Charles Koch Funded Group Says No Taxpayers Money Should Go To Chicago Bears Ownership to Help Build A Stadium

Bears ownership has its eye on an Arlington Heights, Illinois property.

A group that has been bankrolled by Charles Koch since its founding in 2004 called Americans For Prosperity, a conservative-libertarian organization is not too happy that the National Football League’s Chicago Bears franchise has eyes on a property in Arlington Heights, Illinois and could for public funding to build a stadium on the property. Brian Costin, the deputy Illinois director of the group, wants Bears ownership to pay for an Arlington Stadium, not taxpayers. The Chicago Bears ownership group has put in a bid to buy the Arlington International Racecourse property in suburban Chicago. The track is shutting down soon. The 326-acre property is big enough to house a football stadium complete with a parking lot. But Arlington Heights is not the only Chicago area municipality that could be kicking the tires on trying to attract the McCaskey family’s football business. Joliet, Illinois wants to speak to the McCaskey family trying to sell Joliet as a possible destination. Joliet’s bid is a longshot at best. The Chicago Bears lease with the city of Chicago to use Soldier Field ends in 2033. Others want the Arlington International Raceway property. Churchill Downs, the property owner, has not announced any of the finalists for the land as of yet.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is also concerned about the state of the Bears business and how the team’s present home might need some upgrades. Lightfoot is not too thrilled with the Bears bid, noting it is probably a negotiating tactic trying to gain some leverage in the talks with the city. Lightfoot is a Bears season ticket customer. The McCaskey family probably want a more modern facility than the one the team uses which was rebuilt 19 years ago. As far as the business, McCaskey’s Bears franchise is one of the most valuable sports businesses on the globe.

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Chicago Bears tight end Jesse James (18) catches a touchdown pass against the Miami Dolphins during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Chicago, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/David Banks)