Mayor-elect Johnson not ready to give up on Bears staying

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The Chicago Bears are squarely focused on exploring building a new stadium at the Arlington International Racecourse property.

Every time Soldier Field or staying in Chicago comes up, they reiterate the only stadium opportunity the franchise is exploring is in Arlington Heights.

It seems like the Bears leaving Chicago is a matter of if, not when. But Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson is going to try and reverse that course.

“I'm not going to accept inevitability, and I’ve asked ownership to give me an opportunity to be able to assess, and then we can make a collective determination together,” Johnson told the Mully & Haugh show on 670 The Score. “The reason why I don’t ever accept inevitability. Like, I come from a family of 10. We had one bathroom. I am the baddest negotiator in the world, and I mean bad in a good way. Like, I know how to leave the house clean. The type of deals that I make to get there, don’t judge a brother.

“Keeping the Bears in the city of Chicago is important. And the field should not be confined to eight games and hopefully a playoff game or two. It’s a beautiful campus, and it’s an entire infrastructure that the city of Chicago has not fully tapped into. I want to make sure that the field, the museum, the entire campus is used in a way that speaks to our excellence.”

Johnson had also asked the Bears to hang tight on moving forward while campaigning.

The Bears closed on a purchase of the Arlington International Racecourse Property, which the franchise hopes will eventually serve as the home of an enclosed stadium with a multi-purpose entertainment district surrounding the proposed park.

Part of the Bears' issue with the Soldier Field location is it's city-owned, instead of team owned. NFL franchises around the country own their stadium and surrounding entertainment district which opens big revenue opportunities.

Though the Bears have purchased the Arlington Park property, a potential move to the northwest suburb is still years away.

The Bears' lease with Soldier Field runs through the 2033 season, with the franchise needing to pay the city of Chicago in order to break the lease. It remains unclear when a potential project would break ground.

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