Chicago Bears' lakefront stadium proposal faces uphill battle

CHICAGO - The Chicago Bears' endeavor to construct a new domed stadium on the lakefront is encountering significant resistance, not only from skeptical state lawmakers but also from a group notorious for impeding large-scale developments.

Billionaire George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, surrendered in his bid to establish the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on the lakefront due to opposition from Chicago's Friends of the Parks, citing violations of the city's lakefront protection ordinance, which led to a legal battle.

Now, the Bears are eyeing the same location for their proposed stadium, eliciting opposition from the same group.

For months, Friends of the Parks has vocally opposed the Bears' plan, emphasizing their commitment to safeguarding the lakefront. However, whether they intend to resort to legal action remains uncertain.

"We're not there yet. That's just not the first tool you look for, pull out. Not the second tool. It's better to have civic discourse, conversations and then, if necessary, you use the biggest tool in your bag," remarked Gin Kilgore, a spokesperson for Friends of the Parks.

The group has proposed alternative sites for the Bears, notably the former Michael Reese Hospital site south of McCormick Place. Nonetheless, the Bears face numerous obstacles, foremost among them the skepticism of Governor JB Pritzker regarding the proposed plan.