The Chicago Bears agreed to purchase a 326-acre property in suburban Arlington Heights last year — but the village’s mayor doesn’t seem fully confident that the team will actually move there.
The team is expected to close on the $197.2 million land purchase — the site of the former Arlington Park race track — by the end of this year or early next year, but mayor Tom Hayes said at a village board meeting that it’s “certainly possible” that the board could reject the Bears’ $5 billion development plans.
Concerns about traffic, parking, and taxpayer money could affect the predevelopment agreement presented by the Bears.
- Hayes clarified that the plans are early and don’t include much detail, so more concerns and questions will be “answered down the road.”
- He also indicated that the pending predevelopment agreement is in place to assist the team in closing its purchase.
“This predevelopment agreement does not provide a former approval of the preliminary concept,” village manager Randy Recklaus said. “It may not even be the concept that is formally proposed by the Chicago Bears when we’re all said and done.”
The board will hold a final vote on Nov. 7.
Build A Bears Stadium
Last month, the Bears released renderings of their proposed home away from Soldier Field and an adjacent multipurpose entertainment district.
The project would “result in $9.4 billion in economic impact for Chicagoland and provide $3.9 billion in labor income to workers across the region.”