The Chicago Bears have long been rumored to have interest in the property located at the former Arlington Park race track. This morning, the team has announced that they have purchased the property and have plans to develop it.
While Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot seems to believe that keeping the Bears in Chicago is still a possibility, this move seems to be a pretty obvious indicator that the Bears will be moving out of Soldier Field, their home since 1971.
My statement still stands on the Bears: my admin remains committed to continuing the work to keep the team in Chicago.
As I have said numerous times, our door in City Hall remains open. https://t.co/7pm7mLtCOc
— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) September 29, 2021
Here’s the full statement by the Chicago Bears:
“We are excited to have executed a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) for the Arlington Park property,” said Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips. “We are grateful to Churchill Downs Incorporated for their efforts to reach this point. We also appreciate the support of Mayor Tom Hayes and the Village of Arlington Heights. Finalizing the PSA was the critical next step in continuing our exploration of the property and its potential. Much work remains to be completed, including working closely with the Village of Arlington Heights and surrounding communities, before we can close on this transaction. Our goal is to chart a path forward that allows our team to thrive on the field, Chicagoland to prosper from this endeavor, and the Bears organization to be ensured a strong future. We will never stop working toward delivering Bears fans the very best experience. We will continue to provide updates on our progress at the appropriate time.”
“This has been an extraordinarily competitive bid process,” said Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO Bill Carstanjen. “Congratulations to the Chicago Bears for their professionalism and perseverance. It is clear they are committed to an exciting vision for their team and their fans. We wish them the greatest success and are excited for the opportunity this brings to the Village of Arlington Heights and the future economic development of this unique property.”
“I could not be more excited about the news that the Chicago Bears have signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement to buy the Arlington Park property in our community,” said Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes. “My goal for any redevelopment has always been to put this prime piece of real estate to its highest and best use, and I can’t think of a higher and better use than this one. There is a long way to go as we begin this journey, and many issues for the community to discuss, but the Village is committed to working with the Bears organization and all stakeholders to explore this opportunity for Arlington Heights and the northwest suburban region.”
Bears announce purchase and sale agreement for Arlington Park.https://t.co/CIVIOV8wHZ
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 29, 2021