Bears sign purchase agreement for Arlington Park property: exclusive
The Bears signed a purchase contract for the property at Arlington International Racecourse in the suburb of Arlington Heights, Ill., Athleticism has learned. The team is expected to announce the news on Wednesday morning.
“We are not surprised by this decision. We remain committed to continuing work to keep the team in Chicago and have informed the Bears that we remain open to discussions,” a city hall spokesman said in a statement. Athleticism. However, just as the Bears see it as a business decision, so does the city. This season Soldier Field signed a major contract with the Chicago Fire and last weekend Soldier Field hosted the Shamrock series – which are all two lucrative ones for the Chicago Park District and local economy.
“These and other examples demonstrate that Soldier Field remains a highly sought after location and, as the mayor has said on several occasions, overall, the city and the parks district must explore all options to improve at the both the visitor and fan experience during the Soldier Field year. – rounding off and maximizing revenue. Therefore, we must do what is in the best economic interest of our taxpayers and maximize the financial benefits to the asset important that Soldier Field is. As for the Bears, the mayor has said it several times, our gate in town The lobby remains open to engage the Bears. “
Mayor Lori Lightfoot added in a tweet later Tuesday, “My statement still stands on the Bears: My administrator remains committed to continuing the work to keep the team in Chicago. As I have said on several occasions, our door to City Hall remains open.”
On June 17, the Bears submitted an offer to purchase the property at Arlington International Racecourse.
“It is our obligation to explore all possible options to ensure that we are doing what is best for our organization and its future,” team president Ted Phillips said in a statement in June. “If selected, this step allows us to further assess the property and its potential.”
The Bears’ lease at Soldier Field runs until 2033, but according to the Chicago Tribune, the Bears are expected to pay the city $ 84 million if they break the lease in 2026. The financial penalty decreases after 2026.
“($ 84 million) is just 3% of the average cost of $ 2.2 billion of the league’s seven most recent stadiums,” the report said.
At the time, Lightfoot called the Bears’ offer a “bargaining tactic.”
“As a longtime Bears fan and subscriber, I am committed to keeping the ‘Chicago’ name on our football team,” she said. “And like most Bears fans, we want the organization to focus on building a winning team on the pitch, finally beating the Packers and being relevant after October. Everything else is noise.”
Last week, WBEZ released two reports reflecting the conflict between the Bears and the Chicago Park District, which owns Soldier Field. At a meeting in April, Phillips “reportedly requested engineering reports on infrastructure” from Soldier Field. Michael Kelly, the Chicago Park District superintendent, emailed Phillips accusing him of a “propensity for historical statements.”
In early June, Phillips accused the Chicago Park District of refusing to “engage in good faith discussions” when the Bears announced the creation of a bookmaker near Soldier Field.
While a meeting with the Chicago Sun-Times, Lightfoot said, “I’m a fan of the Bears. I want the Bears to stay in the city of Chicago. And we’re ready to work with them to try and address their concerns. way it is fiscally prudent and does not preclude other uses at this stage.
“We’re looking at ways to improve the fan experience at Soldier Field.… I know it can be better. I’ve been to other venues across the country where the fan experience is far superior to that. that we have at Soldier Field. “
(Photo: Robin Alam / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)