Illinois Politicians To The McCaskeys: No Money For A New Stadium

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the balls as Chicago Bears cornerback Teez Tabor comes up for the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

But no never means never in the stadium game.

The people who own the National Football League’s Chicago Bears franchise, the McCaskey family, have spoken and they want billions of public dollars to build some sort of stadium-village near the team’s present venue. The Illinois legislature has spoken and the McCaskeys are not getting any public money from taxpayers, at least not yet, to help fund a new football venue on the Chicago lakefront. The legislature has kicked the can down the road so to speak and could take up the Bears ownership’s funding request at some point in the future. The McCaskey family is willing to throw in about $2 billion to help finance the venture but they need the public’s support as well.

The McCaskeys claim they will put up $2.025 billion and will get a $300 million loan from the NFL. The McCaskeys want at least $900 million in bonds from the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. That funding would include extending bonds of the existing 2% hotel tax. That means people using hotels and motels would be paying for a football stadium that more than likely the hotel and motel users will never step foot in. The new stadium would be constructed on a parking lot just south of Soldier Field. The Chicago Mayor, Brandon Johnson claims that there will not be a need to create a new tax revenue stream for the project but that might just be political talk as there will be some sort of tax mechanism activated and that might range from not paying full property taxes to establishing a special tax district where taxes collected that normally would go into a municipality end up in the developer’s pocket. The McCaskeys still own land in Arlington Heights, Illinois that could be used for a stadium. But right now, Illinois state politicians are not giving the McCaskeys public money.

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