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Bears hope to break ground on new stadium in 2025, Aurora mayor makes pitch

CHICAGO - Bears Team President Kevin Warren remains optimistic about plans for a new lakefront domed stadium, despite recent setbacks in securing public funding in Springfield.

Warren stated that the goal is to begin construction by 2025, with the stadium opening for football in 2028. However, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin is offering an alternative, promising financial support from taxpayers.

"We’ll be able to create a financial package that will get them to pay off those billions of dollars in a relatively quick period of time, and start making profit for the Bears," Irvin said.

Irvin attended Warren’s presentation at the Lincoln Forum on Tuesday, moderated by FOX 32 Sports Anchor Lou Canellis. While Warren acknowledged Irvin’s interest, he reiterated his commitment to the lakefront domed stadium plan.

"Aurora is a really special place," Warren said. "But our focus has been and will remain in Chicago."

Despite the lack of support from Governor JB Pritzker and legislative leaders for taxpayer financing, Warren is determined to move forward with the project.

"All it means is we have more work to do," Warren said. "We understand that these projects take time, effort, they're complex, but they're rewarding."

Irvin, on the other hand, believes he can expedite the construction of a new stadium in Aurora.

"If it doesn’t work in Chicago or takes one or two years, I can tell you we won’t have those issues in Aurora," Irvin said. "I will personally walk it through the process and make those relationships with other agencies, whether it be the townships, school districts, or county."

The Bears also still own the giant plot of land in Arlington Heights.

Warren's big pitch is that the city needs a public-private stadium to host big events, including NCAA tournaments, Super Bowls, etc.

Illinois lawmakers will not be in session again until the fall, when they are unlikely to change their tune as reelection campaigns will be in full swing.