Fans of a certain age know only of a world where betting on football is constantly (and legally) at your fingertips.
But fans who are a wee-bit older know it hasn’t always been that way. In fact, I’m old enough to confidently say I’ve spent most of my life living in a world where the NFL has gone to great lengths to distance itself from sports gambling. However, the league has softened its stance in recent years.
And with the NFL and its teams (the Bears included) diving head-first into partnerships with casinos, sports-betting sites, and more, a new cash flow stream has opened. Perhaps the most important thing here is that the decision to let bygones be bygones could be more profitable than anyone could imagine:
Owners believe that, sooner rather later, the average, random team will be worth $8 billion to $10 billion, thanks to legalized gambling. https://t.co/jrt4nMnBKN
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 30, 2021
Ultimately, these newfound partnerships could mean big things for the Chicago Bears.
You see, the Bears are no “random team.” In September 2020, Forbes’ assessment of the Bears’ value was $3.525 billion. And in case you missed it, the franchise could be up for sale earlier than previously thought. Additionally, the team is bidding on the Arlington International Racecourse property. And because Arlington Heights seems willing to welcome the Bears with open arms, that plot of land could be home to a new, state-of-the-art football facility (and possibly an on-site casino).
Remember, a football stadium and a casino have approval to be built on the property. Also worth noting that the team’s partnership with BetRivers and Rivers Casino also links them to Neil Bluhm — who is name-checked as one of the favorites to buy the Bears if they hit the market. What web we’re seeing woven in front of us.
Before we get too far up the road, we need to be clear with something. The there are a great many steps we need to take before get to a bridge worth crossing. At least when it comes to tying all of these things together. Heck, I suppose the city of Chicago could have a say in things. It’s not hard to imagine that the city, in its quest to keep the Bears from leaving town, could propose a package that allows the team to partner up with a casino property. As of now, there is no casino in city limits. Maybe that’s a bargaining chip that could be of interest? Again, there is so much to dissect before we got to the end game. But it’s something we should be aware of for when the time comes.
In the end, the NFL finally embracing gambling could be a boon for the Bears. Stay tuned…