Bears Stadium

Chicago Bears new stadium: where things stand with Arlington Heights and more

As negotiations between the Bears and Arlington Heights become more contentious, other cities are trying to swoop

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The saga over where the Chicago Bears will choose to build their new stadium is far from over.

But as news on cities vying for the team's future home begins to slow, where exactly do things stand?

Here's a look:


When Bears president/CEO held community meetings about the team’s future at Arlington Heights last month, he made some noteworthy comments.

“We have to figure out if Arlington Heights is legitimately a viable option or is it not. This has nothing to do with personal feelings. This is strictly business," he said. "And I just want to make sure that we're all on the same page and figure out if this is something that will work."

Right now, the Bears are at a stalemate with Arlington Heights. Both sides are unable come to an agreement on a fair property assessment, leading to a difference in annual tax value.

The Bears paid just over $197 million to purchase the land earlier this year, but argue the value of the land should be assessed at $52 million. Churchill Downsー the former owners of the racetrackー and the local school districts reached an agreement for the value of the property to be set at $95 million for the 2022 tax bill. But that was a one year deal, so the Bears have to renegotiate to get the property assessment lowered again.

Still, the team has moved forward with demolishing the property, regardless of where talks stand.

"The demolition does not mean the property will be developed," the team said in a release.

Demolition is expected to continue through the end of the year.

“This is not about the Chicago Bears trying to come in and take advantage of everyone,” Warren said. “It’s the opposite. It’s about the Chicago Bears finding a partner.”

“Once we have a legitimate partner, we will move forward,” Warren said. “If that’s in Arlington Heights, great. If it’s somewhere else, that’s great too.”


The Southwest suburb was the first to jump at the chance to woo the Bears away from Arlington Heights. Mayor Scott Wehrli sent the Bears an open letter making a case for why Naperville would be such a great place for a stadium and Kevin Warren reportedly sat down to meet with Wehrli. The letter mentioned several “available or to be available” sites that may suit the Bears needs, but never specifically said what the town had in mind.


The latest city to make a case to host the new stadium. In their open letter to the team, Aurora boasted that it’s the second-largest city in the state. They also pointed to their ability to work together with businesses on big developments like their $360M deal with PENN Entertainment to relocate Hollywood Casino.


Waukegan pitched their town as a way for the Bears to stay close to the lake. The biggest sell may be that it’s close to Lake Forest where the Bears practice. Many players also live in the northern suburbs to be close to Halas Hall.


Meanwhile, Chicago has tried to convince the team to stay at Soldier Field with fancy renderings of possible renovations. New mayor Brandon Johnson has also met with the team.

But if Warren's latest comments are any indication, the team is all but gone from Chicago.

"We do need a new home for the Chicago Bears,” Warren said at the Arlington Heights community meeting last month.

Still, Warren and Johnson did release a joint statement following news of the potential Arlington Heights stadium woes.

“Today we met and discussed our shared values and commitment to the City of Chicago, the importance of deep roots and the need for equitable community investment throughout the city.  We are both committed to the idea that the city and its major civic institutions must grow and evolve together to meet the needs of the future.  We look forward to continuing the dialogue around these shared values.”

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