LAKE FOREST, Ill. — There is one step that the Chicago Bears won’t take toward a new stadium over the next few months.
Team president and CEO Kevin Warren said that the team won’t be pursuing legislative support in Springfield for a new stadium during the Illinois General Assembly’s fall session. This comes as the team continues demolition work at Arlington Park, which they closed on this past February, while also looking at other sites in the area to build a new venue.
“Our process to find the best stadium solution for our franchise, our fans and the region continues to be methodical and intentional. Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Brandon Johnson and his team, we have recently engaged in positive and productive discussions with the City of Chicago,” said Warren in a statement through the team. “We also continue to have dialogue with officials in Arlington Heights and other Chicagoland locations about a Chicago Bears stadium project.
“At this time, we want to appropriately explore all opportunities for the development of a world-class stadium and therefore will not be pursuing legislative support for mega projective incentive legislation in the Illinois General Assembly’s Fall Veto Session.”
As of right now, the only legislation that has come up in Springfield is House Bill 610, which was presented to the Illinois House Executive Committee on May 17 by Rep. Martin Moylan (D-Des Plaines). It included a property tax assessment freeze for the Arlington Park property along with a $3 ticket tax to pay off the Soldier Field renovations done in 2002-2003.
In hopes of getting a consensus, however, he decided not to bring it in front of the legislature in the spring session.
At that point, Arlington Park was the only site where the Bears were looking to build a new stadium along with a multi-purpose entertainment, commercial, retail, and residential district. But that changed on June 2, when the team announced that the Arlington Heights site was not the “singular focus” of the team to build a new stadium.
Over the last few months, Warren and new Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson have held a few meetings to discuss the Bears’ future in the city. Since moving from Decatur in 1921, the team has called Chicago home, playing at Wrigley Field through 1970 and then at Soldier Field from 1971 through today.