3:37 PM ET
Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer
- Covered the 49ers, Raiders and Warriors for the San Jose Mercury News. She joined ESPN in 2017.
LAKE FOREST, IL – Chicago Bears Tuesday announced their concept plan to develop the 326-acre Arlington Park property, which includes the construction of a stadium dome.
In what the organization calls “one of the largest developments in Illinois history, the Bears envision a mixed-use entertainment complex based on a “new, state-of-the-art enclosed stadium” District, providing Chicago with a new home worthy of global events such as the Super Bowl, the College Football Playoffs and the Final Four.”
The Bears wrote an open letter vowing not to Will seek public funding for “immediate stadium structure construction” but said it hopes to work with various government agencies to secure additional funding and assistance for the remaining games. The development will also include restaurants, office space, a hotel, fitness centre access, new PARKS AND OPEN SPACE.
Last September, the Bears signed a $197.2 million sale and purchase agreement (PSA) with Churchill Downs Inc, moving toward leaving the historic Soldier Field One step further. For the Arlington Heights suburban property, the track that has hosted thoroughbred races since 1927 is for sale.
The Bears’ lease on Soldier Field will run until 2033 2020, but the team could end the lease for about $84 million as early as 2026. In January, team president and CEO Ted Phillips said the group expected to close the Arlington Park land by early 2023. In an open letter , the team continues to express assumptions about the project.
“If we do close the property, it does not guarantee that we will develop it,” the team’s statement read.
However, the Bears said they were only focused on moving forward with regard to developing a stadium in Arlington Heights, not considering the renovations going on in their current home over the past 50 years. July, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed three options for a dome on Soldier Field.
“While contracted with the seller of Arlington Park, we will not discuss or explore Any other alternative stadium location or opportunity, including the renovation of Soldier Field,” the Bears said. “There is still a lot to do, but any decision will be in the best interests of the Bears’ long-term future, our fans and the Chicago community. “
The Bears said the construction of the proposed project is expected to create more than 48,000 jobs and have an economic impact of $9.4 billion for the Chicago area. The completed project is expected to create more than 9,750 jobs Long-term jobs and an annual economic impact of $1.4 billion in the region.