Bears May Be Thinking Of Moving To Arlington Heights
With Arlington International Racecourse (Arlington Park) scheduled to close forever on September 25th of this year, and on the market to be sold and potentially torn down, lots of speculation is going on about the Chicago Bears making that space their new home.
Wait a minute. What about Soldier Field? Are the Bears just going to pack up and say goodbye to their home of the last 50 years? The place where they still have a lease agreement that expires in 2033? No one who knows anything is really saying much about the Bears' plans.
For the first 51 seasons in Chicago, the Bears played their games at Wrigley Field. They've been at Soldier Field since 1971, with the exception of the 2002 season when Soldier Field was getting a spaceship parked on top of it. They've always been a part of the actual city of Chicago, which makes this talk about a move to Arlington Heights even more intriguing.
This isn't the first time that the Chicago Bears and Arlington Heights have been a topic of discussion. 30 years ago, word had it that the team wasn't pleased with their current stadium situation, but conversations were had, deals were made, and the subject was dropped. Until now, that is.
Which makes some people wonder if this isn't an attempt to get the City of Chicago to improve things at Soldier Field, allow more capacity for the upcoming season, or any number of things that a threat to move away might bring them.
Neither the team nor Mayor Lori Lightfoot have denied the report, while the Mayor of Arlington Heights is enthusiastic about welcoming the Bears. "Certainly, the Arlington Park site is available and we would consider the Chicago Bears a great fit for that particular site," Mayor Tom Hayes said. Hayes said while the Bears have not reached out to him about taking over the massive site now occupied by the Arlington Park race track, he says it's an ideal location for the team because of its large footprint, proximity to major highways and on-site Metra access.