Bears say new suburban stadium would be enclosed
The Chicago Bears confirmed that a new stadium in suburban Arlington Heights would be domed — if it ever gets built.
The team released a statement Tuesday updating the status of its proposed purchase of the former Arlington Park horse racing track.
“We envision a multi-purpose entertainment district anchored by a new, best-in-class enclosed stadium, providing Chicagoland with a new home worthy of hosting global events such as the Super Bowl, College Football Playoffs, and Final Four,” read the statement, in part.
The team cautioned that “much remains to be decided,” including the exploration of alternative stadium sites as well as renovations to Soldier Field.
The Bears signed a purchase agreement last September for the 326-acre property in Arlington Heights, located about 30 miles northwest of Soldier Field.
“We remain under contract to purchase the property, but there are conditions that must be met in order to be in a position to close,” the statement said. “If we do close on the property, it does not guarantee we will develop it.”
Construction of the proposed project would create 48,000 jobs and make a $9.4 billion economic impact on the region, according to the team.
The Bears have planned a community meeting on Thursday in Arlington Heights to discuss their plans.
The team said it will honor the terms of its lease with Soldier Field, which runs through 2033. The Bears have an option to break the lease with the Chicago Park District as soon as 2026 at a penalty of $84 million.
Soldier Field is the NFL’s oldest stadium and has been the Bears’ full-time home since 1971. The facility opened in 1924.
The conditions of the playing surface at Soldier Field were sharply criticized by NFL Players Association president JC Tretter during the preseason. The field had patches of missing grass and big divots following a rock concert.
–Field Level Media