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Da Bears to Da Burbs?
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BobcatEngineer Offline
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Da Bears to Da Burbs?
Looks like the Bears are starting to make moves to relocate to the suburb of Arlington Heights Northwest of the city. This is after major renovations were performed on the historic stadium back in 2004, of which taxpayers covered $432 million of the $660 million total bill.

Quote:CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears took a major step toward moving out of their longtime home at Soldier Field — one of the most recognizable stadiums in the United States — and into the suburbs by signing a purchase agreement for Arlington Park about 30 miles northwest of the city.

“We are excited to have executed a Purchase and Sale Agreement for the Arlington Park property,” Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips said in a statement Wednesday. “Much work remains to be completed including working closely with the Village of Arlington Heights and surrounding communities, before we can close on this transaction.”

Churchill Downs Incorporated, which owns the property officially known as Arlington International Racecourse, announced that the sale price was $197.2 million.

At a press briefing, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she will “do what I can to keep (the Bears) here in the city of Chicago and I don’t think the door has closed by any means.”

https://news.wttw.com/2021/09/29/bears-m...ld-suburbs
09-30-2021 03:37 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
The closing date for the sale of the racetrack property is end of 2022 or early 2023. That gives the team more than a year to squeeze the city of Chicago for big concessions, and then back out of the racetrack deal.

So, the deal is probably a leverage ploy up until the day the sale closes and the team pays the purchase price. After that happens, then we can start talking about what their suburban domed stadium will look like.
09-30-2021 04:00 PM
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vandiver49 Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
I don't think there is anything the Bears want from the city, to say nothing of the lack of political will for such concessions in Chicago. I think the real question is can the Bears extort enough money out of Arlington Heights to pay for a domed stadium? Because Virginia McCaskey certainly doesn't have it.
09-30-2021 07:40 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
(09-30-2021 07:40 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  I don't think there is anything the Bears want from the city, to say nothing of the lack of political will for such concessions in Chicago. I think the real question is can the Bears extort enough money out of Arlington Heights to pay for a domed stadium? Because Virginia McCaskey certainly doesn't have it.

Until about 10 years ago I would have said there was no way a mid-sized suburb would put up that kind of money on its own, but Santa Clara threw a lot of money at the 49ers, so it’s been proven possible.
09-30-2021 10:51 PM
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vandiver49 Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
(09-30-2021 10:51 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(09-30-2021 07:40 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  I don't think there is anything the Bears want from the city, to say nothing of the lack of political will for such concessions in Chicago. I think the real question is can the Bears extort enough money out of Arlington Heights to pay for a domed stadium? Because Virginia McCaskey certainly doesn't have it.

Until about 10 years ago I would have said there was no way a mid-sized suburb would put up that kind of money on its own, but Santa Clara threw a lot of money at the 49ers, so it’s been proven possible.

Cobb County did as well. Granted it was baseball but still it was money the gov't didn't have.
10-02-2021 02:37 AM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
If I were in Congress I would pass a law making any type of concession or government money to a private enterprise taxable income.

It’s insane that multi billion dollar franchises need government help to build anything
10-02-2021 10:56 AM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
If the McCaskeys can’t afford it on their own and they need to sell. It’s a franchise not a birthright
10-02-2021 10:56 AM
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goofus Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
Although the Raiders got the government to pay for $0.7 billion they still had to find a way to pay for the rest of the stadium, which cost $1.9B total. The raiders, like the Bears, is a family franchise with no other income than the NFL team itself. I would say if the Raiders found a bank willing to loan them over a billion dollars, the Bears would too.

Like somebody said, if things don't work out, the McCaskeys can always sell the franchise. There are enough billionaires out there that can pay the stadium themselves if needed.
(This post was last modified: 10-03-2021 12:24 PM by goofus.)
10-03-2021 12:19 PM
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Love and Honor Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
Behind the scenes I feel like this is a done deal, the McCaskeys don't want to deal with Chicago politics anymore (they descendents of Virginia will probably sell the team once she passes, let's be real) and Soldier Field is simply outdated with little prospects of getting to the upper tier of NFL revenue generation. Chicago is a big enough market that the surrounding development opportunities and PSL sales opportunities are probably enough to pay for the stadium without significant public investment outside of infrastructure costs.
(This post was last modified: 10-07-2021 12:35 PM by Love and Honor.)
10-06-2021 11:23 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
What are the odds that the Bears convince some non-NFL city to build them a palace and The Chicago market become the leveraging chip for future stadiums for the next 2 decades like LA was?
10-11-2021 06:47 PM
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BePcr07 Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
(10-11-2021 06:47 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  What are the odds that the Bears convince some non-NFL city to build them a palace and The Chicago market become the leveraging chip for future stadiums for the next 2 decades like LA was?

I can’t imagine Chicago will be vacant. Jaguars would take it in a heartbeat.
10-12-2021 09:10 AM
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vandiver49 Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
(10-11-2021 06:47 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  What are the odds that the Bears convince some non-NFL city to build them a palace and The Chicago market become the leveraging chip for future stadiums for the next 2 decades like LA was?

Zilch. The revenue potential in Chicagoland is too great for the Bears to leave. The issue with LA was that the city and surrounding metros had 20 years of proof that they weren't going to spend one penny on a publicly financed stadium. That evidence doesn't exist for the Chicago area yet.

I think the solution is that Virginia's kids sell the team after she passes.
10-12-2021 07:00 PM
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Love and Honor Offline
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RE: Da Bears to Da Burbs?
(10-12-2021 07:00 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  
(10-11-2021 06:47 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  What are the odds that the Bears convince some non-NFL city to build them a palace and The Chicago market become the leveraging chip for future stadiums for the next 2 decades like LA was?

Zilch. The revenue potential in Chicagoland is too great for the Bears to leave. The issue with LA was that the city and surrounding metros had 20 years of proof that they weren't going to spend one penny on a publicly financed stadium. That evidence doesn't exist for the Chicago area yet.

I think the solution is that Virginia's kids sell the team after she passes.

Yep, pretty much. Not to mention that the NFL no longer has a number of bad facilities they're actively trying to get out of (Oakland, San Diego, St. Louis) where they could leverage LA for negotiations, not anymore.

I think you're right about the McCaskeys selling the team once that happens. They have no real independent fortune outside of the team, they won't be able to run the Bears by committee imo. No way Virginia outlives the current Soldier Field lease.
10-12-2021 08:32 PM
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