Report: Bears file paperwork to begin demolition at Arlington Park


Bring in the wrecking balls, the Bears are ready to start knocking down Arlington Park.

The Bears have filed paperwork in hopes of landing approval to begin demolition at Arlington Park, according to the Chicago Tribune.

According to team officials who have spoken to the Tribune, the Bears said the "first phase would begin with gutting the interior of the grandstand, and that any exterior demolition would come later."

The historic racetrack is seemingly no more. And not for no reason.

According to the story, the Tribune believes the Bears might be trying to knock down the property value to avoid a larger tax number. The value of the property rose significantly recently, causing property taxes to jet upwards.

The tax raise is expected to be around $16 million, up from $3 million, according to the story.

The Bears are asking the Board of Review to reassess the tax value of the property. A hearing is expected to take place on the matter in June. The Bears are asking for the tax value to be decreased by over $37 million.

Tearing down the property would not only cut maintenance costs but hopefully knock down tax costs for the Bears, too. Here's a statement from team officials published by the Tribune.

"Paying property taxes is part of being a member of the community. We want to pay our fair share. But the proposed assessment of the unoccupied property we purchased, and the taxes associated with it, would be more than five times what the property generated when it had an income-producing racetrack operating on it. Arlington Park would not be redeveloped by anyone at such an excessive property tax rate."

The Bears acquired the 326-acre land in February.

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