Mayor Lightfoot still sees chance to stop Chicago Bears’ move to Arlington Heights

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot won’t rule out using public funds to keep the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field as the NFL team continues to pursue a new stadium in Arlington Heights.

Lightfoot made the comment at an unrelated news conference a day after the Bears paid $197 million for the 326-acre Arlington International Racecourse site, which they hope to transform into a modern stadium that can host marquee events including Super Bowls and NCAA Final Fours.

“I’ve been very clear from day one we want to do everything that we can to keep the Bears in Chicago,” Lightfoot said, repeating a line she frequently uses when discussing the stadium situation. “I think we can and will continue to make a very compelling business case.”

Although Lightfoot declined to offer specifics about how the city would try to woo the Bears, she suggested the team might run into financial problems as it pursues a deal in Arlington Heights. New stadiums in other cities have cost $4 billion to $5 billion, and the Bears “haven’t even put a shovel into the ground yet for Arlington Heights,” she said.

“I don’t know where that money is going to come from,” Lightfoot said. “You’ve seen the polling that says people in the village of Arlington Heights are all excited about it but they don’t want to pay for it. We’ve seen at the state level there’s not an appetite for a state government-funded stadium, and legislation was passed in the last session that wouldn’t allow for the state subsidy for a team that moves from one location in Illinois to another location.”

Author: gr03n3

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