Chicago Bears

‘An Important Step': Read Chicago Bears' Full Letter Announcing Purchase of Arlington Park Property

"This week, we took another step toward realizing that vision by closing on the Arlington Park property"

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Chicago Bears announced Wednesday they have officially closed on the purchase of Arlington Park as they work toward a potential new stadium that would see them leaving downtown Chicago for the suburbs in a major move.

Read their full letter announcing the update below:

Last fall, we released an open letter confirming the team had reached an agreement for the purpose of acquiring 326 acres of property in Arlington Heights to secure the potential of beginning a new and exciting chapter for the Bears, our fans, the Chicagoland community, and the State of Illinois. This week, we took another step toward realizing that vision by closing on the Arlington Park property. Finalizing the purchase does not guarantee the land will be developed, but it is an important next step in our ongoing evaluation of the opportunity. There is still a tremendous amount of due diligence work to be done to determine if constructing an enclosed state-of-the-art stadium and multi-purpose entertainment district is feasible.

Should we proceed, the development of the Arlington Heights property would be one of the largest mega-projects in Midwest history. Possible construction of a stadium-anchored development is projected by analysts to create more than 48,000 jobs, generate $9.4 billion in economic impact for the Chicagoland economy and provide $3.9 billion in new labor income to workers across the region. The completed mega-project would create more than 9,750 long-term jobs, generate $1.4 billion in annual economic impact for Chicagoland and provide $601 million in annual labor income to workers across Chicagoland. The Village of Arlington Heights has hired its own expert consultant to review the economic projections, and we look forward to discussing the substantial benefits this project will provide.

If we elect to move forward after assessing the opportunity, the surrounding community will continue to be a foremost priority and an integral part of our planning. Over the past five months, we have met with local residents, small business owners, school districts, elected officials and other interested stakeholders to secure their critical input, and we will continue to have an open dialogue to ensure this potential multi-purpose development provides the greatest possible benefits to the region. The project would offer considerable commercial and residential real estate opportunities year-round, and serve as a regional hub for entertainment, shopping and community events that complement the established businesses and thriving community already in place. The overarching plan will work only if the Village of Arlington Heights, surrounding municipalities, Cook County, greater Chicagoland and the State of Illinois all receive significant economic benefits, and we are confident a mega-project like this can deliver.

The Bears will continue to work closely alongside the Village of Arlington Heights, surrounding municipalities and their residents to solicit extensive feedback on how we can best benefit local communities and Bears fans across Illinois. This planning will include a robust diversity, equity and inclusion program that prioritizes local hiring throughout every stage of the development.

We have publicly stated and repeat here again: If we construct a state-of-the-art stadium, we will not seek taxpayer funds locally or otherwise for the structure. If we proceed, however, this project would require assistance to ensure feasibility, including our securing property tax certainty and support for infrastructure commensurate with the public benefits the project will yield to the region. For the development to move forward, and for this effort to be financially feasible, a public-private partnership addressing predictable taxes and necessary infrastructure funding for public uses is essential. Public funds for infrastructure will provide regional improvements such as roads for better traffic flow and water drainage for residents throughout the area. This support, along with the team’s investment, will be crucial to ensuring the local and Illinois economies receive a dramatic, long-lasting influx of investment and new tax revenue of a magnitude never experienced before in the region.

While this closing marks a major development in the ongoing evaluation, there has been no decision that the development of the recently acquired property will occur. But today’s news is nonetheless an exciting update and positions our state and the Chicagoland region to be able to host world-class entertainment and sporting events on an unprecedented scale. We look forward to continuing this evaluation with the Village of Arlington Heights, surrounding governmental bodies and the General Assembly in the coming months, and conveying what we believe is necessary to transform the recently purchased, largely dormant Arlington Heights property into one of the most iconic mega-project entertainment and destination points in the world.    

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