There’s been plenty of smoke surrounding the idea of the Chicago Bears moving out of Soldier Field.
And now, a direct connection as to where it’s coming from:
Statement from Chicago Bears President & CEO Ted Phillips: pic.twitter.com/5ACDDtccWU
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 17, 2021
In a statement shared by the Bears via social media, team President and CEO Ted Phillips announces the team has put in a bit to buy the property at Arlington International Racecourse. It’s a significant news item regarding the Bears, their status at Soldier Field, and wherever their home happens to be in the future. And one we’ll watch obsessively in the future.
We have been thinking out loud about the idea of moving out of Soldier Field for just about a year now, when chatter first surfaced last year after a suggestive tweet from long-time Chicago reporter/radio host Brian Hanley and a trip down memory lane with Kevin Kaduk got the ball rolling on the discussion. And the elephant in the room has only grown since then. In February, we kicked around the idea of the Arlington Heights Bears of Chicago. We continued to keep an eye on things as the Bears were perfectly content to let those Arlington Heights rumors linger. Oh, and when buzz popped up that the McCaskeys were debating selling the Bears came with two potential suitors who had Arlington International ties, we were put on notice. And now, THIS!? Holy Toledo!
There are a great many bridges to cross before we get to this point, even as most agree there are serious deficiencies with Soldier Field that have long needed addressing. The Bears have a lease with the Chicago Park District and Soldier Field that runs through 2033, so any leverage grabbed right now might be very much on the early side. But with this news, the city and Park District are officially on the spot. It’s been a while since we’ve been in this situation. So stay tuned.
UPDATE — A statement from the folks in Arlington Heights:
— ArlingtonHeightsIL (@ArlingtonHtsGov) June 17, 2021
Translation: They seem interested in bringing the Bears to the ‘burbs.