Chicago Bears Ownership Seeking A Government Handout For Proposed Stadium Project

Arlington Heights probably cannot afford to kick in public money.

There is a big red flag that should be thrown in the National Football League’s Chicago Bears franchise ownership’s quest to build a stadium-village in Arlington Heights, Illinois on land that the team does not yet own. Team officials said the stadium would be enclosed, and that the team would not negotiate renovations at Soldier Field while pursuing the Arlington deal. “The Bears will seek no public funding for direct stadium structure construction,” Bears Chairman George Halas McCaskey said. “However, we will need help.” McCaskey added that the team would need government funding to help make the project become a reality. “If this project is completed, what do we get?” McCaskey asked. “A world-class home for the Chicago Bears after a more than 100-year search. What do you get? A world-class facility, parks, housing, restaurants, hotel and other community improvements and 365-days-a-year economic impact from one of the largest construction projects in Illinois history.”

Bears ownership envisions Super Bowls, Final Fours and College Football Playoff games to be played inside the facility and retail shops, housing and offices surrounding the stadium. Bears ownership claims the construction would create more than 48,000 jobs, as well as $9.4 billion in economic impact for the region and provide $3.9 billion in income to workers. The Bears ownership estimated the completed project would add 9,750 long-term jobs, $1.4 billion in annual economic impact and $601 million a year in income to workers. But Bears ownership needs government support whether it is from Arlington Heights which has a population of 75,000 people, Illinois or federal assistance. Arlington Heights does not have enough of a population to provide that support and that is a problem.

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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)