Could Chicago host two NFL teams, eventually?

NFL: DEC 05 Cowboys at Bears
Getty Images

The renewed chatter regarding a possible new home for the Bears in Arlington Heights makes sense. Soldier Field is outdated. The team at some point could be up for sale, especially if estate-tax obligations compel the transfer of equity to outsiders. The possibility of a new, state-of-the-art venue potentially becomes critical to maximizing franchise value.

Here’s what maximizes the value of a new stadium: More games. So could Chicago become the third American city to host a pair of football teams in one stadium?

It’s not as crazy as it may sound at first blush. Stadium politics will compel some owners who can’t get free money to build or renovate stadiums in their existing cities to consider other alternatives. If Bears build their own stadium (like Rams owner Stan Kroenke has done), adding another team to the mix and the extra 10 home games per year that go along with it, a team in a market that can’t or won’t pay for all or most of a new or renovated stadium could be inclined to make the move.

Then there’s the issue of expansion. Although the league hasn’t begun to float that possibility, it’s looming. Legalized gambling cries out for increased inventory of things on which to bet. The 17-game season inevitably will become an 18-game season. Then, the only way to increase the number of games will be to increase the number of teams.

So where would a new team land? St. Louis? The pending Rams relocation litigation against the league possibly burns that bridge. San Diego? Good luck getting taxpayer money for a stadium there. San Antonio? The Texans and Cowboys would likely never tolerate another team wedged between their markets.

Other than London — which quite possibly will end up with two teams in its two NFL-ready stadiums — Chicago may be the only viable spot for a team. Especially if the relocation/expansion of a team to Chicago makes it more financially viable for the Bears to buy and build a replacement for Soldier Field.

26 responses to “Could Chicago host two NFL teams, eventually?

  1. It’s hard for me to say that the Bears are terribly ran, because there are worse teams. But when I see what the Dolphins & Bills are doing, the Bears have no choice BUT TO become better as an organization. It can be done!

  2. The Chargers are barely hanging on as a franchise. And they want to talk about expansion?

  3. NFL team generate revenue from TV and local fans. The Charger’s move to LA gives a lot of insight to the success of such a move. Its highly likely any team moving to Chicago is not one with a history of success. They are going to compete for fans with a team that is long entreched: it will be an uphill battle and empty stands are most likely unless they can win immediately.

  4. It would never work.

    Chicago is a Bears town and even I know that living in California

  5. The fan base here in the UK could certainly handle 2 teams due to the support and stadiums selling out so fast (every year) but surely they would go with 1 team first to see how it went

    The time difference / home / road is manageable, 4 weeks road / 8 or 9 weeks home (visiting teams go on a bye after) / 4 or 5 weeks road

  6. Mexico City, Toronto, Vancouver BC, San Antonio all come in mind. There’s room for growth as long as it’s smart.

  7. No. Chicago once had two teams; the Chicago Cardinals left even before most baby boomers were born. They only loved the Bears. Boston and St Louis once had two baseball teams; nobody’s pining for either city to get a second baseball team either.

  8. I for one thinks Chicago deserves a NFL team because the Bears suren’t don’t rise to that level.

  9. Chicago had two teams until the Cardinals decamped from the south side to St. Louis.

    It tore the heart out of the south side — like the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn.

  10. The Bears are gone to Arlington Heights. Plus, the mayor of the city of Chicago could screw up a two car funeral. As high as taxes are in Chicago now, there is no way the Chicago populace would support funding a stadium to replace Soldier Field

  11. Bear fans say yes. We need another option. The first one isn’t really working out that well.

  12. Chicago already has two teams – half the city pulls for the Packers anyways.

  13. Sure, why not. Let’s reinforce the original meaning of “Chicago” by adding another team that stinks up the town!

  14. Yes it is as crazy as it seems. There’s not the remotest chance this will ever happen. Dream state.

  15. There sure as heck is a big enough population. It’s just a question of shifting loyalties, which is much easier to overcome in geographic areas without teams.

  16. domefieldadvantage says:
    June 18, 2021 at 12:43 pm
    The Bears are gone to Arlington Heights. Plus, the mayor of the city of Chicago could screw up a two car funeral. As high as taxes are in Chicago now, there is no way the Chicago populace would support funding a stadium to replace Soldier Field

    Sure sounds like a bunch of racist stuff to me.

    The mayor of chicago has done more in a year than you have done in your lifetime and probably two of your lifetimes.

    People continue to move to Chicago because it is a vibrant city that attracts smart growth.

    and despite what you truymperws say, 9 of thetwn most crime riuddent states are republcan. Illinois is not in the tpp 12.

  17. If you were starting a league totally from scratch then maybe, at least based purely on population. But the Bears have been the only team in town for decades and no newbie is going to overcome that. 30 years from now they’d still be “the new team” or “the other team” and no owner wants that.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.