Sorry, Arlington Heights – Chicago Reader


Pound for pound, last week’s funniest headline, if not the month, came from the most unlikely source—Crain’s Business in Chicago.

Not widely known for their knee pads.

But in this case, they made me laugh out loud, when a few days ago they asked the following question in a clickbait post sent en masse via email: “A new stadium for the Bears: who would pay?” for that ? “

For real, Crain’s? Don’t know the answer to this question? Come on, you covered the same savings I was covering. So I think we all know who habit pay for the new stadium.

The Bears! The team in whose name it would be built.

You know, I guess maybe too much here. Not everyone is as crazy about sports as I am. Or, in this case, not everyone has wasted thousands of hours in the past 55 years watching the Bears!

So let me write just the shortest primer for ignorant sports writers who suddenly find themselves forced to write about bears.

Here’s all you need to know. . .

They are inexpensive! I mean really cheap. As in the CHEAP genre of cheap.

In addition, they are clinically unable to hire a trainer who is knowledgeable on offense. But let’s not overwhelm beginners on the first day of class. Back to the main lesson.

Bears are so cheap that Mike Ditka — I guess everyone has Crain’s knows who he is – once proclaimed that they threw coins like manhole covers.

The biggest line MAGA Mike has ever said – almost enough that I forgive him for all the right-wing nonsense he has said over the years.

He was talking about Papa Bear George Halas, who founded the team. But as any Bears player can tell you, that also applies to the McCaskey, descendants of Halas, who are currently running the series there.

That’s why I confidently predict that the Bears won’t offer a nickel cover or manhole for their new park. Even if, again, they are the ones who will benefit.

No, the Bears’ interest in buying Arlington International Racecourse is to start a bidding war between Arlington Heights and Chicago over which set of sap will pick up the bill.

So who’s going to pay for Papa Bear’s stadium? Property taxpayers in any city lose this bidding war. And by lose, I mean “win”.

Right now my money is in Arlington Heights because their city leaders seem to be speechless about wasting public money on a very bad football team.

And their means of paying for the stadium will probably be my old friend, Mr. TIF.

And now Arlingtoners, or whatever you call Arlington Heights citizens, it’s time for a quick primer on funding tax increases.

A TIF is a surcharge that your managers impose on your property tax. The money is deposited into a bank account largely controlled by your leaders, only to be withdrawn for so-called economic development projects, however foolish they may be.

In this case, this project is a stadium for the Bears, who don’t need it because Soldier Field is more than enough. And they don’t deserve it, because they really suck.

In short, Arlington Heights, it looks like your thirsty leaders are preparing to give millions and millions and millions of dollars of your property taxes to the McCaskey so they can build a stadium that will make their team even richer than it is. is not. The last time I looked, the Bears were valued at $ 4 billion.

This is my answer to the question Crain’s posed.

There is one caveat – man, I love to speak Latin.

Chicago could step in to waste its money on the Bears.

I know you are thinking, Arlingtoners, why would a city that is still on the verge of bankruptcy waste property tax money on a stadium that just turns it into a broker? Because they can’t help it. Chicago loves to throw money at the rich.

So seek out various Chicago citizens and businesses to tell us how damaging it would be to the city’s soul if the Bears were to leave.

And how wrong it would be for Mayor Lightfoot to let them go.

And then be prepared for various political speakers to say that wouldn’t happen if Mayors Daley or Rahm were in charge.

Putting more pressure on Mayor Lightfoot to give in to the Bears’ extortion. But I still think the dubious honor will go to Arlington Heights.

In which case, more bad news, Arlingtoners, if your TIF program is run as dishonestly and deceitfully as Chicago’s.

You will be subjected to enormous amounts of stretching the truth. Like the F in TIF could very well mean lying.

They will tell you that the money is not really for the Bears, it is for “the infrastructure”. So you’ll think you’re getting better streets or something.

Mayor Rahm supplied the infrastructure line to the people of Chicago and they bought it.

Well, at least the city council did. In 2019, Mayor Rahm made them agree to give Sterling Bay more than $ 1 billion to build Lincoln Yards, a high-end development in an area already in the process of gentrification.

Discussing talking points written by the mayor, the aldermen said they would build bridges and new roads. As if Sterling Bay were just a spectator.

So if you fall for the infrastructure hype, Arlington Heights, you’ll be as gullible as a Chicago city councilor.

Plus, Arlingtoners, the TIF Bears would raise your property taxes, even if your executives tell you it won’t. But enough football and TIF lessons for the day.

Ultimately, I hate being the bearer (yuck, yuck, yuck) of bad news Arlingtoners, but if a sucker has to pay for Bears Stadium fantasies all I can say is. . .

Better you than me.

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