Or new location in the 78
I read a post on SSP a few months ago where the author heard a rumor that there may have been talk of a stadium on The 78. But apparently it was just a rumor nothing more, but this information is new.
„ Owner of the giant South Loop parcel known as “the 78” says they are “open to discussions” about potentially bringing a new Bears stadium here. They are currently moving forward on plans to build the U-of-I connected Discovery Partners Institute here.“
Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Chicago Bears have begun conversations about the future location of team games, both sides said today.
But at least for now, they’re pretty mum on what if anything was accomplished, though they said they’d continue to talk.
What’s known is that Johnson and Bears President Kevin Warren talked, by phone, and then jointly issued identical statements.
“Today, we met and discussed our shared values and commitment to the city of Chicago, the importance of deep roots and the need for equitable community investment throughout the city,” the statements said. “We are both committed to the idea that the city and its major civic institutions must grow and evolve together to meet the needs of the future. We look forward to continuing the dialogue around these shared values.”
But in the stories I’ve seen about the Bears’ push to go to Arlington Heights, I notice you dutifully recite the team’s complaints about Soldier Field — such as it is the lowest-capacity stadium in the NFL, can’t be redesigned to increase seating nor to give them gambling amenities like the newest multi-billion-dollar NFL stadiums, and was obsolete before it was finished.
Soldier Field is the way it is because the city and Park District allowed the Bears to remodel it entirely to their own specifications. That is, the Bears got exactly what they wanted 20 years ago. They, not Mayor Richard Daley, are to blame for the way the stadium looks and operates, and all its foibles, including their design that makes it less useful for soccer and concerts than it ought to be as a civic asset. Giving them free rein to arrogate public property turned out to be a multifaceted disaster.
There is no reason to believe the Bears organization could pull off turning 320 acres 30 miles outside the city into a sports entertainment and residential development, given they couldn’t even design their own stadium when they were given the chance and hundreds of millions of dollars in city money.
The Bears are a deeply incompetent organization that doesn’t understand its own core business. A team that can’t get its logo right on the field or develop a quarterback cannot be trusted to develop housing and essentially be given control of a municipality.
I would be happy to dump them on Arlington Heights, except as a resident of Illinois I might ultimately have to pay for the mistakes of the suburbs.
Moreover, various bloviators have moaned that Soldier Field is “difficult to get to.” Soldier Field is right on a Metra line that serves the South Side and suburbs. Could you put some effort into describing the trains and roads that serve Soldier Field, and compare those routes to the existing train line and roads that would have to serve 70,000 fans descending on Arlington Heights? And could you discuss the parts of the metro area that are within 40 minutes of each site and maybe do a graphic overlay of the demographics? That might speak to part of the Bears’ motivation. Or could you estimate the carbon intensity of the projected spectator travel to and from Arlington RaceDome relative to Soldier Field?
You might also show us the trend for years has been teams moving back to their cities.
A new stadium on The 78 site?
The way this development has been pining after projects to use their land, first the casino and now the stadium, it’s clear the full buildout of the 78 is not going to happen. Right? At least this proposal keeps the stadium downtown, and much closer to the Roosevelt station!
Is this just a concept or an official proposal for the stadium? If it is an official proposal, the architectural firm should be listed as the source on this rendering.
Oh nooooo. That is an AI image. Something I was hoping we won’t get fooled by on this site
Only a study