Bears and City of Chicago to Announce New Stadium Plans Wednesday

It looks like the Bears will stay in Chicago after all. The NFL’s oldest franchise will meet with the press at noon Wednesday to announce plans for a new domed stadium on the lakefront. Since co-founding the NFL in 1920, the Bears have never had their own stadium.

A statement released by the organization on Monday indicates that city officials are on board and will participate in Wednesday’s announcement.

“The Chicago Bears, in collaboration with city officials and stakeholders, will host a press conference on Wednesday, April 24, to announce their plans for a state-of-the-art, publicly owned enclosed stadium, along with additional green and open space with access to the lakefront for families and fans, on the Museum Campus,” the statement said.

The team has pledged to spend $2 billion in private money for the project. The cost of the stadium is estimated at $2.5 billion to $3 billion. Another $1 billion will be earmarked for associated roads, space improvements, and other infrastructure. The extra money will not come from new taxes according to Mayor Brandon Johnson.

“If we’re going to build 21st century stadiums, we have to make sure that that investment is activating the entire city of Chicago, and these conversations particularly with the Bears have been quite positive,” Johnson said. “I appreciate the leadership of Kevin Warren. … But no, we have not made any commitments to any new forms of revenue.”

The White Sox recently asked for public funding to build their new stadium.

The new site would be on what are now parking lots just south of Soldier Field. The colonnades from the current structure would be saved, and the proposal is also believed to potentially include a hotel and improved access to and from Lake Shore Drive.

More on this as the story develops.

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