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The Chicago Bears are one step closer to a potential move from Soldier Field to Arlington Heights. This news comes after Arlington Heights approved a potential football stadium at Arlington Park.
Last week, the Bears announced that they placed a bid on the Arlington Heights International Racecourse. The intent was obvious: to build a new stadium.
While Soldier Field has its storied history, it remains the smallest stadium in the NFL with a capacity of 61,500. Then there’s the issue of limitations involving potential renovations given Soldier Field is owned by the city of Chicago. So building a new state-of-the-art stadium — where the Bears have control — isn’t a crazy idea at all. Even if their lease with Soldier Field runs through 2033.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the Bears’ possible move Wednesday on 670 The Score, where he didn’t speculate about where the Bears will play in the future only that their bid on Arlington Park could signal a potential move from Soldier Field.
“I don’t know the answer to that question other than to know this is a really early stage to develop potentially an alternative,” Goodell said. “But I think a lot has to be done here. I know their commitment to the Chicago area is 110%, and that’s the most important thing to me.
“We have a long lease at Soldier Field. It’s a great place. But we’re all looking to the long term and trying to look at alternatives, and that’s what the Bears are doing.
“But I think for fans right now, I wouldn’t be focused on that. There’s a lot that has to go into this. Right now, let’s enjoy the ’21 season. A lot of excitement for the Bears.”
There’s been mixed reactions to the news of the Bears’ bid on Arlington Heights International Racecourse, ranging from excitement about a new state-of-the-art stadium to disappointment about moving further from Chicago.
Even Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot shared her thoughts about the potential move, saying it was nothing more than leverage against the city of Chicago when it comes to Soldier Field. She even took a shot at the team saying they needed to focus more about “staying relevant past October” and “putting a winning football team” on the field.
But at this point, regardless of what Lightfoot said, the Bears’ bid on Arlington Park doesn’t feel like “noise,” and it’s a real possibility at this point.