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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Chicago Bears Stadium Proposal Includes A Curveball

  • The Chicago Bears are taking steps to relocate to Arlington Heights.
  • The team is considering a proposed small baseball stadium on the site.
A Chicago Bears helmet.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears are drawing up plans for a new football stadium — and might throw in one for baseball while they’re at it.

The team is actively exploring relocating to Arlington Heights, a city of about 78,000 northwest of Chicago.

  • The team has paid $125,000 for studies to examine its stadium proposal. 
  • Team chairman George McCaskey has been involved in talks surrounding a new stadium development. The team wants to close a deal by early 2023.
  • In September, the Bears agreed to pay $197 million to purchase the Arlington International Racecourse from Churchill Downs, pending final approval on both sides.

The team would presumably have to break its lease at Soldier Field, which runs until 2033. The team can pay $84 million to leave after 2026.

Let’s Play Two

The team is reportedly looking into a proposal to house a new baseball league for undrafted college players on the same site.

William Larsen, former general manager of the Kane County Cougars minor league team, has proposed a four-team league, all of whom would initially play in a 4,000-seat stadium. Larsen has said that he hasn’t heard if the Bears are interested in hosting the league.

Larsen estimated that the league could draw 450,000 fans per year and would offer summer programming during the NFL’s offseason.

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