The Chicago Bears have agreed to purchase the Arlington International Racecource, about 35 miles from their current Soldier Field location, for $192.7 million.
The “326-acre piece of land that will easily fit any new stadium design they might have in mind,” CBS Sports reported on Sept. 29. “In anticipation of the Bears buying the property, the Arlington Heights village board approved a zoning change in June that will allow a football stadium to be built on the land, which is currently occupied by a horse racing track.”
The sale probably won’t be finalized until late 2022 or early 2023 and Chicago politicians say they are working to keep the team in Chicago.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a tweet that the city “remains committed to continuing to work to keep the team in Chicago.” Her office issued a separate statement saying it was not surprised by the announcement but has informed the Bears that it remains “open to discussions” to keep the team in Chicago, SportsNet (SN) reported.
The team has played at Soldier Field since 1971.
“If the Bears do move, they would be able to develop more than 300 acres around the stadium with dining, shopping and entertainment — something other teams such as the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Charges and Las Vegas Raiders have done to add revenue,” SN said.