According to a report from Scott Powers of the Athletic, the Chicago Bears have reached an agreement to purchase the property that has been home to Arlington Racecourse. The team will reportedly announce the transaction on Wednesday.
While terms of the deal have not been disclosed, it’s a promising sign that the Bears are another step closer to building a new stadium outside of Chicago.
The team has been at odds with both the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District, the latter of which owns and operates Soldier Field.
The Bears are locked into a lease at Soldier Field until 2033, with an opt-out clause after 2026. They would have to pay a fine of roughly $84 million if they were to opt out, but that’s a small fee for a team valued at over $4 billion who would likely be investing a few billion dollars in a new home anyways.
The Chicago Bears have reportedly come to an agreement to purchase Arlington Racecourse in north suburban Arlington Heights.
While we’ll likely learn more in the coming days, it’s unlikely that a firm decision will come very soon. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office has made it clear that they will continue to negotiate with the team, as losing the Bears would be a significant hit to the city’s wallet.
Chicago has a debt burden of over $48.5 billion as of 2021, and losing the Bears could add to that.
Here are three takeaways from the Bears’ purchase of Arlington Racecourse.