Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Somehow, The Chicago Bears Stadium Saga Just Got Even Weirder


The Chicago Bears have reached the stage of their new stadium vision, where they have a detailed plan for its implementation. Now comes the hardest part: finding the money. If there is one thing to know about the state of Illinois, it’s that discussing money is always a complete crap show. Unsurprisingly, Govern Pritzker and the rest of the state government have put him a solid wall of resistance to any idea of public money helping fund this project. Illinois Speak of the House Chris Welch summed it up in a recent interview by stating they are more focused on ensuring taxpayers have enough money to buy food and have a roof over their heads given the difficult economic situation.

However, things are never that simple. Welch wouldn’t have made the comments he did on 670 The Score if they were. During the course of the interview, he offered many of the same explanations for why it’s not happening. That is when things took a baffling shift. He explained that the state government had an issue with several things regarding the Bears’ proposal. One of them was the fact they used a Minnesota-based architecture firm to do the stadium renderings, not one from Chicago.

Yes, really.

The Chicago Bears might be facing bullying tactics.

That quote suggests that the state is seeking every possible reason to avoid giving money to the Bears. There is no way a Minnesota firm doing the renderings should matter to the big picture at all. Welch’s mention of it, along with his statement that the organization should be able to put forward even more private money in the venture, indicates this isn’t a heartfelt stand by the government for the people. It is a negotiating tactic. They want to control how these discussions go. Insisting on a Chicago-based firm seems like a way for them to exert more power over talks.

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Everything depends on how team president Kevin Warren feels about the situation. He will forge ahead if he thinks the Chicago Bears have a path forward in talks. He’s known for being a strong negotiator. This isn’t uncharted territory for him. At the same time, if the state refuses to budge on anything, the Bears may have to pivot back to Arlington Heights, where they have far more flexibility since they already own the necessary land. This is another reminder of how dumb things can get when lots of money is involved.


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Jun 7, 2024 7:47 pm

Really wes…your easley impressed with a big window so one can see downtown. Big woop. What else is nice? Same amount of seating they already have? That’s crap. They have the smallest stadium in the nfl. Why spend billions on the same size stadium? Just put a dome on the same lame you got. Wait…all that great parking you will have now? Oops, building the new stadium on the biggest parking lot they got so less parking. Be walking 2 miles to get from some crap lot that cost $50 to park. O ya that view of the lake! Give… Read more »

Dr. Melhus
Jun 7, 2024 1:25 pm

This is typical for these sorts of stadium builds. Team says we’ll do this much, but want some money from the city/state. City/state says no, and complains about using out of state firms to promote the project. Team will push back, and eventually turn some of their cash requests into tax breaks and other financial pieces that don’t directly cost the city/state money. There’s several more rounds to go before they are close to a deal, and there’s always Arlington Heights, and probably plenty of sites outside of Cook County, so the negotiations should be interesting.

Wes P
Wes P
Jun 7, 2024 8:13 am

The new stadium design is awesome! While the Bears home town has been Chicago their entire existence there’s always room for options. Other teams have made moves similar to the Bears situation. Both Illinois and Chicago are poorly run places and the government always spends more than it takes in. Not to mention that tax rates are driving home owners and businesses to go to other states for relief.
I wouldn’t recommend the Bears giving in to the demands of the politicians but look for options without their strings attached.

Jun 7, 2024 6:47 am

It’s the City of Chicago; Of course they’re being Bullied.

Jun 6, 2024 7:31 pm

Warren will fumble the ball on the stadium. Virginia will pass away soon and the family will sell the team. The new owners won’t want to deal with the city on a stadium. It’s a lose lose situation for the team. Owning the AH property and building there would make the team worth 5 times what playing in a city owned stadium. Guessing Warren is fired when new owners come in. They will want their own guy running things. Owning their own stadium with all the extras that would come with the AH property would put the Bears in elite… Read more »

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