Although team officials continue to say a move to Arlington Heights remains a matter of “if,” not “when,” the Chicago Bears have offered the first sneak peek of their vision for a new stadium complex.
A trio of high-level renderings released by the team on Tuesday demonstrate the scope of the Bears ambition. More than just a new stadium, the team is aiming to turn the 326-acre property into “a multi-purpose entertainment district anchored by a new, best-in-class enclosed stadium, providing Chicagoland with a new home worthy of hosting global events such as the Super Bowl, College Football Playoffs, and Final Four.”
Though the team’s press materials were long on anticipated revenue-generating benefits for Cook County and the state of Illinois — forecasting $1.4 billion in annual economic impact — they were short on projected costs.
The team stated it would seek no public funding for direct stadium construction, but would expect to partner “with the various governmental bodies to secure additional funding and assistance needed to support the feasibility of the remainder of the development.”
Aside from the stadium, the master plan also encompasses entertainment, commercial and retail, restaurants, parks and open spaces, housing and possibly a hotel.
Whether any of these plans will come to fruition is still a question mark.
“There is much work to be done before we can close on the property, and then, whether we will develop it,” team officials said.
Representatives from the Bears will host an information meeting Thursday to discuss the potential purchase and possible development of Arlington Park from 7-9 p.m. at John Hersey High School. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with attendees admitted first come, first served until capacity is reached.
In the meantime, Bears officials said they will continue to honor the team’s lease of Soldier Field. The team kicks off its 2022 home season on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.