Chicago Bears unveil new stadium plans, will seek public funding for ‘entertainment district’

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The Chicago Bears on Tuesday unveiled plans about a new stadium they hope to build in the Arlington Heights section of the city. While the Bears will not seek public funding for its construction, they do expect a surrounding “entertainment district”.

The franchise released a statement on its website discussing initial plans for the 326-acre site, which would be a domed stadium surrounded by an entertainment district that used to be Arlington Park Racecourse. Byers are still negotiating a contract on the site.

“While the Bears will not seek any public funding for direct stadium structure construction, given the broad, long-term public benefits of this project, we are partnering with various government bodies to secure the additional funding and assistance needed to support viability. Look forward to the remaining development,” the team said in the statement.

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A layout of the plans for the Chicago Bears Stadium at Arlington Park.

“If the team moves forward with the purchase of the Arlington Park property, and if the Bears organization chooses to proceed with development of the property, the project will be one of the largest development projects in the history of the state of Illinois.”

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The team goes on to break what they expect with the project, which includes “a multi-purpose entertainment district anchored by a new, best-in-class enclosed stadium.” Hopefully the new stadium will lead to events like the Super Bowl, college football playoffs and more wanting to use it as a host site.

Byers envisions the entertainment district to include restaurants, offices, a hotel, fitness center and more “which will provide considerable economic benefits to Cook County.”

An aerial view of the Chicago Bears' initial plans for a 326-acre site for a new domed stadium at Arlington Park.

An aerial view of the Chicago Bears’ initial plans for a 326-acre site for a new domed stadium at Arlington Park.
(Hart Horton/Chicago Bears)

Those gains are estimated at $16 million in annual tax revenue in addition to property taxes for “Arlington Heights.” The team also said it would generate $9.8 million for Cook County and $51.3 million for the state.

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In September 2021, the Bears signed an agreement to acquire the assets, although “there are conditions that must be met to remain in a state of closure.”

“There is still much to be decided, but any decision will be made in the best interest of the long-term future of the Bears, our fans and the Chicagoland community,” the statement read.

Chicago Bears President Ted Phillips speaks during a press conference at Halas Hall on Monday, January 1, 2018 in Lake Forest, Ill.  The Bears fired coach John Fox on Monday.

Chicago Bears President Ted Phillips speaks during a press conference at Halas Hall on Monday, January 1, 2018 in Lake Forest, Ill. The Bears fired coach John Fox on Monday.
(Brian Casella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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The Bears are committed to their current lease on Soldier Field, which has been their home since 1974.

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