Chicago Bears to provide $2 billion to build lakefront stadium

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user Flickr Ken Lund, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Chicago Bears are now committed to building a new stadium in Chicago, the team confirmed in a statement on Monday, shifting the development plan from building a new stadium in Arlington Heights to helping fund a new public stadium in the city.

“The Chicago Bears are proud to contribute over $2 billion to build a stadium and improve open spaces for all families, fans and the general public to enjoy in the City of Chicago,” Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren said in the statement. “The future stadium of the Chicago Bears will bring a transformative opportunity to our region — boosting the economy, creating jobs, facilitating mega events and generating millions in tax revenue.

“We look forward to sharing more information when our plans are finalized.”

In 2021 the Chicago Bears agreed to purchase the Arlington International Racecourse, a site 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 at the time. “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.”

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson released a statement about the Bears’ new plan to build in downtown Chicago.

“I have said all along that meaningful private investment and a strong emphasis on public benefit are my requirements for public-private partnerships in our city,” he said. “The Chicago Bears’ plans are a welcome step in that direction and a testament to Chicago’s economic vitality.

“I look forward to subsequent talks with the Bears, State leadership and community stakeholders about how we can continue to responsibly support the aspirations of the team, its fans and all residents of the City of Chicago.”

An exact building location was not included in the announcement and neither was  the future plan for Soldier Field, however it is expected that along with the new stadium, the plan will also feature free and accessible plazas and paths, as well as landscaped and planted areas.

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