CHICAGO | New Chicago Bears Stadium

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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.”

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Per: Don’t give Chicago Bears another chance to mess up a stadium - Chicago Sun-Times

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.

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A new stadium on The 78 site?

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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!

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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.

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Oh nooooo. That is an AI image. Something I was hoping we won’t get fooled by on this site

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Latest news:

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https://www.chicagobusiness.com/politics/chicago-bears-want-build-lakefront-not-arlington-heights-sources-say

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Only a study

Credit: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/sports/larry-booth-designed-stadium-keep-bears-chicago

Lincoln Yards?

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Mayor Johnson comments on Bears, White Sox stadium pursuits Bears stadium: Kevin Warren gushes over Chicago lakefront stadium – NBC Chicago

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"The Chicago Bears have shifted their focus to the parking area south of Soldier Field, their current home, in their quest for a new domed stadium.

There, in a statement released Monday, the team says it will invest more than $2 billion in private money in a publicly-owned stadium and park space.

The plans call for creating nearly 20% more open space than exists now, public plazas compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, more landscaping and plantings and increased public access to the lakefront.

“The Chicago Bears are proud to directly contribute over $2 billion to build a publicly-owned stadium and improve open spaces for all families and fans to enjoy along the museum campus," said Kevin Warren, the team’s president and CEO. "The future stadium of the Chicago Bears will bring a transformative opportunity to our region — boosting the economy, creating jobs, and generating millions in tax revenue. We look forward to sharing more information when our plans are finalized.”

But the scant details released so far raise many more questions than they answer about how much the stadium would cost, how it would be financed and how much public money would be needed.

Sources, including legislators, who have been briefed on the Bears’ plans say the team also is touting a new poll showing support for a publicly-funded stadium that would keep the team in the city.

The plan also presumes that much of Soldier Field — except the historic colonnades and war memorial — would be torn down to create the additional promised green space, others sources have told the Sun-Times. But where the money for that work would come from is another unanswered question.

Still, the shift in focus from Arlington Heights, where the team purchased the 326-acre site of the old Arlington International Racecourse, is significant. The Bears spent $197.2 million on that property, with dreams of building a stadium and developing shops, restaurants, bars and housing on the rest of the site, but that effort has been stymied by a property tax stalemate with suburban school districts.

And as hurdles developed in Arlington Heights, the Bears also were approached by other suburbs, including Naperville and Waukegan.

Then, in December, came word that the team was starting to consider the south parking lot as an alternative to Arlington Heights. And last week, the developer hoping to build a new stadium for the White Sox at Clark and Randolph streets in the South Loop told the Sun-Times the Bears and White Sox were talking about a “financing partnership” to get two stadiums built in the city with public money.

The Sox site is a large tract of vacant land known as The 78, and Curt Bailey, president of developer Related Midwest, told the Sun-Times the plan there would include a hotel, office space, housing and retail space.

But there was no mention Monday of how the Bears might hope to develop the land around a new lakefront football stadium — adding bars, restaurants, shops — as the teams has said it would do at the Arlington Heights site.

Soldier_Field_from_the_south.jpg The parking area south of Soldier Field is where the Bears are now focusing in their effort to build a new domed stadium.Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times And perhaps most crucially, there was no mention of how the Bears would fend off a likely court challenge from Friends of the Parks, which has opposed any new building along the lakefront — and which fought plans by movie mogul George Lucas to build a museum south of Soldier Field.

The ongoing court fight eventually forced Lucas to build that museum in Los Angeles.

Though some poll results were revealed, they lacked some crucial details — namely, the exact questions asked, when the poll was conducted and how those polled were selected.

The survey by Las Vegas-brd McGuire Research, purportedly shows 80% of the 500 registered Chicago voters polled support a Museum Campus location for a new stadium — and 77% support that location because they want to keep the Chicago Bears in the city.

Sources also said the poll shows over 6 in 10 Chicagoans support using public money for a publicly owned stadium, and 66% specifically support a a new Museum Campus location over suburban options.

But a year ago, a Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ/Telemundo Chicago/NBC5 Poll of 625 Chicago voters showed less support.

While about half of those surveyed wanted the team to stay in Chicago, only about 42% supported using taxpayer money to keep them here, compared to 51% opposed and 7% undecided. That poll of randomly-selected registered voters was conducted Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2023.

The latest news leaves still other questions unanswered:

• Where is that private money coming from, and how much of it is from the National Football League?

• Would the team sell naming rights to the new stadium? That wasn’t viable at Soldier Field, given its war memorial status.

• If bonds are issued to help fund the stadium, which public entity would issue them, and what tax would be used to pay off those bonds?

• What are the infrastructure costs at the lakefront site?

• Would public transit along the lakefront be improved to allow better access to the stadium?

If the White Sox use bonds issued by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to help pay for their new stadium, that could affect whether the Bears also can tap into that revenue source — or, as state Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago has suggested, the Bears could approach the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority about issuing bonds for a new football stadium."

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Another proposal is Michael Reese Hospital site on the South Side