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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bears, City of Chicago Could Resume Stadium Talks

  • The Chicago Bears could reengage the city of Chicago this week.
  • The team is exploring additional options beyond Arlington Heights.
A Chicago Bears helmet.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears could consider yet another Illinois city for their future home: their current one.

The team’s negotiations with Arlington Heights have hit a rough patch, which could resurrect talks with the city of Chicago as early as this week, according to WTTW. 

The team had appeared to sour on the idea of remaining in the city due to long-standing issues regarding Soldier Field, which is maintained by the Chicago Parks District. 

Should talks resume, the team will have a new mayor to negotiate with — Brandon Johnson was sworn in as Chicago’s 57th mayor last month, replacing Lori Lightfoot.

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Arlington Heights remains a possibility, as the team is moving ahead with plans to demolish the racetrack there that it purchased from Churchill Downs in February for $197.2 million. 

“The stadium-based project remains broadly popular in Arlington Heights, Chicagoland and the state,” the team said. “However, the property’s original assessment at five times the 2021 tax value, and the recent settlement with Churchill Downs for 2022 being three times higher, fails to reflect [that] the property is not operational and not commercially viable in its current state.”

The team has also met with Naperville, a city of around 150,000 people just west of Chicago, after its mayor reached out to discuss a deal.

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