Mayor of Chicago suburb says Bears moving is “on the table”

NFL: JAN 03 Packers at Bears
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The mayor of a Chicago suburb is continuing to make noise about the Bears moving to his city.

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said a new stadium for the Bears could be built on the current site of the Arlington Park race track, located about 30 miles from Soldier Field. Arlington Park is for sale and is expected to be demolished and redeveloped by its next owner.

It’s still on the table, to my understanding, but it’s a complete, definite ‘maybe,'” Hayes said of the Bears moving, via the Daily Herald. “I’m not in a position where I could say it’s a definite ‘go’ or definite ‘no go.'”

The Bears have stayed mum about the possibility as speculation has raged in the Chicago area. When teams don’t want to talk about their stadium plans, that often means they want to use another potential venue as leverage to get a better deal at their current venue.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has acknowledged that the Bears have valid concerns about Soldier Field, but the Bears’ lease with the city to play at Soldier Field runs through 2033 and Lightfoot said she is confident the Bears won’t move, and that the NFL wouldn’t let them if they tried.

21 responses to “Mayor of Chicago suburb says Bears moving is “on the table”

  1. I think it would be a good move for the Bears. I would think most of their fans come from the suburbs, and it probably would be easier for them to get in and out of the stadium.

    Soldier Field turf is an embarrassment. Tell Lightfoot BYE BYE!

  2. While packing bags leave that fraudster of an offense genius and his lame visor in Chicago…#FIRENAGY21!

  3. Yeah, the NFL would never let a historic team move, right? Browns? Raiders?

  4. One nice feature of that location is that Circuit Court of Cook County courthouse for District is literally directly across the street (Euclid).

    It would make for an easy time processing all the drunks and disorderlies.

    On a more serious note, the highway infrastructure is already in place and the location has its own Metra railway way stop. Still, coming from the south suburbs would be a long haul.

  5. The NFL does not care one bit if a team moves to the suburbs.

    Soldier Field is an iconic venue, and the existing lease is obviously an impediment, but if the Bears push to move out of Chicago, I don’t see the NFL stopping them.

  6. It would be sad to leave the lake front, but they could fit another 40k+ people at a stadium in Arlington Heights. I don’t see the McCaskey’s doing it while Virginia is in charge though.

  7. I really don’t care if the Bears move to a suburb. What I do care is what they did to Soldier Field. The monstrosity they created after the remodeling by dropping a giant cracked toilet bowl onto the stadium is an architectural eyesore. It makes me cringe everytime driving pass that ugly structure. Move to the suburbs already, as most ticket holders come from the suburbs anyway.

  8. “but the Bears’ lease with the city to play at Soldier Field runs through 2033”
    ———————-

    How is this a problem? If they want to change locations, this is the time to do it. Remember, it took Cowboys 12 years from exploring locations to actually playing their first game at AT&T Stadium.

    You still need time to:
    – explore potential sites and buy the land
    – negotiate stadium funding
    – architect to design stadium
    – break ground and begin construction

    Seriously, this is a billion dollar project.

  9. From what I can find they spent $700 million in 2003 on the last renovations. These amounts of money are tossed around so much with regards to stadiums that they start to lose meaning. But we now have some teams essentially implying or suggesting that these structures only have a 20 year lifespan. The utter waste and excess of this is maddening.

    I heard speculation the other day that they may go for a domed stadium (possibly with a roof that opens) so that they can host a Super Bowl. They’ll ultimately spend probably $1.5 billion. And how long will that one be good enough for them?

  10. Umm, this is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. A top 3 stadium and one with natural grass in one of the best, if not the best downtown landscapes in the league?

    Why?

    The place is legendary.

  11. Unfortunately, while it is visibly impressive from Lake Shore Drive, the interior of Soldier Field is seriously antiquated. Regardless of whether it is in Arlington Heights or elsewhere, a new stadium is in order.

  12. Lori Lightfoot has bigger fish to fry. She’s already in way over her head.

  13. gibson45 says:
    June 15, 2021 at 9:12 am
    Unfortunately, while it is visibly impressive from Lake Shore Drive, the interior of Soldier Field is seriously antiquated. Regardless of whether it is in Arlington Heights or elsewhere, a new stadium is in order.

    5 4 Rate This

    ———————

    Umm, no it’s not. It has arguably the best sightlines in the NFL. They re-did the inside and kept the outside.

    This was only done like 17 years ago.

  14. There are also rumblings of rifts within the McCaskey clan that are at least opening the door to discussions about selling the team. Combine that with a potential 12-14 year franchise QB (assuming Justin Fields works out and they can afford to keep him) and this chatter of a new venue, and some very interesting pieces appear to be falling into place for the franchise in the next few years.

  15. AFW says:
    June 15, 2021 at 9:11 am
    From what I can find they spent $700 million in 2003 on the last renovations. These amounts of money are tossed around so much with regards to stadiums that they start to lose meaning. But we now have some teams essentially implying or suggesting that these structures only have a 20 year lifespan. The utter waste and excess of this is maddening.
    ______________

    The structural lifespan of the facility is not the issue. The issue is whether the stadium contains up to date, state of the art amenities. Tremendous progress has been made over the past 20 years in technology, seating, vending services, and many other things associated with a premium fan experience.

    $700,000 may have been spent in 2003, but you have no idea whether that amount was spent correctly on the proper things. Also, Soldier Field opened in 1924. It is possible that $700,000 million was necessary to bring it up to bare minimum standards.

  16. touchback6 says:
    June 15, 2021 at 10:15 am
    gibson45 says:
    June 15, 2021 at 9:12 am
    Unfortunately, while it is visibly impressive from Lake Shore Drive, the interior of Soldier Field is seriously antiquated. Regardless of whether it is in Arlington Heights or elsewhere, a new stadium is in order.
    ——————

    Umm, no it’s not. It has arguably the best sightlines in the NFL. They re-did the inside and kept the outside.
    ___________

    Since you’ve never been inside Soldier Field I’m going to confidently disregard your opinion.

  17. I get so tired of NFL teams squeezing cities and states for enormous handouts to build these outlandish stadiums.

  18. The old Soldier Field was outdated and horrible, but historical and meaningful. I went there a few times and despite the discomfort, it was a real experience.

    What they did to redo it was horrible. A total waste of money. Worthless. Moving out of it would be a blessing. Being on the lake shore adds no value except for a panning shot for the TV show. It’s horrible for most fans to get in and out.

    The fact that the City owns the stadium and leases it to the team is the most absurd deal ever. It’s not optimized for an NFL team. It’s just a bad stadium. It wasn’t any good even right after it was finished.

    Moving to Arlington Heights, or any accessible, nearby new place, with a stadium the team owns, would be a huge blessing for the fans and the team, and also ownership.

  19. What about the fans who paid a lot of money for their PSLs? They’d be totally screwed if the Bears moved.

  20. Bears will never move UNLESS they get someone else to pay for the stadium. They are cheapskates. If the league didn’t give team the amount of money they do Bears would still be playing in the old Soldier field stadium, not the fixed up one. They are playing in a Chicago park District stadium….only team in the Pro’s do be so cheap. So No they will not move unless someone else pays their way.

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