Chicago Should Tell the Bears to Enjoy Arlington Heights
The Chicago Bears have put in a bid on the Arlington Heights International Racecourse property. They have been rumored to be eyeing Arlington Heights for a new stadium and the mayor of the Chicago suburb recently said the town would consider the Bears a "great fit." Well, we might find out if that's true.
Churchill Downs, which owns the site, says there are multiple "strong proposals" to purchase the land. So someone is going to buy this land. If the Bears' bid is accepted, they can start planning a new stadium, presumably as a bargaining chip to try and force the city of Chicago to use taxpayer money to modernize Soldier Field. And if the Bears' bid isn't accepted, well, they can't unsay what has been said. They're still telling the city of Chicago they are thinking about moving out.
Arlington Heights property in hand or not, the city of Chicago should call the team's bluff. In the words of Bill Simmons, I think billionaires should pay for their own f--king football stadiums.
The Bears' current billionaire owner, Virginia Halas McCaskey, is 98 years old. She has 11 children and apparently there are 40 grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. It must be like Game of Thrones trying to figure out who is going to run the team in the future. Except the members of the supporting cast stand to make a lot of money if they decide to abdicate the throne and sell.
The first step is seeing if the Bears' bid for Arlington Heights is accepted. And if it is, we'll find out which of the McCaskey's has an interest in land development.