ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Over the past year, the Chicago Bears have made their most significant steps in team history to move their home stadium out of the City of Chicago by signing a purchase agreement for the Arlington Park property.
Now they appear to be a little closer to making that happen based on their latest move on Tuesday.
Along with an open letter to fans on potential plans for the property, the team released their first renderings on possible uses for the former horse racing track in the Northwest Suburbs.
These include “a new, best-in-class enclosed stadium” which the team hopes will be worthy of hosting major events like the Super Bowl and Final Four in addition to being the primary home of the Bears.
Along with the stadium, the team also is looking to develop a multi-purpose entertainment, commercial/retail, and housing district in the area, according to the letter.
In their letter, the Bears said they would not seek public funding for “direct stadium structure construction” but would “look forward to partnering with the various governmental bodies to secure additional funding and assistance needed to support the feasibility of the remainder of the development.”
Per the letter, here’s the economic impact of the potential Arlington Park development:
- 48,000 jobs
- $9.4 billion economic impact on Chicagoland area
- $3.9 billion in annual labor income for the region
- 9,750 long-term jobs
- $1.4 billion of economic impact on Chicagoland area
- $601 million annual labor income for the region
Annual Tax Revenue
- $16 million in Arlington Heights
- $9.8 million for Cook County
- $51.3 million for State of Illinois
As they move forward, the team said they will not be exploring other stadium sites at this time or a possible renovation of Soldier Field, which was proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office this summer.
Throughout the letter, the Bears cautioned that nothing is final when it comes to their possible move to the suburbs.
“We are taking serious steps to evaluate the unique opportunity presented to us. The Bears remain committed to Soldier Field and will honor the terms of its lease,” said the Bears in their letter. “While the prospect of a transit-oriented mixed-use and entertainment district anchored by a new enclosed stadium is exciting for the Bears and the entire state, there is much work to be done before we can close on the property, and then, whether we will develop it.
We look forward to working with key partners and stakeholders across the Chicagoland community and State of Illinois in the months ahead.”