One very popular NFL team could be on the move in the near future. According to Tom Hayes, the mayor of Arlington Heights, Illinois, the Chicago Bears are considering moving from their home stadium of Solider Field located in downtown, Chicago to Arlington Heights, which is 30 miles away. One of the reasons that could happen is Arlington Heights has 326 acres available where a new stadium can be built. Hayes says the Bears are "seriously considering" moving to the site.
"Certainly, the Arlington Park site is available and we would consider the Chicago Bears a great fit for that particular site," Hayes said, via Fox 32 in Chicago last week. "I think the Bears are seriously considering it because it's such a unique piece of property. It has so much going for it in terms of its location in the northwest suburbs where a lot of their audience is."
When Crain's Chicago Business asked a Bears executive about the move last week, the person didn't deny the team was looking things over. Currently, the 326 acres is occupied by the Arlington Park race track, but the building is likely going to be sold in a few months. If the Bears are really thinking about moving, it won't be easy since they have a lease at Soldier Field for the next 13 seasons.
"I've seen a couple of reports [of a possible move] but a couple of data points that I think you should be aware of are the Bears have a lease with Soldier Field until 2033 and the NFL doesn't let any teams break their leases," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. All this might mean the Bears want some renovations done at Soldier Field. The stadium opened in 1924 and has gone through its share of renovations over the years. In January 2002, Soldier Field closed to undergo major renovations. The new Soldier Field opened in September 2003.
"It's a great, iconic site," Lightfoot said of Soldier Field. "But it's a challenging site, and I think it's incumbent on us as a city to step up and look at ways in which we can make sure that the Bears fans, but also the Bears as an organization, have the best opportunities to maximize the fan experience and, of course, maximize revenues."