MAYOR: Chicago Bears Moving to Suburbs “Still on the Table”

Here we go again, Bears fans.

A Tuesday deadline looms for developers to submit initial offers to Churchill Downs Inc. for the historic Arlington Park Horse Racetrack and Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes says the Bears moving to the Northwest suburb is still on the table as a possibility.

The heat has been turned up on rumors of the Bears’ move with the sale of the track, as Hayes had this to say to the Daily Herald regarding the possibility still existing:

“It’s still on the table, to my understanding, but it’s a complete, definite ‘maybe,'” Hayes said. “I’m not in a position where I could say it’s a definite ‘go’ or definite ‘no go.'”

Reports say there are less than ten serious bidders for the racetrack but there has been no comment as to whether the McCaskey family is involved in the proceedings. It is known that at least one group, led by former Arlington Park president Roy Arnold, has ambitions to keep the property as a horse racing facility.

As for the opportunity for the Bears to jump on the imminent sale of the 326-acre property, many more legal hoops need to be jumped through before they play their first game in the suburbs. The team currently has a lease that runs through 2033 with the City of Chicago to play at Soldier Field. Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has said she believes the NFL will not allow the team to move prior to the lease expiring in more than a decade.

The Bears have consistently turned down opportunities to extinguish the flames on the rumor, either avoiding comment altogether or side-stepping the question. If a move were to take place, it’s a good bet that legal proceedings would soon follow similar to when the Rams left St. Louis in 2016.

With the deadline on Tuesday to submit proposals, we could find out more about the property’s future and whether it will be undergoing a major overhaul to become home to the Bears very soon.

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Stephen Johnson

Host of ChiCitySports’ The Bear Front podcast, Stephen previously spent 8 years with ESPN Radio and as a TV reporter. He is an avid fantasy sports player and is a former Fantasy Football Expert for Chicago’s 670am The Score.

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