Sunday, February 5, 2023

NFL Reportedly Encouraging Chicago Bears Move To Arlington Heights


The Chicago Bears have played at Soldier Field since 1971. It had become one of the great traditions not just in football but in professional sports. The Red Sox play at Fenway, the Cubs play at Wrigley, and the Bears play at Soldier Field. Nobody expected that to change anytime soon. Then the bomb dropped last year when reports surfaced the McCaskey family had placed a bid to purchase the Arlington Racecourse International property in Arlington Heights.

The 326 acres were up for sale. Everybody saw the implications right away. If the Bears won the auction, it would give them the perfect route to building a brand new stadium. They would start the process of leaving a home they’d had for 50 years. Chicago politicians refused to believe it was true. Mayor Lori Lightfoot called it a bluff. The Bears needed to focus more on winning games than where they played them.

Then the results were announced. The McCaskeys won the bid.

Reality set in quickly. Lightfoot realized how much leverage she had just lost in one fell swoop. That is why she and her administration tried desperately to find ways to convince the Bears not to leave the city. It’s a tradition. Fans will be upset. A deal can be worked out to renovate Soldier Field. She even proposed the wild idea of putting a dome over the stadium. According to Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog, who has connections high in the organization, the idea wasn’t well-received.

It gets better. Dislike for Lightfoot and the Chicago Park District aren’t the only reasons the Bears are doing this. It seems the other owners around the NFL smell a big opportunity. They’ve already seen prominent franchises like the Giants, Rams, and Cowboys move into new stadiums. If they can get the Bears into a state-of-the-art building too, in the second-largest media market, that means more money for them and everybody.

The Chicago Bears seem determined upon their course.

They’ve put up with the city’s nonsense for years. Every time they’ve tried to modernize Soldier Field, it was met with stiff resistance. The final straw came when the McCaskeys asked the CPD to install a sportsbook in the stadium, hoping to take advantage of recently-legalized sports gambling. Not only did the CPD say no, but they also didn’t bother to give the team a response. The Bears put in the bid for Arlington two weeks later.

That alone is plenty of incentive for the McCaskeys to push this new stadium plan forward. Getting the green light from their fellow owners is icing on the cake. One can expect the league will offer some financial assistance in building it. With some private investors, the Chicago Bears shouldn’t have any problems fulfilling the plan even if the state refuses to offer any support with public money.

All signs point to a departure within the next five years.

It will fulfill the original dream George Halas had. He’d wanted to move the Bears to the suburbs as far back as the 1970s. However, politics of the time made that impossible. Soldier Field was supposed to be a temporary solution. It soon became a permanent one. Until now, that is.


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Jafo Chicago
Jafo Chicago
Sep 7, 2022 2:22 pm

Was a multi decade ticket holder. Had to stop going to games unable to stand the cold. I live in Arlington Heights about one mile from the proposed stadium. I would definitely welcome them and most likely purchase season tickets again.

too much taxes
too much taxes
Aug 8, 2022 8:40 am

The city still owes hundreds of millions on the last rehab and now they want another billion on top of that. Crazy government going crazy with taxpayers money.

Jul 24, 2022 12:31 pm

This is what happens when you have HORRIBLE leadership like lightfoot! Terrible mayor.

Mike Dighton
Mike Dighton
Jul 24, 2022 2:17 am

The way I look at it the city of Chicago and Maury Lightfoot is getting what they deserve all they have done is taking the money they do nothing to make the field better are the stadium it’s a s*** hole and it’s time that we get the new stadium and better experience and it’s better for the fans and it’s about time Bears fans get what they deserve and all the city is done is held us back can’t wait for this to happen I will miss soldier Field but it’s time to move on Bear down PS I… Read more »

Jul 23, 2022 6:44 pm

Having their own stadium makes the team much more attractive to potential buyers. Selling the Bears might be the best thing for the team. Right now to have a position in the corporate ladder, you don’t have to know anything about football; you just have to have the correct last name. Let’s get an owner who will hire competent people with a knowledge of football.

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