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Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
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Love and Honor Offline
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Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
Not directly relevant to college sports, but the Bears have put in a bid to buy a racetrack and surrounding land about an hour-ish northwest of the Loop for a potential new stadium. Main driver is that Soldier Field is tiny and the Bears don't own it or surrounding land so they're limited in options to maximize revenue (the McCaskeys are some of the less wealthy owners in the NFL), plus internal data shows that most attendance comes from the NW and North Shore burbs anyways. There's a solid chance this is just a negotiating tactic however; current lease runs through 2033 so nothing imminent unless they move fast and feel like buying out the lease.

College wise, if they built a new stadium (almost certainly with a roof) they'd probably get a kickoff game early each season, try luring the Big Ten title game out of Indy, and maybe snag a minor bowl. For those unfamiliar with local geography and Northwestern/NIU, it's almost an hour from the site to both Evanston/Dekalb so there's zero chance either would make it their permanent home.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/bears/2021/...ns-chicago
06-27-2021 03:34 PM
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Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
For posterity, the numbers to buy out the remainder of the lease comes out to about 8 mil a year so extremely doable. The lease won't be what stands in the way of this deal going through or not

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06-27-2021 03:36 PM
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Maize Online
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
You also forgot if it is Retractable Roof or a pure Dome it will also attract a Final Four as well......07-coffee3
06-27-2021 04:57 PM
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
I'm just guessing they are not too thrilled with their mayor who is known affectionately as Beetlejuice.
06-27-2021 05:07 PM
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GoldenWarrior11 Offline
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
Super Bowl. Final Four. B1G Championship. Wrestlemania. Hotels, restaurants, stores. And the potential to have control over the playing surface (which the Chicago Park District has long held). The possibilities are endless.

This pursuit by the Bears is long over due, and would provide undeniable value to the organization long-term. Our idiot Mayor told the Bears they should focus more on beating the Packers. She also said they would be unable to keep the Chicago name.
Incredibly naive and uninformed response, which is par for the course. Very few will be upset if the Bears move to Arlington Heights.

Here's hoping.
(This post was last modified: 06-27-2021 05:10 PM by GoldenWarrior11.)
06-27-2021 05:09 PM
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
(06-27-2021 03:34 PM)Love and Honor Wrote:  Not directly relevant to college sports

... which is why this was moved to the pro sports board. 07-coffee3
06-27-2021 05:40 PM
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nickp Offline
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
Chicago wasn’t even considered in the 2026 World Cup city selection it’s sad that the 3rd largest city in the U.S. couldn’t even be considered
06-27-2021 06:00 PM
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Fighting Muskie Online
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
I hope they can get out of Chicago proper and away from their crooked government.

It’s a shame the way they desecrated historic Soldier Field.
06-27-2021 06:28 PM
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Love and Honor Offline
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
(06-27-2021 05:09 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  Super Bowl. Final Four. B1G Championship. Wrestlemania. Hotels, restaurants, stores. And the potential to have control over the playing surface (which the Chicago Park District has long held). The possibilities are endless.

This pursuit by the Bears is long over due, and would provide undeniable value to the organization long-term. Our idiot Mayor told the Bears they should focus more on beating the Packers. She also said they would be unable to keep the Chicago name.
Incredibly naive and uninformed response, which is par for the course. Very few will be upset if the Bears move to Arlington Heights.

Here's hoping.

There is legit nostalgia value that people have for playing in the same place for generations, and anyone who attends a lot of games living near the Loop or on the south side has a reason to dislike them moving over an hour away. But yeah, the biggest hurdle (and most legit complaint) to getting this done will be financing; the state is broke and the McCaskeys aren't rich like Stan Kroenke, even if the eventual ROI is almost certainly positive in such a big market with a dedicated fan base.

(06-27-2021 06:28 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  I hope they can get out of Chicago proper and away from their crooked government.

It’s a shame the way they desecrated historic Soldier Field.

I mean they're still under the State of Illinois and Cook County, it's not like the Madigan legacy machine (even if he's gone) and Pritzker are paragons of good government.

I don't necessarily blame them for trying to renovate the facility and do something different, especially after so many other pro stadiums have been tore down when they could've been made feasible at significantly less cost. Was more a matter of the execution than the concept.
06-27-2021 08:48 PM
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
(06-27-2021 06:28 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  I hope they can get out of Chicago proper and away from their crooked government.

It’s a shame the way they desecrated historic Soldier Field.

To the point the stadium was removed from the Registry of Historic Places
06-27-2021 11:54 PM
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vandiver49 Online
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
(06-27-2021 05:09 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  Super Bowl. Final Four. B1G Championship. Wrestlemania. Hotels, restaurants, stores. And the potential to have control over the playing surface (which the Chicago Park District has long held). The possibilities are endless.

This pursuit by the Bears is long over due, and would provide undeniable value to the organization long-term. Our idiot Mayor told the Bears they should focus more on beating the Packers. She also said they would be unable to keep the Chicago name.
Incredibly naive and uninformed response, which is par for the course. Very few will be upset if the Bears move to Arlington Heights.

Here's hoping.

The Atlanta mayor at the time engaged in similar posturing regarding the Braves leaving downtown. While it would better if a new stadium were located near the Loop, the Chicago Park District in unlikely to give the Bears favorable lease terms when compared to the Arlington Heights option.
06-28-2021 07:21 AM
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
(06-28-2021 07:21 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  
(06-27-2021 05:09 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  Super Bowl. Final Four. B1G Championship. Wrestlemania. Hotels, restaurants, stores. And the potential to have control over the playing surface (which the Chicago Park District has long held). The possibilities are endless.

This pursuit by the Bears is long over due, and would provide undeniable value to the organization long-term. Our idiot Mayor told the Bears they should focus more on beating the Packers. She also said they would be unable to keep the Chicago name.
Incredibly naive and uninformed response, which is par for the course. Very few will be upset if the Bears move to Arlington Heights.

Here's hoping.

The Atlanta mayor at the time engaged in similar posturing regarding the Braves leaving downtown. While it would better if a new stadium were located near the Loop, the Chicago Park District in unlikely to give the Bears favorable lease terms when compared to the Arlington Heights option.

That, and buying land is wayyyyy more expensive and arduous anywhere near downtown (even if well outside of the Loop core like where the United Center is) compared to a big plot in the burbs that you can take care of in one purchase.

Even if a lot of people and the Park District/city government want the Bears to stay, it's not the end of the world if they leave. It's eight Sundays out of the year they lose (plus other events), at the minimum they could tear down the stadium and keep it as a park that would compliment the Museum Campus nicely (could keep the original stadium facade). Maybe there's some billionaire out there who would help endow a new museum, who knows.
06-28-2021 09:06 PM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
The Bears have been trying/wanting to move to the suburbs for decades - multiple deals fell through because the Bears wanted local Governments to pay too much.


To blame the move on the City of Chicago is laughable.
06-30-2021 11:37 AM
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
(06-30-2021 11:37 AM)dbackjon Wrote:  The Bears have been trying/wanting to move to the suburbs for decades - multiple deals fell through because the Bears wanted local Governments to pay too much.


To blame the move on the City of Chicago is laughable.

Sounds like the 49ers. They made several runs at trying to get random suburbs to "help" with a new stadium, occasionally blaming San Francisco for not building them a free new stadium to replace the old one. Then after 20 years or so, the 49ers finally found a suburb 40 miles away that was eager to use taxpayers' money to subsidize a stadium for a franchise worth well over $3 billion.

Maybe when the Chicago Bears finally realize their suburban dream, they'll build a stadium much better than the one in Santa Clara.
06-30-2021 12:49 PM
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
I can see both sides: 1) Team not wanting to pay, 2) City not wanting to pay. If I had to come down on one side, I'd say the Team should pay but I understand the arguments. I'm glad I'm not in the middle of them (moreso my wallet). I dislike the idea of the Bears leaving Soldier Field but it it what it is.
06-30-2021 03:26 PM
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
(06-28-2021 09:06 PM)Love and Honor Wrote:  
(06-28-2021 07:21 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  
(06-27-2021 05:09 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  Super Bowl. Final Four. B1G Championship. Wrestlemania. Hotels, restaurants, stores. And the potential to have control over the playing surface (which the Chicago Park District has long held). The possibilities are endless.

This pursuit by the Bears is long over due, and would provide undeniable value to the organization long-term. Our idiot Mayor told the Bears they should focus more on beating the Packers. She also said they would be unable to keep the Chicago name.
Incredibly naive and uninformed response, which is par for the course. Very few will be upset if the Bears move to Arlington Heights.

Here's hoping.

The Atlanta mayor at the time engaged in similar posturing regarding the Braves leaving downtown. While it would better if a new stadium were located near the Loop, the Chicago Park District in unlikely to give the Bears favorable lease terms when compared to the Arlington Heights option.

That, and buying land is wayyyyy more expensive and arduous anywhere near downtown (even if well outside of the Loop core like where the United Center is) compared to a big plot in the burbs that you can take care of in one purchase.

Even if a lot of people and the Park District/city government want the Bears to stay, it's not the end of the world if they leave. It's eight Sundays out of the year they lose (plus other events), at the minimum they could tear down the stadium and keep it as a park that would compliment the Museum Campus nicely (could keep the original stadium facade). Maybe there's some billionaire out there who would help endow a new museum, who knows.

What was done with the former Robert Taylor Homes site? The only thing is the Bears are cash poor much like Mark Davis. They don't have the funds to build the domed stadium Chicago probably needs. Does Arlington Heights have the type of tax base to finance such a construction?
06-30-2021 06:26 PM
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Love and Honor Offline
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RE: Chicago Bears exploring a new stadium in NW Suburbs
(06-30-2021 06:26 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  
(06-28-2021 09:06 PM)Love and Honor Wrote:  
(06-28-2021 07:21 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  
(06-27-2021 05:09 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  Super Bowl. Final Four. B1G Championship. Wrestlemania. Hotels, restaurants, stores. And the potential to have control over the playing surface (which the Chicago Park District has long held). The possibilities are endless.

This pursuit by the Bears is long over due, and would provide undeniable value to the organization long-term. Our idiot Mayor told the Bears they should focus more on beating the Packers. She also said they would be unable to keep the Chicago name.
Incredibly naive and uninformed response, which is par for the course. Very few will be upset if the Bears move to Arlington Heights.

Here's hoping.

The Atlanta mayor at the time engaged in similar posturing regarding the Braves leaving downtown. While it would better if a new stadium were located near the Loop, the Chicago Park District in unlikely to give the Bears favorable lease terms when compared to the Arlington Heights option.

That, and buying land is wayyyyy more expensive and arduous anywhere near downtown (even if well outside of the Loop core like where the United Center is) compared to a big plot in the burbs that you can take care of in one purchase.

Even if a lot of people and the Park District/city government want the Bears to stay, it's not the end of the world if they leave. It's eight Sundays out of the year they lose (plus other events), at the minimum they could tear down the stadium and keep it as a park that would compliment the Museum Campus nicely (could keep the original stadium facade). Maybe there's some billionaire out there who would help endow a new museum, who knows.

What was done with the former Robert Taylor Homes site? The only thing is the Bears are cash poor much like Mark Davis. They don't have the funds to build the domed stadium Chicago probably needs. Does Arlington Heights have the type of tax base to finance such a construction?

Eh, not much. Some light density housing, small businesses, and parkland. But the Bears would never go there, it'd take them even farther away from Halas Hall and their main attendance base up north.

Metlife in New Jersey and Levi's in Santa Clara were more expensive than a number of retractable or domed stadiums. It makes a difference but the McCaskeys have to know that if they cut costs by a hundred million for open air they miss on a bleep-ton of revenue for year-round and high-prestige events. Virginia Halas McCaskey is no spring chicken, if she passes in the near future her children might bring in a new investor to help out. Arlington Heights is a large burb and has money but not enough to pay by themselves; it may have been a different situation if they looked somewhere in DuPage County instead of Cook.
06-30-2021 08:59 PM
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