The Bears Can Kiss Soldier Field and the City of Chicago Goodbye
Chicago Bears fans spent nearly 50 years watching everyone from Jim McMahon to Mitchell Trubisky celebrate touchdowns at Soldier Field.
Instead of spending their Sunday at one of the NFL’s oldest stadiums, those same fans can prepare for taking games to a new location. At least, that would be the case if a local politician could get away with it.
The Bears could leave Soldier Field and Chicago for the suburbs
Go out with the Chicago Bears, along with the… Chicago Bears of Arlington Heights?
According to Daily Herald, the Arlington Heights, Illinois, area is still interested in building a stadium for the Bears. Arlington Heights is approximately 27 miles from Soldier Field, the Bears ’longtime home.
Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes told the Daily Herald that the Bears potentially moving to his area remains a possibility. The Bears will likely play in the Arlington Park area, a race breed that its next owner is expected to drop and thrive on.
“It’s still on the table, in my understanding, but it’s a complete, definite ‘maybe. I’m not in a position to say definitely’ go ‘or definitely’ go go. ‘ ”
The Daily Herald reported that a Bears spokesman did not return a comment. However, the paper also said the team has not denied interest in moving to Arlington Park.
If they move to Arlington Heights, it makes sense to think that the Bears could retain their current name and brand. Just ask the New York Giants and Jets, who both play in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Don’t expect the Bears to leave anytime soon, though
The process of building new stadiums or moving to another city is not as easy as showing video games or movies. There is an extensive legal process involving everything from the leases to who funds the stadium.
The Bears ’current lease at Soldier Field runs until 2033, and the NFL does not allow teams to end their leases early. Although the NFL approved the Raiders ’move to Las Vegas in 2017, the team could not move for another two seasons because their lease to Oakland did not expire until February 2019.
All of this is very much related to the Bears and their current situation at the stadium. Although the Bears are getting funding to move to Arlington Park, their current lease makes it extremely difficult for the move to take place in the near future.
However, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was determined to keep the Bears around and said earlier this year she felt “serving us as a city to rise.” There is no stadium in the NFL that holds fewer people than Soldier Field’s capacity of 61,500.
None of Chicago’s major teams left the suburbs
The idea of the Bears leaving Chicago seems like just a fantasy, and there’s reason for local fans to be skeptical. None of the city’s major sports teams have left Windy City.
The Cubs, likely in an attempt to get funding for renovations to Wrigley Field, were researching the idea of moving to Rosemont, 13 miles west, in early 2013. It should come as no surprise that later that year, it was approved of the Chicago City Council plans later that year for a $ 575 million renovation of the sport’s oldest stadium.
The Bears organization is playing politics to get what they want, and the city of Chicago has so much to lose to not work on re -operating Soldier Field.
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