There continue to be signs the Chicago Bears are at least eyeing a potential move to Arlington Heights and approximately 30 miles away from Soldier Field.
According to the Chicago Tribune (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk), local officials have approved the Arlington Park property to eventually house a new football stadium. Bears president Ted Phillips announced last week that the franchise had submitted a bid to purchase the Arlington International Racecourse facility, and Churchill Downs, which owns the property, recently reached a gambling sponsorship agreement with the club.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot hit out at a potential move last Thursday.
"The Bears are locked into a lease at Soldier Field until 2033," Lightfoot said at that time. "In addition, this announcement from the Bears comes in the midst of negotiations for improvements at Soldier Field. This is clearly a negotiating tactic that the Bears have used before. As a season ticketholder and longtime Bears fan, I am committed to keeping the 'Chicago' name in our football team."
According to Alex Shapiro of NBC Sports Chicago, attempting to move the Bears in the next few years could cost the franchise "at least $94.5 million" owed to the Chicago Park District per the terms of the previously mentioned lease.