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Bears Offer Bleak Outlook On Arlington Heights Stadium Proposal

  • Team president describes discussions with suburban locale as a "stalemate"
  • NFL franchise continues to engage with other Chicagoland municipalities
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears president Kevin Warren had a grim message for Arlington Heights residents hoping for a new stadium complex in their town: The effort is at a “stalemate,” and team officials don’t know if it will be revived.

Meeting with local residents at a public forum organized by business leaders advocating for a Bears’ move to Arlington Heights, Warren said an ongoing tax dispute has stopped stadium development efforts there after the team purchased the former Arlington International Racecourse property in February for $197 million.

“We’ve had a stalemate and a lack of communication, and it’s a little more convoluted at this point in time than I thought it would be,” Warren said. “If we’re not communicating, which we haven’t been, there’s not going to be much progress made.”

Over the past month, the Bears have met with public officials in Naperville, Illinois, and the city of Chicago, while government leaders in suburban Waukegan also made a pitch for the Bears. Warren says he is still receiving inbound calls from other Chicagoland municipalities.

A now-challenged assessment on the racetrack land would raise the annual property tax from $2.8 million to $16.2 million.

“This has nothing to do with personal feelings,” Warren said. “This is strictly business.”

The initial proposal at Arlington Heights involved a domed stadium and entertainment district capable of hosting major events such as the Super Bowl and Final Four — and carried a projected cost of $5 billion.

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