The Bears and Chicago aren’t close
While Chicago and the Bears go together like baseball and hot dogs (unless you’re vegan), it’s clear that the city and team are having some relationship issues. It’s probably safe to assume that given the deal, the Bears and Chicago are likely far off in their negotiations for renovating Soldier Field.
While it’s not the nail in the coffin, it’s a clear indicator that the Bears are quite serious about moving to the suburbs and building a new stadium.
It’s also possible that there’s nothing that the city could do if Bears ownership has already made up their mind about relocating.
Though most Bears fans know Soldier Field as the home of the Bears, they’ve only played there for roughly half of their franchise history.
Prior to moving to Soldier Field in 1971, the Bears shared Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs. They also spent their first season in Decatur, IL and one season in Champaign, IL while the team renovated Soldier Field (more on that later).
It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months, as it’s now crunch time for the city to make the Bears an offer that they can’t refuse.
Given the approximately four year timeline to build a new stadium, the team may be looking to start construction next year and move into the new stadium in 2026.
At any rate, the Bears are clearly very serious about relocating and appear to have one foot out the door. Whether or not the other foot follows remains to be seen.