Report: Bears stadium announcement could be 'before end of calendar year'

·2 min read

Report: Bears stadium announcement could be 'before end of calendar year' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears might be packing their bags quicker than fans imagined.

Chicago Tribune reporter Brad Biggs said the Bears could announce the new stadium plans "before the end of the calendar year."

The Bears made their plans for building a new stadium very clear last September when the organization purchased the rights to Arlington Park for just south of $200 million.

“There’s nothing else like it in Chicagoland,” President Ted Phillips said back in January. “So the opportunities — you know, we haven’t even begun to envision what it could be. But we’re hopeful, if we close, that we’ll be moving forward with turning it into a wonderful destination site.

“Again, the timing of it we don’t know because we haven’t even closed on the land. [If] we don’t close on the land, then all that vision won’t come to fruition. But we’re excited it could be an entertainment destination with multiple facets to it that I think could really help put Arlington Heights on the map as a destination spot.”

The organization intends to close on the land near the start of 2023, which is likely part of what Biggs referred to as the announcement to come before the end of the calendar year.

Since the Bears' move on building a new stadium, the city of Chicago has been keen on keeping the team in Chicago. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced three plans back in July to renovate the stadium. The biggest part of the plan is building a dome for the stadium to rebel against the cold weather during football season and make the venue a year-round experience for concerts, events, etc.

Despite the city's efforts, the Bears have consistently denied their intentions to remain at Soldier Field. The likelihood is the Bears will break their lease with the city and Soldier Field and move out to Arlington Heights once the stadium is finished.

"It's a matter of when and not if," Biggs said. "They want to get out of Soldier Field, which wasn't a great stadium when they opened it in 2003. They'd like to confer their own situation. That's not going to happen overnight."

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