The Chicago Bears are one step closer to building a flashy new stadium.
This week, the team announced that it’s finalized its purchase of Arlington Park, a 326-acre enclave in suburban Arlington Heights.
The construction of a new stadium is one of the main priorities for incoming Bears president and CEO Kevin Warren, who will begin official duties in the spring. The franchise is worth $5.8 billion — the fifth-most-valuable team in the NFL, per Forbes.
The Bears said in a letter that there’s still no guarantee the land will be used for a new stadium.
If the plans do go forward, the Bears hope to build a stadium as well as “a regional hub for entertainment, shopping, and community events.”
It’s unclear who will fund the project, however. “If we construct a state-of-the-art stadium, we will not seek taxpayer funds, locally or otherwise, for the structure,” the letter said. But the team does expect public funding assistance for infrastructure related to the project, like roads.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said he isn’t in favor of a stadium development plan that would provide tax relief for the team. The Bears suggest the project will bring $9.4 billion in economic impact to the area.