on the street. We have a lot of complex issues we’re dealing with. I’m a realist to understand these projects aren’t just something you do over a weekend.”

Kevin Warren is in a tough spot.

Both federal and state politicians are gearing up for what should be a heated election season. People are trying to keep or gain favor with voters. The last thing they want to do is anger them at such a pivotal time. Pritzker’s government isn’t likely to curry favor by handing the Bears millions in public money while the economy deals with inflation issues. Though the organization plans to foot almost three-quarters of the bill, it isn’t enough. Illinois politicians don’t think the state should pay anything.

That puts Kevin Warren in a tough negotiating position. It’s not like he can threaten to move the Bears out of town. There is no way the NFL would sign off on them leaving Chicago. They’ve been an institution for over a century. It gives the team president limited leverage in talks unless he can find a new avenue. This isn’t something Warren is new to. He helped the Minnesota Vikings through a similar situation with their new stadium a few years ago. There were also the lucrative TV deals he worked out for the Big Ten conference.

Subscribe to the BFR Youtube channel and ride shotgun with Dave and Ficky as they break down Bears football like nobody else.

High-stakes negotiations are familiar territory. These just might be tougher than most.


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Jun 11, 2024 8:50 pm

Since when does IL politicians give a shit about us taxpayers……..besides election year

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