Hart Howerton / Chicago Bears
The National Football League’s (NFL) Chicago Bears have confirmed the acquisition of a 326-acre property in Arlington Heights for US$197.2 million, where they intend to build a new stadium.
- According to the Bears, economic analysts have estimated that the development would create more than 48,000 jobs, generate US$9.4 billion for the local economy, and provide US$3.9 billion in new labour income to workers across the region
- Bears confirm they will not seek taxpayer funds locally or otherwise for the stadium’s construction
- However, the NFL franchise says it will require public funds for infrastructure costs covering aspects such as water drainage and road construction
- Team intend to build an entertainment district alongside the stadium
The Bears initially signed a purchase agreement for the site back in September 2021 and have continued to make it clear that building a new stadium on the Arlington Heights property was their preference. This decision was made despite the best efforts of local authorities, who are keen to ensure the franchise keeps playing at Soldier Field, going as far as unveiling a US$2.2 billion proposal to revamp the venue.
The Bears have warned that the land purchase does not automatically mean they will be able to carry out its plans for the racecourse site, stating: ‘Finalising the purchase does not guarantee the land will be developed, but it is an important next step in our ongoing evaluation of the opportunity.
‘There is still a tremendous amount of due diligence work to be done to determine if constructing an enclosed state-of-the-art stadium and multi-purpose entertainment district is feasible.’
The Bears will now need to carry out the necessary checks to ensure it is possible to execute its grand plans for the property.