Bears share new pictures, plans for Arlington Park originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears released a letter regarding their intentions to develop Arlington Park on Tuesday, including renderings of how they would develop not only a new stadium, but also a full-fledged entertainment district in the surrounding areas.
“Make no mistake, this is much more than a stadium project,” the Bears said in the letter. “Any development of Arlington Park will propose to include a multi-purpose entertainment, commercial/retail, and housing district that will provide considerable economic benefits to Cook County, the surrounding region and State of Illinois.”
The long-term plans for Arlington Park will be fluid, but for now the team envisions developing restaurants, hotels, parks, gyms and office space in addition to a new stadium. Of course the new home stadium for the Bears will garner the most attention, and the team revealed that they’re planning an enclosed stadium to protect the team and fans from the outside elements. Say goodbye to Bears weather, but say hello to the opportunity to host marquee national events. While the Bears will likely only host one Super Bowl in their new stadium (cold weather cities usually only host one championship game to celebrate a new stadium opening before the Big Game moves back to warmer-weather cities), the team is hopeful they can lure other big-ticket items like the College Football Playoffs and the Final Four.
The Bears said they will seek no public money to fund the construction of the new stadium, but they will look for partnerships with local government agencies “to secure additional funding and assistance needed to support the feasibility of the remainder of the development.” According to the team, construction of the stadium and development of the surrounding area is projected to create over 48,000 jobs, and provide $3.9 billion in wages to workers. Once construction is complete, the Bears expect to create over 9,750 long-term jobs with $601 million in annual wages. They also project $16 million in annual tax revenue for Arlington Heights, on top of their property taxes, plus $9.8 million in tax revenue for Cook County and $51.3 million for Illinois.
As they have throughout this process, the Bears reminded that they have yet to close on the property, and there are still are still steps they must take before it’s a done deal. The Bears did confirm that they are not exploring other new stadium options, including renovations to Soldier Field, though.
The Bears signed a purchase agreement for Arlington Park for over $197 million last September.
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