The Chicago Bears could be looking to leave Soldier Field, and sports betting may be at the heart of the move.
The Bears, who have called Soldier Field home since 1971, submitted a bid in June to purchase Arlington International Racecourse as a potential site for a new stadium. The 326-acre facility is roughly 30 miles north of downtown Chicago.
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot says she wants to keep the Bears in the city and is willing to work with the team to improve Soldier Field’s viability as a year-round venue.
The benefits of the Arlington site include expanding stadium capacity, an option to have an enclosed stadium, and a sports betting lounge.
Bears president Ted Phillips stated that the Chicago Park District has refused “to engage in good faith discussions” about integrating sports betting opportunities at Soldier Field.
Multi-billion dollar, state-of-the-art complexes are becoming more prevalent in the NFL.
- The $1.15 billion AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, is the largest covered stadium in the world.
- The Los Angeles Rams and Chargers have called the $5.5 billion SoFi Stadium home since 2020.
- The Pegulas, owners of the Buffalo Bills, proposed $1.4 billion in total funding for a new stadium, according to Associated Press.
The Bears’ current lease at Soldier Field runs through 2033.