Arlington Park destruction helps Bears inch toward new stadium
The Chicago Bears have taken another step toward building a stadium in Arlington Heights. The Bears have completed the demolition of what was once known as “Arlington Park,” also known as “Arlington International Raceway.”
You can see a short video about the demolition here.
The Bears have plans to build a new football stadium on the property. The team completed the purchase of the old horserace track in February of 2023. The 326-acre property was bought for $197.2 million.
The demolition means the property is closer to build-ready. This action was likely done in hopes that construction could begin immediately if and when the Bears come to an agreement on the tax
situation with local officials.
By finalizing the purchase, there is no guarantee that the land will be developed, according to the Bears.
The Bears have invested a significant amount of money in the property already, they seem certain about building a new stadium there. So it would be odd to move on from the property now, but as time goes on that seems more and more likely.
Bears team president Kevin Warren has gone on record saying that Arlington Park is not the team’s only possible location.
“We were singularly focused on this development at Arlington Park,” Warren said. “Since that time has come and passed and we’ve had a stalemate and a lack of communication — and it sounds like it’s a little bit more convoluted at this point in time than I thought it would be — well, then we’re in a position to start exploring other places and opportunities. As any good business person would do, that’s what you need to do.”
This quote from Warren is from June 2023, well before destruction was completed at the site.
The Bears rejected the city of Chicago’s proposal for Soldier Field renovations. This is because the city owns the stadium. The Bears can’t take full advantage of the money the stadium generates because they don’t own it and they pay a lease. This is why the Bears are determined to build elsewhere, so they can build a building they 100 percent own. That way they can fully profit and control every aspect of the building.
Where the Bears will play in the future is still up in the air. Activity at Arlington Park indicates that the team has not given up on that location yet.
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