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Chicago Bears Reveal Renderings And Plans For Future Arlington Heights Move


The Chicago Bears officially confirmed they are not seeking taxpayer dollars to help build a new stadium in Arlington Heights, but they are requesting funding for the surrounding entertainment district — one the team projects will pump $1.6B back into the economy yearly.

In a public letter issued Tuesday, the team released its first public renderings of plans for the 326-acre site with a stadium on the northwest portion of the property and a mixed-use district on the southeast portion to replace the Arlington International Racecourse property.

Arlington International Racecourse

If completed, the build-out could generate $16M annually in local tax revenue, plus $60M per year in property tax revenue for Cook County and the state, according to the letter.

While the deal for the $197M purchase of the Arlington Park property is not yet solidified, the letter stressed plans are more extensive than the average, run-of-the-mill stadium project. 

"The long-term project vision for the entire property is an ongoing work-in-progress, but could include: restaurants, office space, hotel, fitness center, new parks and open spaces, and other improvements for the community to enjoy,” the letter stated.

The planned stadium will be enclosed and could host events such as the Super Bowl, College Football Playoffs and NCAA Final Four and is projected to create 48,000 jobs, 9,750 of which are expected to be long-term.

Map of projected Arlington Heights site

"Much remains to be decided, but any decision will be made in the best interests of the Bears long-term future, our fans and the Chicagoland community," the letter stated. 

The letter repeats the team has set its sights on Arlington Heights and is not looking to relocate to another stadium or a potentially renovated Soldier Field

The letter comes on the heels of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s recent announcement of plans to revamp the Museum Campus, including adding a dome to the Bears’ Soldier Field home.

At a press conference today, Lightfoot said the city has “got plan B, plan C and others in the works as well if the Bears decide that they’re going to abandon the city of Chicago,” Crain's Chicago Business reported.

The team will further discuss its future move this Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the gymnasium at John Hersey High School, at 1900 East Thomas St. in Arlington Heights.