Bears announce purchase of property in Arlington Heights

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The Bears have bought some property. And although they’re not saying that they intend to use that property for a new stadium, that’s the clear message of the acquisition.

The team and Churchill Downs Incorporated have announced that a deal was signed this week for “the entire Arlington Park land parcel in the Village of Arlington Heights.”

“We are excited to have executed a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) for the Arlington Park property,” Bears president Ted Phillips said in a statement issued by the team. “We are grateful to Churchill Downs Incorporated for their efforts to reach this point. We also appreciate the support of Mayor Tom Hayes and the Village of Arlington Heights. Finalizing the PSA was the critical next step in continuing our exploration of the property and its potential. Much work remains to be completed, including working closely with the Village of Arlington Heights and surrounding communities, before we can close on this transaction. Our goal is to chart a path forward that allows our team to thrive on the field, Chicagoland to prosper from this endeavor, and the Bears organization to be ensured a strong future. We will never stop working toward delivering Bears fans the very best experience. We will continue to provide updates on our progress at the appropriate time.”

It doesn’t mean that the Bears will definitely build a new stadium there. The goal could be to use the acquisition of the property to leverage a better deal at Soldier Field.

The CEO of Churchill Downs (which has a separate gambling relationship with the Bears) bolsters the notion that the Bears could build a stadium on the Arlington Heights property.

“This has been an extraordinarily competitive bid process,” Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO Bill Carstanjen said in the press release issued by the Bears. “Congratulations to the Chicago Bears for their professionalism and perseverance. It is clear they are committed to an exciting vision for their team and their fans. We wish them the greatest success and are excited for the opportunity this brings to the Village of Arlington Heights and the future economic development of this unique property.”

Arlington Heights mayor Tom Hayes got in on the public-comment act, too.

“I could not be more excited about the news that the Chicago Bears have signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement to buy the Arlington Park property in our community,” Hayes said. “My goal for any redevelopment has always been to put this prime piece of real estate to its highest and best use, and I can’t think of a higher and better use than this one. There is a long way to go as we begin this journey, and many issues for the community to discuss, but the Village is committed to working with the Bears organization and all stakeholders to explore this opportunity for Arlington Heights and the northwest suburban region.”

It remains to be seen whether Arlington Heights is a pawn or a player. As always, time will tell. As always, an NFL franchise will take full advantage of any and all opportunities to get the best deal they can, wherever that deal may require the team to play.

31 responses to “Bears announce purchase of property in Arlington Heights

  1. Good for the Bears. Get out of downtown. Get this open space with a parking lot and tailgate atmosphere and easy in / out for traffic would benefit the experieince. This coming from a Packer fan.

  2. I spent many wonderful afternoons at Arlington Park in my misspent youth Much better use of the property as a thoroughbred horse race track than to be contaminated by Bears’ occupancy

    Packer Fan

  3. Let’s do it! Less traffic and much shorter trip when I go to see the Pack vs. the Bears.

    Also love to stop at Cooper’s Hawk Winery. All pluses for the move.

  4. A move to the northwest suburbs would open the market for an AFC team (Jaguars, Bills?) to invade. The largest part of the ticket buying fan base lives south of the city. Arlington Heights would add an hour to their commute. A new team with competent ownership might fare well in Soldier field competing against the McCaskey family for the attention of the fans…

  5. Mayor Lori Lightfoot must be just throwing a hissy fit over this move! The Bears just called her bluff.

  6. So the Bears spend millions to aquire property for a new stadium in the future,great.now can they field a team good enough to play on it.fans would rather have a great team than a great stadium.

  7. The fact that a mayor can’t think of a better use for a ‘prime piece of real estate’ than a football stadium tells you all you need to know.

  8. Kronke got the Churchill Downs property in Inglewood (Hollywood Park) and spent almost $6 billion so the Rams could play there. How about the Louisville Jets?

  9. Osman Dirie says:
    September 29, 2021 at 10:19 am
    Shows the owners priorities, winning and having a functional team is not at the top of the list.
    _________

    Believe it or not, people who can multitask actually exist, especially people who run large businesses. Talented people can manage the business side of the organization as well as the football side

  10. It’s all about the money. The Bears will not be held hostage by the Soldier field lease and the profit margin is going to be huge. Parking, consessions, casino and so on. $$$$$$$$$

  11. trentdilfer08 says:
    September 29, 2021 at 10:57 am
    Nevermind the CRIME, lets build a multi billion dollar stadium instead!!!
    —————————————————————————————————
    More money spent toward what would equal less crime in Chicago?

  12. cylondetector says:
    September 29, 2021 at 10:41 am
    The fact that a mayor can’t think of a better use for a ‘prime piece of real estate’ than a football stadium tells you all you need to know.
    _____________

    A state of the art stadium will create hundreds of jobs as well as plenty of new businesses, along with tens of thousands of people visiting the area. Please feel free to suggest a better use.

  13. Maybe Nagy just wants to use the track for more mass auditions of kickers.

    “Annnnnnd….their off. And around the first turn…”

  14. Two opinions, from this Bears fan:

    A) Soldier Field is a dump with terrible parking, so I hope they follow through on this.

    B) I hope this is step 1 in the plan to sell the team to new (hopefully competent) ownership.

  15. “Our goal is to chart a path forward that allows our team to thrive on the field”, says accountant/team president Ted Phillips. What a sense of humor that guy has!!

  16. gibson45 says:
    September 29, 2021 at 11:12 am
    Osman Dirie says:
    September 29, 2021 at 10:19 am
    Shows the owners priorities, winning and having a functional team is not at the top of the list.
    _________

    Believe it or not, people who can multitask actually exist, especially people who run large businesses. Talented people can manage the business side of the organization as well as the football side

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Really, man, come on. The Bears have not shown any signs in decades that they can “single task,” much less multitask!

  17. Believe it or not, people who can multitask actually exist, especially people who run large businesses. Talented people can manage the business side of the organization as well as the football side
    —————–
    The Bears are actually really really good at the business side. Football, not so much. Their last competent head coach was Lovie Smith and their last capable GM goes back farther than that.

  18. Note that they’ve only executed a contract to purchase which means both parties have signed and the Bears have put up some earnest money. Ted Phillips said “Much work remains to be completed…before we can close on this transaction.” There’s likely a lot of contingencies, probably including one on getting satisfactory (at the Bears sole discretion) funding for a stadium. Basically they bought an option and it’s far from a done deal.

  19. Maybe this is for a practice facility/headquarters like what the Browns have in Berea which is southwest of the city.

  20. Build the field with super soft cushioned turf so your QB’s don’t break in half taking 9 sacks a game.

  21. Right now the city of Chicago faces a 100 or more problems and unless your name is McCaskey you could not put Bear fan or NFL objections to Soldiers Field in the top 100 issues. When will the McCaskeys sell to let real money run the club?

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